TIME magazine recently called Insightec’s MR Guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) one of the 50 best inventions of the year.
“Magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) and ultrasound technologies are each remarkable in their own right, but combine them and you get something life-changing,” the magazine wrote about Insightec’s technique.
MRgFUS is a combination of two well known technologies: High intensity focused ultrasound that heats and destroys targeted tissue, and MRI for precise visualization, guidance and real time treatment control. MRgFUS generates heat by focusing ultrasound waves, ablating tissue only at the focal point, an effect similar to a magnifying glass used to focus the sun’s energy on a single point.
“The dream of Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy — practicing surgery without opening the patient — is closer to reality than you might think,” Dr. Yoav Medan, Chief System Architect, said at the October TEDMED conference in San Diego.
According to Medan, MRgFUS has huge potential to treat a wide variety of medical problems — including many diseases for which no effective solutions currently exist.