Safer MRI scans are on the horizon

Published: 11 May 2021

MRIs in the future could be safer thanks to the granting of a US patent for radiology software which reduces the amount of contrast agent, gadolinium, needed by 90%. The software uses artificial intelligence that enhances the quality of medical imaging. 

Very often when someone has an MRI, they will be injected with gadolinium. When you have multiple sclerosis (MS), it helps detect inflammation in the central nervous system. But gadolinium is a heavy metal and it can remain in the body for months or even years. This has raised safety concerns, especially for those whose condition means they need lifelong scans, or those with kidney problems that stop them being able to clear the system. 

The patent was invented by Drs. Greg Zaharchuk and Enhao Gong prior to co-founding Subtle Medical and is based on technology exclusively licensed from Stanford University.