News center | Singapore

ISMRM: Showing promise with our MRI advancements in driving a new perspective on sustainable healthcare

Jun 05, 2024 - Reading time 6-8 minutes

Delivering MRI innovations and enabling accessible, quality patient care in APAC in a sustainable way - Ruud Zwerink, Business Leader of MR at Philips, shares his insights at ISMRM 2024.

ismrm main image

The demand for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologies is expected to grow worldwide [1]. Resonating along with this optimistic outlook in MRI innovations was the excitement at the ISMRM 2024 held on May 4-9, 2024. The annual meeting of The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) sees leading minds like scientists, physicians, engineers, and industry experts from around the world gathered in the realm of MRI advancements for science and medicine. This year, more than 5,500 delegates congregated at this international congress held in Singapore. Amidst the buzz, we spoke with Ruud Zwerink, Business Leader of MR at Philips, on his insights from his interactions with APAC healthcare leaders at the ISMRM.

Q: What are some insights you have gathered from your interactions with healthcare leaders from APAC at the ISMRM?

Ruud: It's great to be here at ISMRM, getting together and sharing practices with the entire MR community, globally, with key opinion leaders, radiologists, technicians, and industry experts. One thing I’ve observed is the potential of AI. There's clearly a need globally for more clinical innovation while improving productivity, not only when we hand over a system but over the system’s lifetime.

The next thing that stands out is sustainability – how can we innovate in an environmentally-friendly way, to truly deliver impact with care?

image video

Ruud Zwerink outlines how Philips is driving innovation in MR to serve the  needs of healthcare systems

Q: Sustainable healthcare is a priority among healthcare providers in APAC. What are the latest developments in the field of MR?

Ruud: For us, it's really about going helium-free. Helium is a very important component. But it’s a scarce resource, and this will become a much bigger issue in the next five to ten years. Imagine you're operating a system and there is no helium available – this will impact whether you can even run your system.

We have thus developed our helium-free portfolio. Our fully sealed magnet uses seven liters of helium, which is 0.5% of what a conventional magnet uses. Now, we have around 1,111 systems already installed, and I’m confident that this is the right technology to carry on.

We will also be building from here. Recently, we introduced the world’s first helium-free MRI mobile solution, and we will see further innovations in our portfolio. For us, helium-free is the way to go.

ismrm body image

Q: How could the industry and healthcare professionals embrace AI and other technologies for the future, while ensuring resilient and environmentally sustainable health systems?

We're just starting to journey with AI and it's a tremendous untapped opportunity. Consider the domain of MR and imaging, from the end-to-end patient journey. From the moment a patient steps into the hospital, from autonomous planning, scanning, to post-processing, reading and reporting, AI can help at every single step and significantly enhance the patient journey.

We have solutions driven by AI, to accelerate MR scans, and also to improve workflow. In our services operation, we run around 100 AI models to monitor the system’s performance and detect potential failures early. AI can be applied everywhere, and we're only just at the beginning.

Next, innovating healthcare systems in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. This is about going circular, taking back systems, dismantling, refurbishing it and bringing it back to the market.

Sustainability can also be embedded in product design and system operations. It's also how we drive our end-to-end value chain, not just within Philips, but also our suppliers and their suppliers, to take accountability and drive sustainability across the entire ecosystem.

It's a tremendous opportunity in AI. The moment a patient steps into the hospital, from autonomous planning, scanning, to post-processing, reading and reporting, AI applied to the domain of MR and imaging can significantly enhance the patient journey.”

Ruud Zwerink

Business Leader of MR, Philips

Q: Where do you see the role of education for radiology in this adoption journey, especially in the emerging countries as well as the developed countries?

Equipping the healthcare workforce with new knowledge and capabilities - it goes hand-in-hand with our innovations. We are also accountable for enhancing the healthcare workforce's capabilities through education and training.

First, we're introducing more reference sites in Asia. For example, in Malaysia, where with MAHSA (Specialist Hospital), we are able to bring our systems to healthcare experts, showcase our value propositions and clinical innovations, and together make more meaningful impacts to healthcare.

Now, the second one is, through workshops, trainings, and gatherings. For example, here at the ISMRM, it's a great opportunity to just get people together, to share knowledge and experiences, ultimately enabling us to bring greater impact with care.

Video thumbnail

‘Care means the world’ campaign underlines Philips’ commitment in driving sustainable healthcare.

Read more how Philips is innovating in MRI to enable AI-driven smart connected imaging, optimized workflows and sustainable healthcare:

Shortened exams and improved image quality at Mermaid Beach Radiology, Australia

Bringing MRI closer to patients in Tokyo thanks to a helium-free MR operating system



[1] The Malaysian Reserve (2024). Charting the Rise: MRI Technologies Soar with a 6.4% CAGR (2023-2028)

You are about to visit a Philips global content page


Our site can best be viewed with the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome or Firefox.