AANS 2018: The Top 3 Questions on People’s Minds


At this year’s biggest neurosurgery conference, the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting, more than 3,000 neurosurgeons, innovators and industry leaders gathered in New Orleans to determine the future of neurosurgery.

From the utility of big data to the evolution of the hybrid OR, these innovators answered some of today’s most challenging questions… and offered even more.


Following AANS, these are the top 3 neurosurgery questions on people’s minds:



IMRIS is determined to be a leading innovator in neurosurgery-specific information technology. We connect neurosurgeons with actionable data insights, further empowering them during procedures using intraoperative imaging. Now, we’re developing the first clinical and research data-management software tailored to the neurosurgery community.

Medical disciplines are beginning to harness the power of data. Now, that trend has reached neurosurgery. At AANS 2018, one of the biggest questions was:

How are industry leaders aggregating both big data and individual patient information, and implementing it into neurosurgical workflows?



Leading innovators are redefining the patient experience – driving further innovation and unexpected collaboration. Lower risk, higher confidence and quicker recovery times are the pillars of the modern patient experience. At AANS 2018, industry leaders showcased new technologies that tap into the potential of intraoperative imaging, taking the patient experience to the next level.

Developed in close collaboration with clinicians and engineers from IMRIS and Hill-Rom’s Trumpf Medical, the IMRIS MR Neurosurgical Table is the first MR-conditional table system designed specifically for the hybrid OR environment.


IMRIS’ Premium Clinical Support marks an evolution of customer service. Combining deep knowledge of intraoperative imaging with their clinical expertise, the team provides a comprehensive suite of educational, clinical, and workflow-migration services for IMRIS customers.



IMRIS is collaborating with leading intraoperative innovators, connecting technology & design into cohesive systems powered by research data & clinical information. Together, we’re bringing harmony to the hybrid OR.

The modern hybrid surgical theatre – which incorporates imaging modalities like MRI, CT and Angio – is a symphony of technology and design. It’s the future of neurosurgery, empowering surgeons to achieve better outcomes and perform minimally invasive procedures via intraoperative imaging. However, to drive better outcomes and elevate the surgical experience, the hybrid theatre requires the integration of many different technologies…and finding harmony among them is both essential to the theatre’s efficacy and it is deeply challenging.

At this year’s AANS conference, IMRIS emerged as an industry aggregator. We’re not focused on a single technology; instead, we’re partnering with industry leaders to elevate the hybrid environment as a whole system, connecting disparate technologies and harnessing the potential of the information flowing within them.

While AANS offered many new questions, it’s clear that not only innovation, but collaboration, is essential to determining the answers and providing solutions. IMRIS is committed to forging these collaborations and driving patient-centric innovation – for the future of neurosurgery and the future of the patient experience.

To catch a glimpse of the future of neurosurgery, take a tour of the IMRIS Surgical Theatre, the world’s most advanced hybrid OR experience.


Hospital Administration: Discover Your Essential Role in our Process


Your hospital is like no other. No one knows your hospital better than you.

Discover how IMRIS is collaborating with hospital administrators to increase patient-demand, elevate institutional prestige, and bring the Human Experience to your patients and staff.



 We’ll start by outlining your goals – this time, at an institutional level. What’s your vision for the future of your hospital? What are your fiscal objectives? Are you looking to increase patient volume? Elevate your institutional prestige? Outpace your competitors? Establish or solidify your position as a leading neurological institution?

Once we’ve discovered your hospital’s objectives, we’ll work with you to create a custom solution that brings them to life – accounting for all limits: economic, spatial, etc. Then, once we have a strategy that satisfies all stakeholders, we’ll bring together groundbreaking technology and human-centric design as we craft the world’s most advanced hybrid surgical theatre. 



No other hospital has the same configuration, the same goals and the same challenges as yours. We’ll work with you to understand your hospital’s wholly unique situation – from construction limitations and budgetary requirements, to access routes, emergent opportunities and even interdepartmental collaboration.

Then, our team of architects & designers will design the theatre to meet your objectives, while accounting for your challenges along the way.



