New open field MRI being installed at Eagle Medical Center

Construction workers unloaded five truck-drawn containers in the parking lot behind Eagle Medical Center last week, all part of the Hitachi .7 Tesla high-field open MRI, direct from Japan.

Owned by Great Basin Imaging, the machine weighs 80,000 pounds and cost $1.4 million.

Designed to produce images of bone and soft tissue, this state-of-the-art equipment offers the resolution of quality magnetic resonance imaging in an open environment, said Larry Weber, spokesman for Great Basin Imaging. Conventional machines require the patient be restricted to a tightly-confined area, a long tube, for about 45 minutes. It can be a stressful situation for many and physicians sometimes had to choose, between greater resolution of the images and the comfort of their patients.

"The Hitachi has an open environment, without compromising the quality," Weber said.

A special rigging crew, Southwest Industrial Rigging of Phoenix, Ariz., was on site to assemble the machine and when completed, the magnet was moved into position using a giant crane.

It will take six weeks, to complete the installment and run the quality control.


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