Hitachi updates Altaire and AIRIS, shows work-in-progress
Hitachi Medical Systems featured its entire assortment of MRI systems at RSNA 2006 in Chicago, including the announcement of a new work-in-progress open MRI scanner named Oasis. The open scanner system has much in common with the company’s 1.5 T (Tesla) Echelon system, including the platform and certain coils. The system – which is pending FDA clearance – also features a new magnet Hitachi has developed to update and improve its current open MRI systems.

Otherwise, the company highlighted its recent Ascent 5.0 software upgrade program for the Altaire and AIRIS II systems. This latest version of Ascent, the operating system software for Altaire, AIRIS II, and AIRIS Elite Open MR systems, will provide benefits in the areas of image quality, workflow and clinical capability. In its standard configuration, Ascent 5.0 provides many features for both Altaire and AIRIS II, including sequence enhancements, like Shared Echo FSE for simultaneous collection of high quality PD and T2-weighted images, and Gated IR/FIR, which enables free breathing abdominal T1-weighted imaging. Altaire and AIRIS II users equipped with DWI will also enjoy One-Button Acquisition DWI, which initiates all scans necessary for DWI and ADC images with one interaction. The addition of FatSep FSE will allow AIRIS II users equipped with Hitachi's FatSep sequence to expand its application to T2-weighted imaging, combining the throughput advantage of FSE with fat/water separation.

Additional new options for Altaire users include CardioSuite, a powerful cardiac imaging package, as well as RAPID parallel imaging software and receiver coils. Ascent 5.0 also offers all platforms the Workflow Plus optional package, a suite of interoperability features enabling conformance with IHE's Scheduled Workflow integration profile.

And the company again demonstrated the Echelon 1.5T system it introduced last year, a full featured compact imager.