customer story

Transforming MRI Efficiency: The Swift Rise of AI at Naugatuck Valley Radiology

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"We were extremely impressed with the implementation speed from the AIRS team. There were no disruptions to our workflow or schedules."

Chris Beaulieu
Operations Director at Naugatuck Valley Radiology

Transforming MRI Efficiency

Seven years ago at RSNA, Chris Beaulieu, Operations Director at Naugatuck Valley Radiology(NVR), was approached by a technology vendor claiming something unimaginable- that it was possible to scan a brain in just 8 minutes. The catch? It required costly hardware and software upgrades, enhancing magnet strength, field strength limitations, and other expensive and unfeasible barriers.

Chris left RSNA knowing that faster scans were possible yet unrealistic for NVR at the time. Until one morning 6 years later, Chris opened an email titled, “You can reduce your MRI scan times by 50-percent”. It involved AI, it did not involve disruptions to NVR’s workflow, and it was affordable.

Within a couple weeks, SwiftMR™ was installed at all four NVR locations, “We were extremely impressed with the implementation speed from the AIRS team,” said Chris. “There were no disruptions to our workflow or schedules.”

Chris and team saw the value straight away, stating, “It felt like we saw the benefits within 24 hours after installation.” Months later, the value has progressed, with scans increasing 20-25 percent with the AI solution. Most impressively, one NVR facility broke its personal record by scanning 28 procedures in one day.

We know that enhanced scans allow practices to accommodate more patients. But what exactly do these benefits mean for radiologists and MRI technologists?

Radiologist Value

NVR Radiologist feedback on SwiftMR™ was simple- the image quality was on-par or better than their conventional scans. Had they not been told about the integration, radiologists might not have noticed that their scans were enhanced post-processing, essentially allowing NVR to achieve better results for Radiologists with less time.

MRI Technologist Value

MRI technologists appreciate SwiftMR™’s ability to give them time back throughout the day.

Before SwiftMR™ MRI technologists often fell behind due to unpredictable changes to schedule with minimal flexibility. Multitasking was necessary, and they’d have to care for multiple patients at once to keep up with their crammed schedules.

Justin Kolakoski, MRI Supervising Technologist at NVR, explained the benefits for his team, “SwiftMR™ has created more flexibility in our [MRI technician] workflow by freeing up time for paperwork, patient prep, fitting in an unplanned scan, or even taking a break. We’re scanning more patients, but it’s a smoother process.”

Chris noted that the smoother, less stressful workflow is felt by both patients and NVR staff. “The workflow and tasks have remained the same for our MRI technologists, but the scan time reduction is so impactful they now find themselves ahead of schedule- they’re waiting for patients instead of patients waiting for them.”

Delivering What We Promised

Seven years ago, an 8-minute brain scan seemed far-fetched. Today, AI makes significant scan time reduction a reality for imaging centers like NVR, no matter the body part. Chris says it best, “SwiftMR™ delivered what was promised in the email- we’ve seen it first-hand.”