Revolutionary Brain Imaging with MEGSCAN™
In recent years, the need for a versatile, powerful functional brain imaging tool has intensified, and HHS Healthcare is pleased to partner with York Instruments to add the MEGSCAN™ to our menu of offerings.
MEGSCAN™ is an unprecedented combination of modern sensors, cryogenics, electronics, and software. It offers improved data quality and accuracy, lowers operating costs, and increases versatility. MEGSCAN™ opens the door to new clinical applications for MEG and ensures a new chapter for neuroimaging.
As part of our total packaged solution from concept to treating your first patient, HHS Healthcare can provide a MEGSCAN™ system as a standalone solution, as part of a solution that includes other technologies, or as a seamless addition to your existing healthcare facility or practice.The MEGSCAN™ solution offers highly improved data quality and accuracy, lowers operating cost, increases versatility, and makes previously unachievable clinical applications possible.
- HyQUID® sensors with better white and low frequency noise performance than a traditional Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID), offering improved detection capabilities.
- Entirely liquid-helium-free operation by using vibration-free pulse tube refrigeration.
- State-of-the-art electronics with significantly improved resolution and sampling rates.
- Greatest number of sensors at 320, providing improved spatial accuracy.
- Extensive reference array for improved environmental noise immunity.
- Axial gradiometers, with a base length optimized for the location where the unit will be installed.
- Powerful software offering a range of options, yet remains convenient for day-to-day clinical recordings.
- Cloud-based data storage and, in the future, processing capabilities.
The Many Applications of MEGSCAN™
Every year, millions of adults and children and hospitalized for traumatic brain injuries from sports, car accidents, and injuries, many of which are concussions. Unfortunately, concussions are currently only diagnosed through a verbal exam, but through MEGSCAN™ technology, concussions can be diagnosed, identified, and more accurately treated.
Nearly 1 million children worldwide are diagnosed within the autism spectrum, and the need for clinical diagnosis and treatment has come under recent focus within the physiological and medical community. MEGSCAN’s unique ability to precisely track brain activity positions it to greatly assist in better understanding and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
Over 50 million people worldwide are diagnosed with dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and contributes to roughly 60-70% of cases. At present, there is no treatment but early diagnosis can promote optimal management and vastly improve lives who suffer from dementia, something MEGSCAN™ is uniquely capable of doing.
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain that affects people of all ages. It is one of the most common neurological diseases globally, characterized by recurrent seizures. Current MEG systems are primary used to treat and research epilepsy, and MEGSCAN™ HyQuid® based technologies are significantly superior in the same clinical uses.
Rethinking MEG Technology
Various MEG technologies have been available for over 20 years, but have improved very little since the 1990s. However, new introductions and substancial improvements have been made in cryogenics, software, related electronic components sensors, and circuits since the time MEG was introduced. York Instruments has taken advantage of this opportunity to design a revolutionary new MEG system that is more robust and accurate, liquid Helium free, highly modular, takes advantage of modern advances and yet has the ability to keep pace with changes in technology going forward via its modular design.
The magnetic field sensors are the heart of every MEG and its quality dictates the usefulness of the instrument. York Instruments has an exclusive license to use the HyQuid™ sensor, developed at Royal Holloway University, which is much more sensitive and has a lower noise floor than the traditional SQUID used in all previous MEG systems. These sensors have substantially less low-frequency noise, allowing recordings of slow wave activity for resting state studies and, even more significantly, for clinical applications where slow waves are symptomatic of underlying pathology. This opens the door to a host of possibilities for MEG, especially in the areas of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. At the other end of the spectrum, ultra-high frequency oscillations of very low amplitude are also easily measurable.
For the clinician, this means a faster and more accurate diagnosis, especially of those patients suffering from epilepsy.
Software for the Modern Era
MEGSCAN™ has a unique changeable front-end sensor interface and state-of-the art electronics back-end. It has software that is user extendable for the research environment, while still offering a safe clinical environment for standard protocols.
The electronics and software use only standard protocols so that the system is easily incorporated into existing high-speed computer networks. This allows, for example, real time displays of all channels and, even more importantly, real-time processing. The core electronics are based on a modular design, which allows the incorporation of different sensor configurations; easy stimulus delivery and response recording; physiological monitoring; as well as future expansion.
Software is being prepared to take advantage of recent developments, such as for example cloud computing and other modern technologies. For the research user, open access to the core protocols is provided. Access to data streams are available for interfacing to external equipment synchronized to the main system. Users can add their own devices, data acquisition procedures, online visualization and processing algorithms.
MEGSCAN™ has also taken advantage of changes in cryogenics technology: Just as with modern MRI machines, it is now possible to make MEG liquid Helium free. This removes the need for filling or complex recycling of cryogens. This represents one of the most significant changes to MEG technology in decades. A vibration free pulse tube is used to maintain the low temperature required, without interference. The result is a system that is much more compact, has lower operating cost, can be turned off and on in a matter of hours instead of days, is potentially transportable and can be installed in locations where it is difficult to ensure a regular liquid Helium supply.
The system electronics incorporates state of the art components to keep noise levels as low as possible and system performance at a maximum. The low power demands of components means that the system can even be powered by batteries. Each module in the system is monitored so that changes in performance can be detected and reported. Data acquisition is carried out by true, highly linear, 24bit ADCs capable of sample rates up to 80,000 samples per second.