Communication is critical to the successful, on-schedule installation of your theatre. To make this possible, we’ve streamlined the Creation process, incorporating all elements, from management to installation, into a comprehensive solution.

We’ll begin by establishing a program manager. They’ll be your central point-of-contact. This creates a strong line of communication between your institution and IMRIS, a bridge that will maximize value, minimize interruption and enable us to deliver a premier Creation experience.



As your institutional goals evolve, we work with you to evolve your theatre.

Together, we’ll maintain your position at the forefront of the medical industry, open new opportunities for groundbreaking procedures, and introduce industry-shifting innovations that elevates your prestige while increasing your patient-demand.

 Learn More about Our 4-Pillar Process


Neurosurgeons: Discover Your Essential Role In Our Process


Our hybrid surgical theatres are as unique as you.

  • Fully customized to your surgical workflow.
  • Tailored to meet your institution’s unique objectives.
  • Supported to maximize your clinical team’s efficacy.

This unparalleled level of customization is critical to our mission: The Human Experience. It enables surgeons to perform groundbreaking, minimally invasive procedures; it helps patients and their families achieve better outcomes; and it maximizes the return-on-investment for the world’s leading neurological institutions.

To make this possible, we need your voice.  At every level, and at every stage of our process.



You’ll start by outlining your goals. Are you looking to perform groundbreaking, minimally invasive procedures? What innovations do you want to incorporate in your surgical environment? How can we improve your surgical experience, so you can bring better outcomes to your patients?

Once we’ve outlined your specific objectives, we’ll work with you to determine what technologies and elements of design will bring them to life. We’ll help you decide what hybrid imaging modalities best suit your needs – from Angiography and CT to MRI – while introducing groundbreaking technologies to your surgical environment and harmonizing them with your workflow.



You know your surgical workflow better than anyone else: the nuances of your technique, the challenges you face. Our team of architects and designers will work with you to learn those highly specific details. Then, we’ll leverage that knowledge to design a fully customized surgical environment… one that matches your workflow, keeps your team and your patients safe, and elevates your Human Experience.



Educating your clinical staff on your new surgical environment is essential to safety and operational efficiency. That’s why, rather than waiting for your surgical theatre to be installed, we begin the education process long before final commissioning – often a year or more.

This jump-starts the clinical education process, empowering your team to master the technology and design of your surgical theatre long before it’s ready for use.



Once the theatre is installed, our work has just begun.

Our new Premium Clinical Support service brings a team of clinical applications specialists to your theatre. We have an intimate understanding of your workflow, as well as a deep knowledge of the innovations shaping the industry.

We’ll educate your clinical staff. We’ll consult during procedures. As the industry evolves, we’ll help you introduce new technologies to your surgical theatre – enabling you to perform groundbreaking, minimally invasive procedures and provide better outcomes for your patients.

Learn More About Our 4-Pillar Process

Discover Our Process:
Consult. Design. Create. Support.


IMRIS is partnering with leading neurological institutions to bring the future of hybrid neurosurgery to hospitals around the world.


Throughout our 4-pillar process, we work with neurosurgeons, clinical staff and hospital administrators to craft a fully customized intraoperative solution – one that elevates not only the medical experience, but the human experience:

  • Optimized to enable groundbreaking, minimally invasive procedures.

  • Designed to maximize your hospital’s return-on-investment.

  • Created to bring better outcomes to your patients.

  • Supported by a seasoned team of clinical applications specialists.


This is how we bring the Human Experience to life.




Our team of clinical experts, engineers, designers, consultants and project managers work with you to determine your optimal surgical environment. Together, we create a solution that brings better outcomes to your patients, optimized workflow to your surgical team, and maximum value to your hospital.

Our Consulting Objectives:

  • Consolidate the goals and challenges of all stakeholders.

  • Determine the right imaging modalities to meet your objectives: Angiography, CT and MRI.

  • Find a solution that meets your procedural volume. Not only for today, but for the future.

  • Account for current and future clinical applications.

