3T Cayman’s new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine has set the bar high for the standard of medical imaging in the Cayman Islands. The Health Services Authority (HSA) and members of 3T Cayman said the brand new 3.0 Tesla MRI machine puts Cayman firmly on the map when it comes to the highest quality of healthcare technology available for residents, and also provides medical services unavailable elsewhere in the region. The new three dimensional scanner represents an investment of nearly $5 million.

Healthcare officials and prominent members of the community gathered at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday to celebrate the significant upgrade. Officials explained the new technology was made possible through the public and private partnership of HSA and 3T Cayman.

Heather Nugent is a MRI technologist for 3T Cayman. She told CNS Business the ultra-high performance MRI machine will enhance the way the hospital diagnoses a variety of conditions. She explained procedures that were once done off island can now be done in the convenience of Cayman Island’s Hospital, and patients can also get their detailed diagnoses in less than 30 minutes.

“How it works with us is as soon as you get off the table you’re given a CD with your images. So as soon as you walk out you can take your pictures to your doctor that day,” Nugent explained. She added, “It has a 70 centimeter boar, so not only are you getting the greatest scanner on the market right now you’re also getting the widest scanner. So if you’re claustrophobic you’re not going to feel as inclosed when you’re having your scan done and not as tight as inside the magnet, but you’re also getting the best image quality that you can get.”

The new MRI machine is a step forward in technology from the hospital’s previously used 1.5 Tesla MRI. Health officials said the new 3T scanner is faster and will provide higher resolution images to detect any problems a patient may have, while maximizing patient comfort.

“Most people look at an MRI and they hate it because it makes noise, they have to lay in a tube they don’t want to be in and with us we have a big tube, we can cut the noise out and then we have a big beautiful room that you get to come into. So it’s almost like going to the spa to have your MRI done,” Nugent stated.

However, what makes this state-of-the-art technology so unique are the special features. the new machine is equipped with lights and sound so when patients walk into the room, they can be looking at a waterfall, at fish or at Mars. “It takes you away from an actually scary experience and it puts you into a calm and relaxing environment,” the 3T technologist said. Nugent added, “You can have them change the walls to your favorite colors so it can be blue, green or it can be yellow, whatever makes you feel comfortable.”