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A Smart Assistant for MRI Technologists

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41EB031739-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R41EB031739
Amount: $256,015.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIBIB
Solicitation Number: PA20-265
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-09-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-03-19
Small Business Information
42 AERO CAMINO
Santa Barbara, CA 93117-3105
United States
DUNS: 363079641
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 ALAN MACY
 (805) 252-1065
 alan@biopac.com
Business Contact
 ALAN MACY
Phone: (805) 252-1065
Email: alan@biopac.com
Research Institution
 BOSTON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
 
300 LONGWOOD AVE
BOSTON, MA 02115-5724
United States

 Domestic Nonprofit Research Organization
Abstract

Abstract
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is critically important for pediatric care and the unusable data caused by
patient motion has been estimated to cost $1.4B per year in the United States alone. Currently, a radiologist
assesses if the images are satisfactory or not, but an MRI technologist does the imaging, and coordination of
communication between the two is costly and slow. We propose to develop a device that monitors motion
during an MRI scan without creating an MRI artifact or posing a burden to the subject. We propose to develop
and assess a device based on MRI compatible MEMS technology that will measure motion and allow an MRI
technologist to intervene to improve image quality by reminding the subject to hold still, and to assess the final
image quality associated with the imaging data acquired. This will save valuable imaging time and reduce
costs by improving the rate of diagnostic quality images, and save time by assisting the MR technologist to
decide if the images are sufficient or if they need to be repeated. In this Phase I study, we will develop and
validate an MRI compatible gyroscope and an MRI compatible magnetic field sensor, which in combination
with an existing MRI compatible accelerometer will allow for rapid calibration of the device to the MRI
coordinate system and the sensing of six degree of freedom motion. BIOPAC currently makes and sells an
MRI compatible accelerometer. We will develop an MRI compatible gyroscope and magnetometer and a
combined MRI compatible accelerometer/gyroscope in the same form factor as the current accelerometer. The
sensor measurements will be converted to a digital signal through the existing BIOPAC MP160 hardware
interface. We will write a software interface to enable each sensor to be used with the BIOPAC AcqKnowledge
data acquisition software. These sensors will then be tested for their ability to operate safely in a clinical 3T
MRI environment, tested for their ability to not create artifacts due to either RF interference or magnetic
susceptibility changes, and tested for the accuracy of the sensor measurements in the MRI.Narrative
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is critically important for pediatric care and the unusable data caused by
patient motion has been estimated to cost $1.4B per year in the United States alone. Currently, a radiologist
assesses if the images are satisfactory or not, but an MRI technologist does the imaging, and coordination of
communication between the two is costly and slow. We propose to develop an MRI compatible MEMS device
that monitors motion during an MRI scan in order to assist the MRI technologist to see motion while it is
occurring, to intervene to mitigate motion while the imaging is being acquired, and to determine if the final
images formed are of diagnostic quality or not. This will save valuable imaging time and reduce costs by
improving the rate of diagnostic quality images, and save time by assisting the MR technologist to decide if the
images are sufficient or if they need to be repeated.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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