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Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Introduces First 1.5 T Companion Animal MRI System

Press Release   •   Sep 18, 2014 18:15 BST

Company’s patented technology offers affordable Veterinary Specific MRI

ACTON, Mass. (May 13, 2014) – The only high-field MRI system specifically designed for use in companion animals is now available to veterinary hospitals throughout North America. PetVet MRI, developed and manufactured by Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging, is a new, state-of-the-art, veterinary-specific, high-field (1.5 Tesla) imaging system that allows for excellent image quality at an affordable price.

Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging designed PetVet MRI with several unique features, including an on-board RF shield, which eliminates the need for an RF-shielded room. The system also has a zero boil-off cold head, removing the need for routine helium refills, making it cost-effective for veterinarians to own and operate. Because of its design, PetVet MRI reduces both the expense and risk of downtime due to helium shortages, which are becoming more common as global helium sources deplete.

“PetVet MRI was developed with the companion animal in mind,” says Karen Johnston, VMD, MRCVS, PhD, MBA, global business development director, PetVet MRI. “This is not a machine refurbished from the human market. PetVet MRI uses a brand-new magnet and has coils purposely designed to fit the anatomy of cats and dogs. Because our software is specifically written for animals and the sequences are optimized for veterinary use, PetVet MRI offers veterinarians significantly improved image collection.”

Another innovative feature of PetVet MRI is the v-shaped bed. Compared to the flat beds found in refurbished human machines, PetVet MRI’s bed allows for excellent positioning of dogs and cats.
Johnston adds that considering the veterinarian was equally important in design considerations during development.

“We know that in our industry, it is imperative to keep costs down and within reach of our clients,” says Johnston. “PetVet MRI’s financial model removes the large upfront capital investment by eliminating the need for an RF-shielded room and routine helium refills.”

Because of the groundbreaking design, PetVet MRI can cost significantly less than other high field systems. Based on industry averages, the system costs nearly $200,000 less to install and operate than refurbished, human systems. Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging also utilizes a pay-as-you-go model, virtually removing any upfront costs.

“Our goal is to partner with hospitals interested in MRI,” says Johnston. “We want to ensure that hospitals are successful and the machine is always performing in top condition. In addition to our flexible financial model, we offer full-service maintenance and support from our world-renowned team of MRI PhD scientists.”

In addition to PetVet MRI for companion animals, Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging also pioneered a standing equine MRI scanner in 2001. Since that time, the company has installed more than 70 scanners and conducted over 40,000 scans worldwide.

Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging is the pioneer of species-specific MRI diagnostics, being the sole global manufacturer of MRI systems specifically designed for companion animals and horses. The Hallmarq team has decades of experience in the design and manufacture of global clinical, research and industrial MRI systems for a range of applications. The company initially revolutionized the diagnosis of equine lameness with the development of the only standing MRI for horses before applying its expertise to small animal diagnostics. Established in 2001, Hallmarq's mission is to improve the safety, accuracy and cost-effectiveness of MRIs, making them affordable and profitable to veterinary clinics worldwide.