The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority has in recent months been gearing up for the arrival of our own ultra-high performance magnetic resonance imaging machine at the Cayman Islands Hospital that will greatly enhance the way the hospital diagnoses a variety of conditions.
The new equipment puts Cayman firmly on the map when it comes to the highest quality of healthcare technology available for its residents.
The brand new 3 Tesla – the unit of measurement quantifying the strength of a magnetic field – MRI machine is slated for delivery at the hospital the end of July. Its delivery will place the Cayman Islands at the forefront of such technology within the region.
Making way for technology
Accommodating technology at this high level has meant a certain amount of changes taking place at the hospital. Earlier this year, construction began in order for the hospital to properly house the new MRI machine.
Physical expansion was required, in particular affecting the dialysis unit, as well as a shifting of departments internally. That work is coming to an end as the Cayman Islands Hospital readies itself for this vital new delivery.
Positive impact on patients
Being able to access this particular make of MRI machine, which is of the highest level in terms of technology and capabilities, will have an extremely positive impact on the lives of all who have to use its services.
A 1.5 Tesla machine has been used temporarily at the hospital in lieu of the arrival of the new 3 Tesla scanner and previously residents would have to fly off island to get the detailed diagnosis a machine such as a 3T scanner provides.
Thanks to the new 3T, which is a huge leap in technology from even the 1.5T, there will be a marked reduction in cost and disruption to patient’s lives as they can undertake their detailed screening at the Cayman Islands Hospital instead.
The 3T machine has a wider carriage; patients will be less claustrophobic hence maximizing patient comfort without compromising quality. The superb reliability of this high-field MRI allows radiologists to differentiate between benign and potentially hazardous medical conditions with confidence.
The new MRI machine is the result of a public/private sector partnership between the Health Services Authority and a private company called 3T Cayman, which responded to a tender.
Benefits of a 3 Tesla machine over a lower magnetic field machine include the fact that it possesses a high field strength MRI that can show structures that have not ever been seen before, at a far higher enhanced resolution. With this machine, blood vessels as small as 200 to 300 microns can be seen. This is an important benefit to doctors.
From the more detailed information that a 3T scanner provides, doctors can build a better picture of what ails an individual, with better insight into issues affecting the brain, spine, musculoskeletal and vascular systems, as well as areas of the body such as the breast.
In addition, a 3T scanner can localise areas of brain activation, enabling a more accurate mapping of brain function in patients.
Doctors agree that a 3T MRI is the gold standard in neuro-imaging. A 3T machine can also assist doctors in diagnosing a variety of conditions, such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
As well as its higher field strength, the 3T scanner is far more efficient and speedy in performing its tasks. A 3T MRI scan with three-dimensional images can be undertaken in less than 30 minutes, while lower Tesla machines may take two to three times that long.
In fact, doctors agree that it is about as good as you can get when it comes to MRI scanners.
Residents in Cayman will soon be able to access the most sophisticated technology when it comes to MRI scanning with access to this new 3T scanner, which sets a new standard in medical imaging and elevates the provision of healthcare in the Cayman Islands to a new and exciting high.