[Medical resonance imaging (MRI)--the technology, the regulation and the utilization pattern in Israel].

Sharona Vaknin*, Joshua Shemer, Osnat Luxenburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medical resonance imaging (MRI) is a technology for imaging and diagnosis of tissues and organs which does not use ionizing radiation. It was developed in the 1960's and 1970's and has been in clinical use since the 1980's. Over the last two decades there has been a substantial increase in utilization of MRI due to: improvements in imaging technology and image processing, the development of new indications for its use, and the increase in availability and accessibility of MRI in several medical fields. However, there is also overutilization of this technology due to: the use of imaging as a substitute for regular physical examinations, repeated examinations for the same medical reason, "defensive" medicine, and due to the public's desire for sophisticated examinations. These issues are all responsible for the increased use of MRI. MRI is an expensive technology and therefore, cost-lowering medical and economic mechanisms are employed to Limit its use. Until recently there were ten MRI scanners in Israel and this review presents their utilization patterns. The number of MRI scanners will double in the coming years. This may improve accessibility in different regions of the country, shorten waiting times, and improve medical diagnosis due to implementation for new indications. An international comparison showed that the number of MRI scanners in Israel is lower than the average number of MRI scanners in OECD countries. However, the utilization of MRI scanners in Israel is high relative to other OECD countries, indicating the high level of efficiency of the Israeli healthcare system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-309, 317
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


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