The health and safety of IMRIS’ customers, employees, and business partners is our primary concern. In light of global precautions for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and building upon recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), IMRIS is adopting new and indefinite travel policies.
In attempts to prevent exposure to and spread of COVID-19, we have implemented travel restrictions starting immediately and until further notice. Of primary concern to you, all customer visits to areas impacted by the virus will be sharply curtailed to customer-critical situations. All non-essential preventive maintenance and clinical visits to these regions will be postponed indefinitely. IMRIS may allow its employees to travel to areas with confirmed cases in customer down/non-operational situations; decisions will be based on case-by-case need. IMRIS will employ best reasonable efforts to provide service and support as usual to customers in areas that are not impacted by the Coronavirus. Additionally, IMRIS is suspending all non-essential domestic and international travel for internal meetings and for participation in external events; virtual methods will be practiced when possible.
As you are aware, the global supply chain has been impacted due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We anticipate reduction in delivery reliability in the short to mid-term. IMRIS remains committed to providing the best possible service and support that our customers would expect throughout this situation.
In addition to ensuring the safety and wellness of our employees, IMRIS has been reviewing its business continuity plans and has established a team that is working to determine the appropriate measures which should be taken during this event.
We realize this situation remains very dynamic; we will continue to closely monitor developments with respect to the COVID-19 and areas recommended for travel avoidance. If you have questions or concerns regarding this message please contact IMRIS at (763) 203-6300 (option 1) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMRIS is keeping our healthcare providers, worldwide communities, and those directly affected by this virus in our thoughts.
The IMRIS research and development team received US Patent approval for a Transmit/Receive Head Coil with a wireless component (e.g. IMRIS InSitu Coil) used for pre-, intra- and post-operative use.
The awarded patent is a symbol of the team’s hard work and the company’s commitment to creating innovative technologies for the advancement of neurosurgery. IMRIS is thrilled to celebrate this achievement with their employees, partners and customers.
The idea for this patent was based on a customer need. The desire was to have an imaging coil to operate both as an RF transmitter (e.g., to deliver RF pulse sequences for MRI imaging) and an RF receiver (e.g., to receive signals elicited by RF pulse sequences), while providing access for a variety of diagnostic or therapeutic procedures and while maintaining the integrity of a sterile field. The novel design also allows for navigation to a surgical access site without requiring repositioning or the removal of the transceiver coil arrangement, preserving the sterile field and facilitating imaging before, during and after surgery.
The transmit/receive head coil may allow more patients under more conditions to receive intraoperative MRI. This innovative transmit/receive head coil with a sterile wireless component will facilitate magnetic-resonance-guided or MR-guided procedures including, but not limited to; sterotactic surgery, radiotherapy, laser ablation, and robotic-assisted neurosurgical procedures.
“The patent gives IMRIS sole rights to create intraoperative transmit-receive imaging systems with wireless elements. It is a great example of how IMRIS takes two very different and incompatible environments, and through clever engineering, creates a solution that merges the two without compromising features or functionality from either,” said Peter Simpson, IMRIS, SVP of Research and Engineering.
The US patent was granted on November 26, 2019. As IMRIS looks to the future, the team will continue to advocate for technologies to improve patient outcomes.
As a leader in image guided therapy solutions, IMRIS is focused on helping our customers navigate the complexities associated with designing and installing the most innovative hybrid operating suites. With over 75 installations world-wide, IMRIS partners with leading hospitals to optimized workflow for surgeons, maximum value for hospitals and to create an environment that could provide better outcomes for patients.
IMRIS will continue to integrate new intraoperative imaging technologies and shape the future of neurosurgery in hybrid operating rooms worldwide. For more information, call 763.203.6300 or visit https://www.imris.com/contact/.
IMRIS, Deerfield Imaging, Inc.
First New MR17 Surgical Table in Europe Installed at Uppsala University Hospital
Uppsala University Hospital has a historical tradition of firsts. The hospital was founded in 1708 as the first clinic with the specific intention of facilitating the practical education of medical students. Sweden´s first nurse was trained at Uppsala, and the first Nordic appendectomy was performed there. When the opportunity arose to design and create a world-class intraoperative surgical suite, they chose to partner with IMRIS.