  • Tailor a solution that will function within your spatial requirements.

  • Collaborate with economic stakeholders to maximize your return-on-investment.




Now that we’ve discovered your objectives and determined the right solutions to achieve them, our team of architects & designers work with you to configure a custom surgical environment.

Our Design Objectives:

  • Optimize the surgical environment for hybrid imaging modalities: Angiography, CT and MRI.

  • Form a partnership between hospital clinicians and IMRIS clinical applications specialists. Together, we’ll harmonize your intraoperative configuration with your specific surgical workflow.

  • Design for distinct, groundbreaking technology, such as IMRIS’ moveable ceiling-mounted iMRI.

  • Incorporate safety elements, like collision-detection systems and even seismic stabilizer pads.

  • Maintain sterile fields during imaging.

  • Collaborate with other hospital departments, meeting with key stakeholders throughout.




Using the Design we created during Phase 2, we now move on to the Creation phase, where we install the custom surgical theatre in your hospital.

Bringing maximum value to your hospital is critical to our core mission: the Human Experience. To make this possible, we’ve streamlined the Creation experience, consolidating everything from rigging & installation to comprehensive program management.

Our Creation Strategy:

Part A: Planning

  • Project launch

  • Technical requirement drawings

  • Final structural review

  • Infrastructure drawings

  • Final architectural design, review and sign-off

Part B: Execution

  • Demolition and/or structural modification

  • System installation

Part C: Commissioning

  • System testing

  • Training

  • Handover




Your hospital is now home to the world’s most advanced hybrid surgical theatre, crafted with groundbreaking technology and design that will harmonize with your surgical workflow and bring better outcomes to your patients. Now, it’s time to support it.

Introducing IMRIS’ new Premium Clinical Support, the industry’s most comprehensive intraoperative service solution.

We are a highly experienced team of clinical applications specialists, leveraging our ‘hybrid’ expertise of both imaging modalities and surgical environments to elevate not only the medical experience… but the human experience.

Our Premium Clinical Support Services:

  • We migrate specific workflows into new surgical environments.

  • We educate clinical staff on safety, best practices, equipment usage and more.

  • We provide real-time consulting during procedures.

  • We maximize your uptime with a robust technical-support team.

  • We introduce new technologies to your specific workflow, including intraoperative MRI, CT, and Angiography.


Learn More about Our 4-Pillar Process.


Stories From The Theatre: Finding Workflow Harmony

IMRIS Clinical Support
Parker Sims, IMRIS Clinical Applications Specialist

For technology to be effective, it has to be in harmony with the surgeon’s workflow. That’s key to the human experience.

 Parker Sims, an IMRIS clinical applications specialist, takes us into The hybrid IMRIS Surgical Theatre – where his team worked with a leading neurosurgeon to find workflow harmony.

The Challenge

One of the United States’ top pediatric neurosurgeons reached out to us to help him find a more efficient and effective way to complete minimally invasive procedures in his hybrid IMRIS Surgical Theatre. He had performed numerous procedures using innovative surgical modalities such as laser ablation and robotics.

Like most surgeons, his workflow was highly specific. To aid in the placement of laser ablation fibers, the surgeon brought in a new technology, the ROSA® Surgical Robot (a Medtech product), which he had not previously used in his IMRIS Surgical Theatre and was concerned that it could interfere with his workflow.

The Solution

We worked with the surgeon and his staff from the very beginning. We involved everyone at key milestones, making sure every decision – from workflow specifics to the technology itself – made sense with the end goal being his surgical case.

When the date of the scheduled case arrived, he was already comfortable with the case workflow that we helped him establish. That service was carried out as part of IMRIS’ Premium Clinical Support model, which enables us to work with surgeons and OR staff before, during, and after the case to migrate workflow, train clinical staff, and consult during procedures – to help bring everything together for the best and safest possible outcome for the patient.

We adapted the environment to the surgeon’s needs, rather than the other way around. This is key when you’re introducing disruptive innovation to the OR.

