A state-of-the-art MRI machine has taken regional health care to the next level this week, as Tamworth Medical Imaging welcomed the machine to a brand new purpose-built room.
While the General Electric 3T is one of only four in the Asia Pacific, for a regional area the machine also came with some added bonuses, a brand new and highly trained MRI technician, Michael Fawcett, and with him, his highly trained sonographer wife, Alison, in a triple treat for the town and business.
The first 3T MRI service in the region, or this side of the range, with most other machines being a 1.5T, and while the machine is very complicated the difference is quite simple.
“A 3T does everything twice as well as a 1.5T,” Mr Fawcett said.
“We get twice as much information out of a patient’s pictures, in half the time – that is a huge benefit and also gives some major advantages.”
Another advantage of the high spec machine is that it has an extra wide bore width, meaning it is less claustrophobic and can also fit bigger patients, with greater ease.
There is also better air flow, lateral light, and even built-in music and a ‘sky ceiling’ for patients to stare at pictures of the Barrier Reef, while being scanned.
The first real patient will hit the table on Thursday morning, and that comes after years of planning, weeks of building and installing, and a day of practicing and calibrating, using staff members as test subjects on Wednesday.
“It is an incredible piece of machinery capable of doing everything,” Mr Fawcett said.
“There is a big population in this region and there has been a massive investment in healthcare here and the public required a new MRI machine.”
The only other MRI machine in Tamworth is located at Castlereagh Imaging, although it is believed that the Tamworth Hospital does have an MRI machine on it’s priority list as well.
“We are expecting a reasonable response from the public, once word gets out,” Mr Fawcett said.
“We get twice as much information out of a patients pictures in half the time – that is a huge benefit and also gives some major advantages.MRI Technician Michael Fawcett