“We make the best use of new technology, new scientific findings, and new ways of working in order to solve medical problems and to continuously improve the way we take care of our patients.” – Uppsala University Hospital website
Uppsala University Hospital continued their tradition of firsts when they chose to install the MR17 Surgical Table in their IMRIS Theatre. It is the first-ever installation of this new hybrid table in Europe. The MR17 Surgical Table is a result of a collaboration between IMRIS and Hillrom™. IMRIS integrates the MR Neuro OR Tabletop with the Hillrom™ TruSystem® 7500 column to create this new standard in intraoperative surgical tables. What sets this table apart from a standard surgical table is the MR conditional tabletop, which is safe for use with 1.5T and 3T MR scanners.
IMRIS is Customer-Focused.
ABOUT UPPSALA UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL Uppsala University Hospital is one of Sweden´s largest hospitals. They offer medical and nursing care of the highest standard. The hospital is a source of both unique medical knowledge and the most advanced care available. Each year, over 700,000 people are cared for by Uppsala University Hospital staff. They are a full-scale university hospital with 8,000 employees and 1,000 beds.
IMRIS is Partner-Focused.
ABOUT ETS-LINDGREN™ ETS-Lindgren™ is recognized by clients the world over as the leading supplier of energy management solutions for the industrial and commercial markets. Their team of professionals design and manufacture electromagnetic and acoustic energy measurement and shielding systems that make many aspects of modern life possible. With over 75 years of successful innovation, ETS-Lindgren will continue to be a crucial partner of IMRIS for years to come.
ABOUT HILLROM™ Hillrom™ is a global medical technology leader whose 10,000 employees have a single purpose: enhancing outcomes for patients and their caregivers by advancing connected care. Around the world, Hillrom innovations touch over 7 million patients each day. They help enable earlier diagnosis and treatment, optimize surgical efficiency and accelerate patient recovery while simplifying clinical communication and shifting care closer to home. Hillrom makes these outcomes possible through connected smart beds, patient lifts, patient assessment and monitoring technologies, caregiver collaboration tools, respiratory care devices, advanced operating room equipment and more, delivering actionable, real-time insights at the point of care.
ABOUT IMRIS IMRIS designs and creates multipurpose hybrid operating rooms, known as IMRIS Surgical Theatres. Our theatres help deliver timely information to clinicians during surgical and interventional procedures with fully integrated imaging technologies, providing clinicians with real-time visualization to assist in decision-making and enhanced precision in treatment. IMRIS Surgical Theatres are predominantly constructed in hospitals that deliver advanced therapies and surgical solutions to patients who have neurological, spinal, cerebrovascular, and cardiovascular medical conditions. IMRIS customers are neurosurgeons, hospital administrators, OR nurses, MR technologists, and other clinicians. Since 2005, over 70,000 patients worldwide have benefited from the image-guided therapy solutions integrated into IMRIS Surgical Theatres. Through strong industry partnerships with companies such as Siemens Healthineers and Hillrom. IMRIS continues to integrate new intraoperative imaging technologies, and shape the future of neurosurgery in hybrid operating rooms worldwide.
At IMRIS, we are driven to be the global hybrid operating room leader, integrating the world’s most innovative technologies. Our expertise is designing and creating surgical suites to positively affect clinical outcomes for patients. As IMRIS continues to evolve in the hybrid operating room market, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our customers.
As our customer base expanded, it necessitated an investment in the service organization to continue to provide outstanding service to our customers. To lead this initiative, IMRIS looks to Kristi Timmer, VP of Global Customer Service, to develop the strategy and drive the customer service transformation. IMRIS is fortunate to have an experienced leader in Kristi, and a dedicated team of design planners, program managers, service technicians, and customer support specialists.
“The wealth of knowledge and diversified skills amongst our team is what makes IMRIS unique. We are identifying new channels to capture this experience and to cross-train our employees.”
What intrigues Kristi most about her role is the opportunity to leverage the experience and knowledge of tenured employees to help establish the framework of the IMRIS service organization.