– Parker Sims, IMRIS Clinical Applications Specialist

Stories From the Theatre: A Tall Order

IMRIS Program Manager, Rick Dolan, takes us through a unique challenge our team encountered while they were installing an IMRIS Surgical Theatre in Beijing, China.


How do you get an 8-ton magnet, along with the steel infrastructure to support it, into the upper floor of a hospital?

We recently constructed an IMRIS Surgical Theatre at Tiantan Hospital in Beijing. It included the ‘movable’ iMRI system, one of IMRIS’ core innovations, and installing it required some creative solutions. Fortunately, that’s where we excel.



Working closely with the hospital staff, we temporarily removed some of the building’s large windows, and then used a series of cranes to carefully lift the infrastructural components into the Theatre space.

Installing a surgical theatre is a logistical challenge like no other… especially when you’re working with innovative technology, things that have no precedent. You can’t treat it like a traditional construction project, because there’s nothing traditional about it. You have to have a Program Manager maintaining constant contact with all the stakeholders, especially hospital staff, through every stage of the process. It’s not enough to control what’s happening in your area of construction; the hospital is very active around you, and you have to be mindful of those variables and prepared to adapt.

“With comprehensive program management and a solid line of communication, IMRIS is uniquely equipped to tackle the many challenges that emerge during the ‘Creation’ process.”

– Rick Dolan, IMRIS Program Manager


IMRIS Reports Continued Strong Growth in 2017

Milestones include 67 percent new system growth, launch of a new brand, new personnel and strong financial earnings success

MINNETONKA, MINN. (Feb. 8, 2018) – IMRIS, the global leader in intraoperative imaging, reported significant business growth in 2017, including milestones in financial earnings, new system bookings, and personnel. Strong business management and consistent execution has resulted in two consecutive years of steady growth. IMRIS’ strong financial performance was driven by 67 percent growth in system bookings – a result of winning multi-million dollar contracts with top-tier hospitals around the world. Due to continued business growth, IMRIS has expanded the organization incrementally with the addition of more than 25 new personnel in the past 12 months.

“In 2017, IMRIS focused on adding new talent, organizing the company for continued growth, and completing a major rebrand aligned with our core values,” says IMRIS President and CEO Andrew Flanagan. “This year, we’re looking forward to building on that momentum with new product launches, growth in research and development spending combined with expanded clinical services that will demonstrate IMRIS’ commitment to innovation via product and clinical solutions.”

In September 2017, the company celebrated its two-year anniversary under new ownership – a major milestone substantiated by strong financials. It was at this time that IMRIS unveiled its new brand which reflects the way that they will continue to deliver on their promise to neurosurgeons, patients and customers. Product milestones in 2017 included a completed device listing and registration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new multi-functional operating room table specifically designed for the IMRIS Surgical Theatre that will provide significant workflow improvements to support better patient outcomes.

The company’s flagship IMRIS Surgical Theatre features the world’s only moving ceiling-mounted intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) or computed tomography (iCT) imaging modality, allowing neurosurgeons to see critical anatomical detail while the patient is on the operating table. The IMRIS solution gives surgeons a way to bring advanced imaging technology to the patient rather than moving the patient in and out of the operating room. The results are life-changing for patients – providing neurosurgeons greater precision and accuracy during surgery, reducing the need for additional operations, and reducing the possibility of complications associated with moving the patient.

Increasing numbers of hospitals are now considering the IMRIS Surgical Theatre as the standard of intraoperative care, resulting from the increased efficiency and accuracy it brings to neurosurgeons, as well as improvements in patient outcomes. In the past two years, IMRIS has expanded its customer base to more than 75 customers worldwide in some of the most prestigious hospitals globally including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Beijing Tiantan Hospital. To date, more than 30,000 patient lives have been impacted by the IMRIS Surgical Theatre.

“With tens of thousands of lives impacted thus far, the IMRIS team looks forward to another year of expanded innovation that will bring advanced imaging technology and new data solutions that will transform the way patients receive treatment and hospitals administer care. Our goal is to elevate both the medical experience and the human experience,” says Flanagan.



