MRI at 50: The Past, Present, and Future of a High-End Imaging Technology
Play • 31 min

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has played a big role in shaping the healthcare industry’s approach to detection, monitoring, and tracking of medical conditions. Since its invention in the 1970s, a lot of improvements have been made to increase its performance and accessibility. As the industry continues to digitalize, we can expect more changes that will make MRIs more powerful and efficient.

The fifty-year history of MRI takes us from early plans scribbled on a napkin at a Pittsburgh Eat n’ Park in 1971, through developments to increase patient comfort and image quality in the 1980s, and into a future where AI can predict, survey, and manage a patient’s likelihood for dementia. In this special episode, Arthur Kaindl talks to experts in the field, Bruce Rosen, M.D., Franz Schmitt, Jürgen Hennig, and Vivek Muthurangu, M.D., about the recent and eventful history of MRI.

In today’s conversation, you’ll hear about the development of the first MRI machine and the challenges faced by the inventors. You’ll learn about the improvements that have been made and the impact that they’ve had on the healthcare industry, as well as what the future holds for MRI machines and what it’ll take to get there.

Some Questions Asked:

  • Did you think that MRI was going to be a big innovation? (02:52)
  • How did it feel seeing the results of a scan during the development stages? (06:39)
  • What exactly can current MRI scanners help us see now that we couldn't see with earlier scanners? (12:54)
  • When did you really start to see that certain problems in MRI needed fixing? (18:26)
  • What role would you give to artificial intelligence in the future of MRI? (21:51)
  • What have you found MRI clinicians need to do, especially when working with pediatric patients? (26:53)

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • How the first MRI scanner worked (04:15)
  • The purpose of different MRI sounds (09:15)
  • The role of MRI in the detection and tracking of neurodegenerative diseases (14:06)
  • The impact of imaging technology on how we think about law and criminal behavior (16:56)
  • How to make MRI scanners more accessible (24:13)
  • The future of MRI scanners (28:29)

Connect with Dr. Bruce Rosen:

Connect with Franz Schmitt:

Connect with Jürgen Hennig:


Connect with Dr. Vivek Muthurangu:

Connect with Arthur Kaindl:

Jürgen Hennig and Franz Schmitt received financial support from Siemens Healthineers for this collaboration.

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