Hyperfine’s Swoop portable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system can be used for imaging of the brain and head in patients of all ages. Credit: Hyperfine.
The system can monitor coronavirus (Covid-19) patients who are known to be at risk of neurological disorders. Credit: Hyperfine.
Swoop can be controlled by an easy-to-use wireless tablet such as Apple's iPad®. Photo: Business Wire.

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.

Swoop portable MRI system approvals

In August 2020, 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. This came after user feedback and technology advancements had been incorporated into the original device, which was cleared in February 2020.

In January 2021, the FDA cleared Hyperfine’s deep learning image analysis software, Advanced AI Applications. 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.

Details and specifications of Hyperfine’s Swoop

Swoop is a lightweight, compact, easily movable portable MRI system measuring 140cm in height and 86cm in width. The 630kg system utilises the field strength of 0.064 Tesla and consumes 110V of power. The magnet design and field strength reduce the exposure risk for staff, patients and family members.

The system has wheels that facilitate easy movement to the patient’s bedside. It is connected to a standard electrical wall outlet. Controlled by an easy-to-use wireless tablet such as Apple’s iPad®, the device acquires critical images and delivers initial scan results in as little as 30 minutes.

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.

Designed to complement standard MRI systems, Swoop allows new users to receive training in device navigation, operation and safety in just 30 minutes, allowing clinicians to streamline workflow.

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 ten times less than 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 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 neurointensive care units, emergency rooms and paediatrics. It also allows physicians to move more swiftly from scans to suggested courses of treatment.