The use of MRI around the world is growing rapidly and is projected to continue to grow over the coming decades. Unfortunately, increased MRI usage comes with a cost to the environment. The energy consumption of MRI is high compared to alternative modalities such as CT and ultrasound, whilst patient throughput is typically lower. The energy usage of the typical MRI scanner is equivalent to approximately 15 long-haul flights per year, with carbon emissions in the order of 30,000-60,000 tons per year. Technology developed by ISMRM members inevitably contributes to energy usage and carbon emissions. Rare-earth elements used in the scanners and in contrast agents (helium, gadolinium, neodymium, lanthanum phosphors) add to the environmental impact. With rapid technological progress come scanner upgrades and a need to dispose of or recycle scanners whilst minimizing environmental impact. To date, these issues have received little attention by the MRI community. We need your help!
For the 2020 Junior Fellows Symposium, we challenge the membership to submit their ideas for how the environmental impact of MRI can be minimized. We focus this symposium around three themes of different solutions for reducing environmental impact:
- Scheduling / Efficiency Solutions
Proposals might consider reducing the number of sequences performed per patient or the speed of the sequences, minimizing ‘dead time’ on the scanner, or effective vetting of scans.
- Engineering Solutions
Proposals might enable us to reduce energy consumption or to eliminate the need for rare-earth elements.
- Disposal Solutions
Proposals might consider how to recycle or dispose of scanners in an environmentally conscious fashion. Ideas regarding reducing gadolinium entry into the environment would also be welcome.
All proposals are welcome! We welcome suggestions that are directly covered by the three themes but also welcome creative suggestions that are outside the box.
Please submit a short CV and your 1-page proposal in a zip file containing:
- The theme you are submitting to
- A brief description of the problem you are addressing
- Your possible solution to the problem
- Results (if there are any – this is not essential!)
A selection of proposals will be asked to give a 10-minute presentation summarizing their idea during the Junior Fellows Symposium in Sydney.