Siemens Healthineers and UCSF Create First Carbon-Neutral Radiology Imaging Service

ReachMD Healthcare Image

11/13/2021

Photo: Siemens Healthineers

www.ucsf.edu

Siemens Healthineers and UC San Francisco have formed a research and innovation-driven collaboration to make radiological imaging greener, while improving access to and quality of radiological imaging in Northern California. The agreement will also explore artificial intelligence in radiology, clinical data and image integration, and quantitative imaging.

The first key area of innovation, Green Radiology, will include the creation of a first-in-the-world carbon-neutral radiology imaging service at UCSF. This collaboration – between UCSF, Siemens Smart Infrastructure, Siemens USA, and Siemens Healthineers – will monitor power consumption of radiology equipment at UCSF using Siemens Smart Infrastructure solutions.  

In addition, the collaboration will leverage new Siemens scanner technology that is greener, lighter, smaller, and has easier siting requirements, so that more patients can access high-quality imaging without traveling long distances. Siemens Healthineers and UCSF also will explore ways to reduce standby energy consumption of MR scanners and the potential for Siemens Healthineers turn-key solutions for eco-friendly scanners.

“Health care is estimated to be responsible for up to 5 percent of global net emissions, and imaging almost certainly contributes to an outsized share of that total,” said Christopher P. Hess, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging. “At the same time, imaging is becoming increasingly central to medical decision making. Our goal is to find a way for radiology departments worldwide to reduce our environmental footprint. I can think of no better place than UCSF to begin the pioneering work.”

The reduced power consumption from these measures also will allow UCSF to use renewable energy certificates to achieve the goal of a carbon-neutral imaging fleet.

A second key area of the agreement will improve access to high-quality radiological imaging in Northern California by combining UCSF’s expertise in clinical applications and artificial intelligence (AI), and Siemens Healthineers expertise in AI and technology development.

The agreement will leverage Siemens Healthineers’ latest advancements in clinical MRI technologies including the new MAGNETOM Free.Max (0.55T) MRI scanner, which uses far less helium than typical scanners, thus significantly impacting the sustainability of both helium and the MRI industry. The combined expertise of Siemens Healthineers and UCSF with this new platform offers the promise of making advanced MRI technology more accessible to patients in Northern California.

“The current practice of radiology requires that patients travel to advanced imaging resources like MRI scanners; now we can bring imaging closer to our patients,” Hess said. “Mid-field MRI scanners leveraging artificial intelligence will help to expand access to advanced imaging. They use less space, less power, and less helium, offering an exciting opportunity to reduce radiology’s impact on climate change. UCSF is a global leader in clinical care and imaging research, and we are proud to work alongside our industry partners in this nascent concept of Green Radiology.”

“Siemens Healthineers is very excited about the innovation partnership with UCSF to bring MRI to places it has never been before, advancing the access and quality of radiological imaging in Northern California, while simultaneously working towards sustainable, eco-friendly healthcare,” said David Pacitti, President and Head of the Americas, Siemens Healthineers.

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