As a leader in image guided therapy solutions, IMRIS offers the most advanced hybrid surgical theatres with the world’s first and only moving ceiling-mounted iMRI and iCT technology that gives neurosurgeons access to high-quality image detail pre-, mid- and post-operation. With a unique symphony of engineering and advanced imaging technology, the IMRIS Surgical Theatre is built for the human experience and inspired by the human mind. IMRIS serves leading hospitals worldwide, offering optimized workflow for surgeons, maximum value for hospitals and better outcomes for patients. As part of its four-pronged business model – Consult, Design, Create and Support – each IMRIS Surgical Theatre is custom-developed for the hospital and surgeons to uniquely compliment their workflow and intended use. For more information, call 763.203.6300, email info@imris.com or visit www.imris.com.


The Industry’s Most Comprehensive ‘Creation’ Experience.


We’ve streamlined the construction experience – consolidating everything from rigging and installation to program management.

With comprehensive program management, we handle the countless variables that emerge when installing high-tech equipment into a medical environment.

We support the general contractor, minimizing errors. We stay in close contact with the hospital, reducing interruption. As we configure technologies according to your site’s design, we provide the level of precision our stakeholders expect.




  1. Project launch
  2. Technical requirement drawings
  3. Final structural review
  4. Infrastructure drawings
  5. Final architectural design, review and sign-off


  1. Demolition and/or structural modification
  2. System installation


  1. System testing
  2. Training
  3. Handover

Stories From the Theatre: A Seismic Challenge


For the first time in history, a movable iMRI with an ‘integrated seismic system’ has been successfully implemented.

IMRIS Senior Technical Specialist, Jorge Kern, takes us through the seismic challenge, the creative solution, and the revolutionary innovation that’s bringing intraoperative imaging to places it’s never been.




Like many of the world’s leading neurological institutions, The University of Tsukuba Hospital was ready to invest in intraoperative imaging – a technology that enables surgeons to obtain real-time, diagnostic-quality images during operations. For neurosurgeons, introducing this innovation would mean better resection-rates. For patients, it would mean better outcomes. For the University of Tsukuba Hospital, it would mean a new level of institutional prestige.

However, just beneath the surface of the promising opportunity, there was a challenge.

Each year, Japan experiences more than 1,500 earthquakes. That kind of frequent seismic activity can be detrimental to intraoperative imaging: in terms of image-quality, reliability and safety. For the University of Tsukuba Hospital, those factors made intraoperative imaging immensely challenging.

It was up to our team of designers, architects, engineers and clinical specialists to find a solution.



To bring intraoperative imaging to the University of Tsukuba Hospital, we had to accomplish 3 things, despite being in a seismic event-prone region:

  1. Performance. The slightest vibration can lead to ‘motion artifacts’ in MR images, rendering them unusable for diagnostics. To meet the strict Vibration Isolation Requirement of MRI technology, we engineered a device that, when triggered by a certain amount of vibration, causes MR imaging to stop when image quality is compromised.
  2. Safety. There are strict regulations for medical technology in earthquake-prone regions. We engineered a solution to meet those regulations – protecting patients and clinical staff – while functioning with existing technology and workflows. The seismic foot, for example, is a device designed to prevent the magnet from disengaging from the rails during an earthquake.
  3. Reliability. We developed what we call a ‘passive solution’, rather than ‘active’. It couldn’t be a sensor that is affected by seismic activity because the sensor could potentially fail. The solution had to be something ingrained in the structure itself that would stop the magnet if an earthquake occurred.



The ‘seismic stabilizer system’ we created is the first of its kind.

It consists of a stabilizer pad, a bolt-on accessory mounted directly under the magnet. During the operation, as the iMRI travels into the IMRIS Surgical Theatre, the pad is elevated about 25 mm above the ground. Then, when it’s time for imaging, the pad lowers to the floor. The hanging rails support the actual weight of the magnet, while the stabilizer prevents it from swinging side-to-side during seismic activity.

That means guaranteed performance, safety, and stability. 



Next, it was time to put our innovation to the test.

