WAHA’s Dr. Innes proves portable MRI works in remote hospitals

We’re thrilled to celebrate one of our very own, Dr. Elaine Innes, on the successful publication of pioneering work done here in our region at Weeneebayko General Hospital on the effectiveness of portable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. 

Co-authored with Dr. Omar Islam of Queen’s University, in the Journal of Neurology Research Reviews & Reports, the portable MRI machine has been instrumental in transforming diagnostic care, particularly for head scans, over the past year. To date, approximately 50 patients have had scans during the research phase of implementing the portable MRI machine.  

Traditional MRI machines are taller than most people and equally as wide, requiring a large amount of space and infrastructure to operate. 

The team’s research shows that portable MRI machines are a game-changer, saving patients from having to travel south for head scans and saving the health care system significant dollars by providing convenient on-site diagnostic imaging. 

In fact, projections show a saving of almost $8 million over five years from the implementation of the portable MRI. 

“I am thrilled to see the positive impact the portable MRI machine has had on patient care. By providing essential diagnostic services locally, we are ensuring patients receive the care they need without the inconvenience of travelling down south. It’s truly fulfilling to witness how this technology is improving healthcare access in our region,” says Dr. Innes, Chief of Staff, Weeneebayko Area Health Authority. 

A recent upgrade of the portable MRI machine with advanced software capabilities will make it possible to offer more comprehensive scans, leading to improved outcomes and increased patient satisfaction. 


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