“I am eager to share over twenty years of tribal knowledge from tenured employees with our entire service organization.”
Kristi envisions cultivating an environment that empowers her team to achieve customer-centricity. With that in mind, she set forth in defining four common goals, which are the foundation of the customer service transformation.
I. TRANSFORM THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
II.INCREASE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
III.STREAMLINE INSTALLATION & SERVICE
IV.ENHANCE CUSTOMER SUPPORT
As with all initiatives involving organization-wide change, there is no shortage of work. While Kristi focuses on these initiatives, she advocates for breaking down the walls between different functions and for all IMRIS employees to join her in facilitating collaboration and growth.
I. Transform the Customer Experience
IMRIS is focused on enhancing our partnerships for the benefit of our shared customers. In parallel, we will continue to educate and train our customer service team, while also training and certifying our partners to service their own products within IMRIS Surgical Theatres. We are committed to empowering our employees and our partners with the necessary knowledge and expertise to support our shared customers and to transform the customer experience.
II. Increase Customer Satisfaction
A system-wide review of the IMRIS service organization and infrastructure is currently underway, focusing on organizational development. IMRIS Customer Service is implementing improvements to installation procedures, creating tools, and utilizing technologies to increase timeliness and efficiency of installations. Customer Service is also increasing interactions with Quality Assurance to improve workflow for complaint handling and other business critical processes. They are implementing metric reporting and quality control systems for improved management of service documents and records.
III. Streamline Installation & Service
An increase in communication between program management and design planning is bringing greater efficiency to the installation process. Design planners have revised their drawing templates for consistent utilization and standardization. Installation specialists are revising their procedures, and transitioning from printed documentation to an electronic method of tracking. A standardized process for Preventative Maintenance (PM) visits was also developed for earlier PM scheduling each calendar year.
IV. Enhance Customer Support
Customer Support is making enhancements to meet the demands of IMRIS’ growing customer base and to accommodate for an increase in call volume. They are partnering with IT to explore the use of system applications across the Customer Support and Clinical Applications teams, and gathering feedback to determine the best communication mechanism to efficiently manage call intake and timely resolution of customer requests. Customer support metrics are routinely monitored to ensure we are delivering on our commitment to provide outstanding support to our customers.
As new research and innovation advance the healthcare industry, it’s an exciting time to be a healthcare professional at the intersection of technology and clinical applications.
Technology is more complex than ever before, and it can be difficult to keep up with the pace of solutions that are being introduced in hospitals every day. Intraoperative imaging in neurosurgery is gaining ground as a critical tool for more precise and effective surgeries, improving patient outcomes while offering advancements in workflows and efficiencies that affect healthcare professionals in and beyond the operating room (OR). Not least of those affected by these developments are the healthcare technology management professionals who are responsible for the equipment throughout the life of its use.
The latest innovation in neurosurgical imaging is a moving intraoperative MRI (iMRI) that allows neurosurgeons to gain access to brain image detail while the patient is on the operating table. IMRIS, a global intraoperative imaging leader, developed the first and only solution of its kind, the IMRIS Surgical Theatre. This solution includes multiple, custom-designed operating room configurations—featuring a moving, ceiling-mounted MR scanner with the flexibility to move in and out of operating rooms.
The solution gives neurosurgeons a way to bring advanced imaging technology to the patient rather than moving the patient to the imaging system. The results are life-changing, giving neurosurgeons greater precision and accuracy during surgery, reducing the need for additional operations, and eliminating patients’ exposure to possible infection when moving in and out of the OR. Additionally, the IMRIS Surgical Theatre can be configured so that when the MRI isn’t being used in surgery, it can be used for diagnostics in an adjacent room, or even set up to move between two operating rooms to maximize its use and value.
Designing, creating, and sustaining an operating room that brings together imaging and neurosurgery with this level of intricacy requires involvement of professionals with a variety of expertise—from architects to clinicians, engineers, information technology (IT) specialists, and beyond. Contribution and collaboration from all sides is critical to ensure both quality and safety while delivering the best possible experience for hospital staff and the highest standard of care for patients.
