Fonar Upright™ MRI
In 1970, Raymond Damadian, M.D., made the foundational discovery of (MR) scanning and published his discovery in the journal Science (Science 1971,171,1151) and filed the pioneer patent for the practical use of MRI in 1972. Dr. Damadian incorporated FONAR in 1978 and patented iron-core technology, which is the basis for all Open MRI scanners.
In 1996, FONAR introduced the Stand-Up™ MRI, the world’s only whole-body MRI scanner with the ability to perform Position Imaging ™ (pMRI™), i.e. patients can be scanned standing, sitting, bending or lying down. With its unique ability to scan patients in weight-bearing postures, the FONAR Stand-Up™ MRI has identified pathologies that had gone undetected on conventional, lie-down MRI scanners. Because of its unique geometric design, the FONAR Stand-Up™ MRI is remarkably spacious and non-claustrophobic.
During the past 17 years, the concept of the FONAR Stand-Up™ MRI has been protected by US Patent laws and there have been no commercially available alternative weight-bearing MRI scanners. The unique FONAR Stand-Up™ MRI scanners have not changed much since 1996. This first generation weight bearing MRI scanner was unique in 1996 but the challenging business conditions make the FONAR less than ideal cost competitive choice. Critics also point out the low signal-to-noise or low image quality of the first generation FONAR scanner. During the past 17 years there have been dramatic improvements in local surface coils that allow low field strength to produce much sharper images than available using the first generation FONAR scanner. Esaote released the Brio weight-bearing tilting MRI to the European medical community 5 years ago.