MR guided Focused Ultrasound named as one of the 50 best inventions of the year by TIME Magazine

November 21, 2011

On its 2011 issue, "inventions", TIME magazine has named MR guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) as one of the 50 best inventions of the year.

On page 74 of the November 28 issue it states: 

Magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) and ultrasound technologies are each remarkable in their own right, but combine them and you get something life-changing...".

MRgFUS is a combination of two well known technologies:  High intensity focused ultrasound that heats and destroys targeted tissue, and Magnetic resonance imaging (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. 

InSightec Ltd. is the pioneer and global leader in MR guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery and the developer of ExAblate, a product which pioneers the use of MRgFUS.

It has been said about MRgFUS that it is a potentially disruptive technology (Bradley WG, J Am Coll Radiol, 2009, 6:510-513).  A disruptive technology is a technological innovation that overturns the existing dominant technologies in a market. MRgFUS is a non-invasive surgical technique.  This lack of invasiveness is what makes MRgFUS so disruptive compared with traditional surgery.  

In October 2011, MRgFUS was presented at the TEDMED conference.  Dr. Yoav Medan, showcased the groundbreaking technology and stated that “The dream of Star Trek's Dr. McCoy -- practicing surgery without opening the patient -- is closer to reality than you might think.“  
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. 
Beyond its potential to treat disease or relieve symptoms of disease, Medan stressed, "patients have provided testimony that Focused Ultrasound offers them and their families something almost as important: improved quality of life. It has a transformative impact." 
A life changing impact.

Back in 2002 MRgFUS was highlighted by Business Week as one of the 25 ideas for a changing world.  Dr. Darrell Smith, a Harvard University Radiologist and also a pioneer doctor in MRgFUS, stated in an interview to Business Week:  "If you think about surgery, it's sort of medieval.  We're trying to get more elegant in the way we do this.  It's kind of like Star Trek".

In 2004 ExAblate was awarded the Wall St. Journal's bronze prize for Technology innovation.   This same year ExAblate was also awarded the 2004 grand prize of the Information Society Technologies of the European Union. This most distinguished prize was granted to three out of 420 applicants for innovative products and service to mankind.

In 2007 Red Herring listed InSightec among the top private companies, like Google, eBay and Skype as leaders in their filed and that would change the way we live and work. 

The World Economic Forum has selected InSightec as one of its Technology Pioneers for 2008. Technology Pioneers are companies developing and applying technologies deemed highly transformational and innovative.

MRgFUS is quite likely to be a life changing technology or innovation.  The "Star Trek " vision of the operating room of the future is available today for the benefit of thousands of patients throughout the world.

For more information about the MRgFUS technology click here.