A technology being developed could provide an affordable, smart, self-learning device that, when placed into existing MRI machines, could allow medical professionals to monitor patients more effectively and safely, by performing concurrent medical imaging and recording for diagnostic purposes.

Tiny device enables concurrent medical imaging and recording for diagnostic purposes.
(Credit: Shannon Kane/Purdue Research Foundation Image)

The technology could work simultaneously with any MRI system to record electro-physiological signals during MRI scanning. The device aims to learn when to start and stop recording to capture useful signals during MRI operation. The small device can be placed in an MRI system to serve as a platform to combine all other imaging technologies.

The device has a footprint smaller than a penny and could be used safely inside an MRI. Although small, the device is very powerful and allows researchers to record, stimulate, and image the brain or other organs all through the MRI system.

The wireless device is directly powered and operated by the MRI. The researchers say it is much more affordable than other commercial systems and provides much better quality in neural recording and stimulation during MRI imaging.