As your hospital evaluates new technologies in intraoperative imaging, it is critical to rely on vendors that take a holistic approach on implementation from start to finish, going beyond clinical teams to support the hospital’s needs at every possible point of integration.
IMRIS is the only intraoperative imaging provider facilitating collaboration between all of the necessary parties while offering comprehensive consulting, design and training services for each room they develop. Its four-pillared approach—consult, design, create, support—results in a truly customized, hybrid operating room that is tailor-made for individual hospitals, surgical teams, and biomedical professionals responsible for use and maintenance.
The benefits of any customized solution are typically realized during initial planning meetings. When looking for a partner, consider vendors who will understand the needs of your hospital, along with what products, processes, and workflows have been most effective in the past, to further inform how the operating room should be set up moving forward. This has been a historic pain point for biomedical teams who often get brought into the conversation too late to offer any meaningful contribution to new hospital resources.
The total involvement and cost of owning medical equipment is often overlooked by both vendors and clients in these early stages of development. After everything is in place, ongoing maintenance, repairs and service or warranty contracts all factor into the efficacy of the solution, as well as the cost.
While innovative solutions are critical, it is also important to know the specific needs, resources, and expertise that exists within the hospital to identify innovative opportunities in context and for the realization of relevant goals and outcomes. Any department that uses or maintains the solution warrants involvement and ongoing training. Partnering with vendors who can consult broadly for those directly and indirectly involved not only streamlines processes, but it also saves significant costs to facilities.
With IMRIS, a clinical application specialist team is dedicated to each hospital as they are developing the specs and layout of each room. They make it a priority to involve healthcare technology management professionals from the outset and to understand their critical role in achieving desired outcomes. IMRIS offers customized training for a range of disciplines in preparation for both intended and unintended use cases.
In bringing together both traditional operating room surgical teams and MRI professionals—as well as biomedical and clinical teams—IMRIS works with hospital staff to support cross-training and complete integration for the new environment. Before first use, IMRIS consultants facilitate a lengthy, hands-on simulation in the room, bringing individuals in for mock procedures to practice workflows and operations as if a patient were on the table. IMRIS will work with necessary teams to prepare for potential code procedures or emergencies. Safety is the No.1 priority of the clinical team and because each surgical theatre is different, the expertise that IMRIS brings to training—even as it relates to things like cleaning and maintenance—is paramount.
As quality, safety, and innovation continue to advance healthcare, integrators and consultants who support hospital staff by developing and integrating technological solutions with clinical applications will be of increasing value to hospitals focused on delivering the best possible outcomes for biomedical teams and their patients.
Andrew M. Flanagan is the president and chief executive officer of IMRIS, and a member of the company’s board of directors. Flanagan has an extensive and diverse background, previously serving in senior leadership roles for Siemens, SAP, and Xerox.
by Jie Tang and Ye Li, Xuanwu Hospital Neurosurgery Department
Beijing, China, April 5, 2019 — On the morning of March 1, 2019, Xuanwu Hospital Neurosurgery Department (China International Institute of Neuroscience, CHINA-INI) performed the first intracranial resection case under the guidance of a 3.0T high field intraoperative MRI system, which signifies the neurosurgery department of Xuanwu Hospital CHINA-INI has entered a new era of precision neurosurgery.
Figure 1 Director Jie Tang introduces the patient’s condition to President Guoguang Zhao
The principle of modern neurosurgical treatment for brain tumors is ‘the greatest degree of safe resection’. The high field iMRI system at Xuanwu Hospital Neurosurgery CHINA-INI has a moving magnet, which is safely separated from the operating room by an RF-shielded door. The magnet can be moved toward the operating room whenever necessary, assisting the surgeon in real-time to determine the degree of lesion resection and protect the important cerebral function.
The lesion is adjacent to important motor-related nerve fiber bundles.
The first patient for iMRI surgery showed one-sided dyskinesia and repeated seizures before operation. Imaging results indicated a left frontal cavernous vascular malformation. The preoperative plan of multimodality neuro-navigation indicated that the lesion was adjacent to and even partially destroyed important motor-related nerve fiber bundles.
