A recent study from Yale University has discovered that a portable, low-field MRI is successful at assessing brain injury. 

Conventional neurological diagnosis requires transporting a vulnerable patient to a delicate imaging room. With the prevalence of COVID-19, moving a patient to an imaging room only adds additional risk to their health and those around them. Yale found that using a portable MRI developed by Hyperfine, a Connecticut-based medical imaging company, made brain imaging safer and a more cohesive process. 

According to the study published in JAMA Neurology, the researchers performed MRI examinations on 50 patients who were admitted to the neuroscience or coronavirus disease intensive care units at Yale New Haven Hospital. The researchers detected brain abnormalities in 29 of the 30 non-COVID-19 patients. For the 20 patients with coronavirus, neuroimaging findings were found in eight of them, including leukoencephalopathy in three of them. Out of all patients who also received traditional MRI, only one was found to show an abnormality that didn’t appear in the portable MRI scan, a diffuse subarachnoid hemorrhage.