We brought the seismic stabilizer system to the University of Buffalo’s Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory, where it underwent rigorous testing on a ‘shaker table’. By simulating the conditions of a powerful earthquake, we ensured the device would function as predicted.

Now, it was time to introduce it to the real world.




Since the installation, the seismic stabilizer system has been an overwhelming success.

Ninety-one patients have undergone neurosurgical intervention using the University of Tsukuba Hospital’s IMRIS Surgical Theatre. During that time, there have been 169 seismic events in the area, and the system continues to function as it was designed.




The seismic stabilizer system is a tremendous achievement for the University of Tsukuba Hospital.

But it’s also an achievement for patients, surgeons and institutions around the world.

Right now, hospitals everywhere are demanding the intraoperative imaging capabilities of the IMRIS Surgical Theatre, and some of them are located in seismic event-prone regions like Japan and California. Now, with this new technology, we can bring better outcomes to their institution – wherever they are. 

– Jorge Kern, IMRIS Senior Technical Specialist


Designed to Move.

IMRIS Ceiling Mounted Moveable MRI



For emerging technology to be truly effective in a surgical environment, it must fit naturally into the surgeon’s existing workflow. Innovation must integrate, rather than interrupt – an objective that moves us to expand the definition and the magnitude of intraoperative Design.

Intraoperative imaging allows surgeons to obtain diagnostic-quality images of the patient during surgeries – giving the clinical team a new layer of information, insight that empowers them to make more intelligent decisions and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. Moveable intraoperative scanners take it to the next level. By keeping the patient stationary and bringing the scanner to them, these devices significantly lower the risk of trauma and infection.

And while intraoperative imaging is an unprecedented opportunity for surgeons, patients and hospitals alike, it also presents an unprecedented challenge:

A challenge that calls for the evolution of intraoperative Design.


Diagram of rail system



Safety always means proper training for clinical teams, but with a powerful magnet moving in and out of the OR, it becomes an element of Design. In addition to a comprehensive network of safety interlocks and collision-detection systems, our planners concentrate on the positioning of equipment – especially those with magnetic properties affected by the magnetic field – along with visual cues (such as the Gauss Line) making it easier for the clinical team to position technology outside the magnetic field.



Quality is critical to the efficacy of intraoperative imaging. To enable diagnostic-quality imaging in the OR, our planners craft a stable environment by considering factors such as:

o   Equipment vibration and magnet stability

o   Location of power supply-lines

o   Magnetic shielding requirements

o   Magnetic effects of ferrous metal masses



Accessories are always important to a surgeon’s workflow. However, when moveable intraoperative imaging is introduced to the OR, our planners consider accessories that can aid both intraoperative transitions and function with the scanner present – including MR-friendly head-fixation devices, adjustable boom-lighting and LCD monitors, and even the new IMRIS MR NEUROSURGICAL TABLE, which enables clinical teams to achieve optimal patient-positioning for scanning.



When designing an IMRIS Surgical Theatre, the surgeon should always be involved in the process; but when the Theatre incorporates intraoperative imaging, it’s the only way for the Design to be a success. We engage the surgeon at the very beginning of the process, familiarizing ourselves with the subtle nuances of their workflow. When it’s time to design the Theatre, we use this relationship to inform every decision – from the positioning of equipment to the architecture of the Theatre itself.



At some point during a surgery, the surgical team may decide to take a scan of the patient – requiring them to transition the OR into an imaging-ready environment. Planners play a critical role in making this an intuitive, streamlined process. They plan for the space to position the equipment outside the magnetic field. Timing is critical to the success of the operation, so our planners consider implementing elements that streamline the transition, such as distinct electrical systems, which allow the clinical team to shut-off only the equipment that emits radio frequency that affects image quality, while also keeping critical care equipment powered.



The Design team should be involved in every stage of the process – from initial consultation to creation and ongoing support – constantly leveraging their intimate knowledge of the clinical team’s workflow to craft the right Design for the specific situation.

To create an effective moveable intraoperative imaging solution, Design becomes a fluid element of the greater process and is no longer a finite service.