MRI Safety with Ferromagnetic Detection: Metrasens and Mednovus

Did you know that something as small and weightless as a paper clip can be pulled into a 1.5T magnet and reach up to 40 mph in speed? When objects are sucked into the magnet’s sweet spot they can cause serious harm to patients and damage to equipment. These types of adverse events have been on the rise over the last five years, increasing by as much as 185%. As a result we are beginning to see more serious MRI safety incidents; within the past 10 years, 9 patients have died. Because of this, companies like Metrasens and Mednovus have developed products that detect ferrous or non MRI compatible objects prior to entry into the MRI room. Other companies such as Invivo, GE, Philips and Siemens also offer screening tools and entry control products.


Metrasens developed the Ferroguard product suite that is offered in three configurations:

  • Ferroguard Screener: The patient steps onto a mat, presses a button to be screened and turns around 360 degrees on the mat. This screener offers good sensitivity.
  • Ferroguard Guardian: This system can be wall mounted rods or free-standing system that scans for ferromagnetic objects prior to entering the MRI suite. The system offers visuals alerts similar to traffic lights- green signifies safety passing, yellow indicates there may be ferromagnetic object(s) detected and red means stop, ferromagnetic object(s) have been detected.
  • Ferroguard Assure: Wall mounted unit that offer the same visual features as the Guardian. The Assure is generally mounted outside of the MRI door to the suite so that non-MRI compatible objects can be detected prior to the patient entering the room.

Mednovus, Inc. features four different options:

  • 1.30.14-1SafeScan Target Scanner: The SafeScan is a hand-held unit that alarms only if there is a ferromagnetic object present. This is not a “metal” detector but a true ferromagnetic detector. These systems are distributed by both Mednovus and Siemens.
  • SafeScan Intercept Pillar: Similar to the Ferroguard Guardian, these pillars can be wall or floor mounted. They have an audible alarm with large LED lights on the top of the pillars.
  • SafeScan Star: A single pillar device used for automated ferromagnetic detection away from the MRI suite. An infrared beam is used to place the Star in alarm mode. It can be easily used with a simple and straightforward volume knob and sensitivity knob. It is used only for the screening of ambulatory patients.
  • SafeScan Eagle: This is a premium unit that offers early and continuous warning signals for ferromagnetic objects. This system offers an alarm with four sensitivity settings, a multi-tone alarm and multi-light display (red, yellow, green).

MD Buyline evaluates quotes for MRI safety items under our Price Tracker. We track all of the above mentioned products through Price Tracker, including wall mounted entryway systems by Metrasens which can range from $20,020 to $26,950. Additionally we also see these products included as line items in the system configurations for a standard MRI system from the MRI vendors.

Loretta Loncoske, BS, R.T. (R)
Loretta Loncoske, BS, R.T. (R), Clinical Analyst — Ms. Loncoske joined MD Buyline in 1991 with over 30 years of clinical experience in the high-end radiology modalities of MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, PET and interventional radiology. She received her degree in business management from the University of Maryland and graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin, receiving a Bachelor of Science in business administration and computer science. She is a Registered Radiologic Technologist and member of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.