The Swoop™ system, developed by Hyperfine Research, is a first-of-its-kind portable, low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device for point-of-care settings such as intensive care units, emergency departments, mobile stroke units and resource-limited environments.
The system is suitable for general brain imaging, headaches, stroke, non-specific muscular weakness and encephalopathy.
It can monitor coronavirus (Covid-19) patients, who are known to be at risk of neurological disorders.
The Swoop portable MRI system is being marketed through the Demo at Your Door™ service, which is a part of Hyperfine’s Total Rethink Buying Process™.
After arriving at a hospital, it just takes 30 minutes for a Demo at Your Door truck to unload Swoop, bring it inside and begin scanning.
In April 2021, the Aga Khan University’s Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, became the first country in Asia to acquire the portable Swoop™ MRI system.
Swoop portable MRI system approvals
Swoop received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and head of patients of all ages, including patients aged zero to two years, in August 2020.
This came after user feedback and technology advancements had been incorporated into the original device, which was cleared in February 2020.
The FDA cleared Hyperfine’s deep learning image analysis software, Advanced AI Applications, in January 2021.
The image analysis software measures brain structure and pathology in images acquired by the Swoop MRI system.
The additional clearance made the system a true bedside MRI platform, supporting efficient clinical decision-making for assessing brain health and injury. The FDA also granted clearance for the updated software of the Swoop system to improve diffusion-weighted imaging significantly in February 2023.
In the same month, the Swoop MRI system received the CE certification in Europe. The system has been approved for brain imaging in many countries, including Canada and Australia. It has UKCA certification in the UK and is now also available in New Zealand and Pakistan.
Details and specifications of Hyperfine’s Swoop
Swoop is a lightweight, compact, easily movable portable MRI system measuring 140cm high and 86cm wide.
Weighing 630kg, the system can be transported on wheels and easily moved through standard doorways and elevators. It can be wheeled directly to the patient’s bedside, plugged into a standard electrical wall outlet and controlled through an easy-to-use wireless tablet such as a 12.9-inch Apple iPad®.
Its portability allows healthcare providers to bring MRI capabilities to different areas of the hospital, including emergency departments, intensive care units, and rural or underserved locations where access to traditional MRI machines may be limited.
The magnet design and field strength of 0.064 Tesla reduces the exposure risk for staff, patients and family members.
Designed to complement standard MRI systems, Swoop lets new users receive training in device navigation, operation and safety in just 30 minutes, allowing clinicians to streamline workflow.
Swoop portable MRI system features
The system features in-built noise cancellation technology that maps and adjusts the high electromagnetic interference in the environment, resulting in crisp, clear T1-weighted, T2-weighted, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences.
One of the key features of the Swoop system is its simplicity and ease of use.
The system is operated through an intuitive touchscreen interface, making it accessible to healthcare professionals with minimal training.
The scanning process can be initiated quickly, and the system guides users through the necessary steps to acquire high-quality images.
Its portability eliminates the need for patient transportation, reducing delays in diagnosis and treatment.
The Swoop system is designed to be energy-efficient, consuming significantly less power compared to traditional MRI machines.
The reduced power requirement not only lowers operating costs, but also minimises the environmental impact associated with energy consumption.
Advanced AI applications details
The Advanced AI Applications form part of Swoop’s standard software package, supporting decision-making and ensuring rapid feedback for diagnostic insight.
The applications use tools for measurement, including automated ventricular volume measurement, brain extraction, brain alignment and midline displacement.
Benefits of the Swoop portable MRI system
The Swoop portable MRI system reduces acquisition costs by 20 times, consumes 35 times less power and weighs a tenth of existing fixed conventional MRI systems.
It provides patients and clinicians with high accessibility, immediacy and convenience.
Swoop overcomes the constraints of existing imaging technologies and makes MRI available to every patient, at any time and in any place.
The patient-friendly open layout of the system reduces patient anxiety. It displays images in minutes, allowing for critical decision-making in clinical settings such as neuro-intensive care units, emergency rooms and paediatric settings. It also allows physicians to move more swiftly from scans to suggested courses of treatment.