Research proves eco-impact of MRI machine operation changes

Image source: Siemens Healthineers

News • Potential for energy, cost and emission reduction

Research proves eco-impact of MRI machine operation changes

A research partnership between Siemens, Siemens Healthineers, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has proven medical centers can achieve significant carbon reduction and cost savings by turning off or putting MRIs into the lowest power setting when not in use.

The findings, featured in a new Radiology study, can help the healthcare sector meaningfully reduce its carbon footprint, one that accounts for 4.4% of global carbon emissions. 

Working in tandem with UCSF, one of the most prestigious universities in the USA focused solely on health, Siemens Smart Infrastructure provided technologies from the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio that monitored and analyzed MRI power consumption data. The Siemens Healthineers team deployed new, greener radiology scanner technology while also exploring ways to reduce standby energy consumption of MRI scanners. “Often when we talk about how to decarbonize, solutions seem out of reach, but this initiative is proof that innovators everywhere can have impact,” said Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA. “The technology to decarbonize is here and ours is hard at work, helping industries like healthcare uncover ways to be more efficient and take concrete action to meet their carbon-reduction targets.” 

Recommended article

Photo

Article • Plenary discussion at ECR 2023

Sustainable radiology: why it takes more than “greener” imaging systems

It’s clear that radiology is lacking in the “green” department: healthcare still causes a large share of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, not least due to diagnostic imaging. Dr Sarah Sheard from Imperial College Healthcare, UK, invited her ECR audience to take a closer look at radiology’s climate footprint – and revealed ways to make the field more sustainable.

“This research represents a milestone in our journey towards a carbon-neutral future with our customers, for whom this topic becomes more important with every passing day,” said David Pacitti, president of Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. and head of the Americas, Siemens Healthineers. “Starting with MRI scanners, a very demanding technology when it comes to power consumption, we will build on this research to keep finding new ways to reduce our carbon emissions together.” 

The results of this study demonstrate the potential energy and cost savings any radiology practice can obtain by using these simple power-down methods

Sean Woolen

Hospitals can use twice the power of the average commercial building. Due to their energy intensive operation, imaging equipment and particularly more efficient MRI operation can present a significant opportunity to reduce a hospital’s power usage, costs, and carbon footprint. Using data gathered from Siemens’ power-monitoring and management technologies, it was determined that a substantial amount of power was still being used for cooling in a machine’s “off” mode. Researchers found that turning MRIs off overnight for 12 hours reduced energy usage by 25-33% and enabling an additional “power save” mode, a novel energy feature in Siemens Healthineers’ newer MRI scanners, while the machine was off decreased power use by an additional 22-28%. 

“The results of this study demonstrate the potential energy and cost savings any radiology practice can obtain by using these simple power-down methods,” said Sean Woolen, MD, first author on the study and assistant professor in UCSF’s Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging. “Our goal was to find ways for radiology departments worldwide to reduce their collective environmental footprint.” 

In addition to energy savings, researchers found that switching scanners to “off” mode could result in annual savings of $1,717 to $2,943 per year for a single machine. If the machine is switched from “off” to “power save” mode, it could save an additional $1,226 to $1,594 per year. “If all outpatient MRIs in the U.S. implemented a power save mode instead of an off mode for 12 hours overnight, it would save enough energy to power 6,889 homes a year in the U.S,” said Woolen. 


Source: Siemens Healthineers

02.05.2023

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

News • Sustainability in imaging

Philips showcases helium-free mobile MRI at RSNA

Royal Philips showcases the world’s first mobile MRI system with helium-free operations at RSNA 2023. BlueSeal MR Mobile is a lightweight 1.5T system with a fully sealed magnet.

Photo

News • Predictive psychiatry

Brain imaging finds biomarkers of mental illness

In a new study, researchers use a very large dataset to identify predictive brain imaging-based biomarkers of mental illness in adolescents.

Photo

News • BPE in dense breasts

Breast cancer: elevated MRI enhancement identifies higher risk

A machine learning model found that background parenchymal enhancement (BPE) on breast MRI is an indicator of breast cancer risk in women with extremely dense breasts.

Related products

Subscribe to Newsletter