Magnifico™ Open at Valley MRI & Radiology

An interview with Charles A. Stillman, DO, FACR. Board-certified radiologist, CEO and owner of Valley MRI & Radiology, Inc. Valley MRI & Radiology is a proud veteran-owned healthcare company that has provided high-quality diagnostic imaging services in the San Joaquin County region for over 35 years.

Q. Why did you add the Magnifico™ Open MRI to your service offerings?

A little over a year ago, I was using a 0.7T open MRI and it reached the end of life. So, I got into the market for a new open MRI, and ironically a vendor who was servicing the magnet told me about Esaote. He said there is a new permanent magnet solution for open MRI that’s available and there’s only one in the country.

As luck would have it, the unit was installed in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which happened to be where my sister lives, so I booked the next flight out, met Sheila, who was scanning real patients that day, and was impressed with the magnet design and image quality and quite literally bought it on the spot.

Q. How was your experience with the installation process?

Since we installed the Magnifico, we have had quite literally zero mechanical, structural, or other issues.

Q. How have your patients responded to getting scanned on the Magnifico?

We have had almost no claustrophobia issues with the Magnifico™ Open. There is plenty of visible space around the magnet and patients seem to love it, and it looks futuristic too.

Q. Is the Magnifico™ Open creating more accessibility, especially for your veteran patients?

Yes, absolutely. With our old open system, we were averaging around six patients a day. With Magnifico, we’re averaging about 12 patients a day and we certainly could be doing more than that. We are adjusting our schedules right now, so we can get even more patients on the schedule during the day.

I’m a 30-year U.S. Army veteran and love taking care of soldiers. We started a relationship with the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs (VA), which is 90 miles away from here. When they found out that we had an open MRI, as there were not many options available in the Bay Area, they started sending patients out to my facility to get scanned.

Q. How does the Magnifico™ Open deliver value from a financial perspective?

In addition to the great image quality, what blew me away was the cost savings going from a superconducting 0.7T to the Magnifico. My electricity bill went down $6,000 a month!

Q. How did your technologists adjust to learning how to use the Magnifico™ Open?

There was a very small learning curve. They jumped right in and within a day, had it all figured out. The system also has capabilities that work even better than my old system. I will occasionally go to the scanner to look at images while the patient is still on the table, and just the ability to scroll through images and compare one patient to another patient at the same time is so much better on the Esaote system.

If you have an open MRI, people talk about it. It advertises itself and so people come from far and wide.” - Charles Stillman, DO, Valley MRI & Radiology

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