Figure 2A: Preoperative imaging: Left frontal cavernous vascular malformation; Figure 2B: Intraoperative imaging indicates complete resection of lesions
The advantages of the intraoperative MRI system are: the patient does not need to be moved and routine surgical instruments, microscopes, and navigation systems can be used, which ensures normal procedural operation and patient safety.
High field MRI effectively guarantees high quality intraoperative images, and provides real-time guidance and precise positioning.
With the assistance of the Anesthesia and Nursing teams, Neurosurgery Chief Physician, Jie Tang, removed the cranial lesions with high field iMRI and a multimodality neuro-navigation system. The intraoperative images indicated a total resection of the lesions and no neurological dysfunction was aggravated after operation. During the operation, with personal instruction from Professor Samii, President Guoguang Zhao, and Professor Feng Ling, and with support from Anesthesiology Director Tianlong Wang, and Chief Nurse, Ting Liu, Operating Rooms, we achieved the first iMRI case perfectly.
Figure 3 Top left: Director Jie Tang introduces the patient’s condition to President Guoguang Zhao; Top right: Performing pre-scan safety check; Bottom left: Preparing for intraoperative scanning; and Bottom right: RF shielding door is opened, magnet is moved into the operating room.
During the intraoperative scan, President Guoguang Zhao said, “The iMRI system is not only used in the neurosurgical operating room, but is also an important open platform combined with the cooperation of various disciplines including Imaging and Anesthesiology. Driven by innovation, the use of iMRI will inevitably deepen the intimate cooperation between disciplines and enrich the connotation of the construction of various disciplines.”
The intraoperative MRI system is an open platform with multidisciplinary intersections.
Jie Tang, iMRI system leader for Xuanwu Hospital Neurosurgery, CHINA-INI said, “In traditional surgery, due to intraoperative cerebrospinal fluid loss, brain tissue edema, or tumor resection and other factors ‘brain drift’ will occur. If the operation is guided by pre-operative images, there will be obvious deviation and it could even be misleading. High field iMRI provides the latest images during operation in real-time, correcting the ‘brain shift’ and maximizing resection, while protecting important structures of the brain, realizing real-time positioning, and enabling precise treatment.”
Figure 4 Professor Samii, President Guoguang Zhao, Professor Feng Ling, Chief Physician Jie Tang, Director Tianlong Wang, Chief Nurse Ting Liu, and the neurosurgical team commemorated the accomplishment of their first iMRI case at CHINA-INI.
“The application of high field iMRI of CHINA-INI not only maintains the ‘maximum safe resection of tumors’, it will also be an important opening platform for image-guided surgery and brain function research for CHINA-INI. We will further integrate iMRI guided focused ultrasound therapy, tumor cryoablation and laser surgery, and other international advanced minimally invasive treatment technologies to provide the most advanced medical services for patients. We have established a multidisciplinary medical research team specializing in neurosurgery, biomedical engineering, and computer-aided medical image processing, providing unlimited power for neuroscience research and guiding us to explore the mysteries of the brain.”
— Hongqi Zhang, Director of Neurosurgery, Xuanwu Hospital
We plan to play an instrumental part at AORN 2019 — a first for IMRIS!
Join us in Music City as we partner with Hill-Rom to stage an upbeat and harmonized experience. Stop by booth 1935 as we engage with perioperative nurses to Consult, Design, Create and Support the hybrid operating rooms of the future!
28 February – 2 March, Imagine Institute, Paris, France
The ESPN Consensus Conference is organized by the European Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery. The Conference Program consists of session tracks that address questions related to a specific theme, and concludes with a consensus panel discussion. This year, the primary focus will be decompressive craniotomy in children. The Consensus Conference is followed by the ESPN Refresher Course, an opportunity for graduates of the ESPN Course to follow up on the knowledge they’ve acquired. This year’s Refresher Course will be dedicated to “What genetic and epigenetic currently teach us on pediatric brain tumors”.
If you plan to attend, stop by and engage with our team as we Consult, Design, Create and Support the pediatric neurosurgeons of the future!