For babies, MRIs are rare and dangerous procedures that almost always require administering anesthesia to the infants. However, a new MRI machine that was invented by an Israeli company is being hailed as a game changer.

The advanced Embrace Neonatal MRI system, developed by the Israeli startup Aspect Imaging, is the first MRI machine in the world that was designed for premature newborns and babies. At the moment, the device is being used in only one place in the world: Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center. Aside from not having to administer anesthesia to the baby, the machine has other advantages.

“The device is located in the neonatal intensive care unit, which means that the baby does not need to be moved to a different machine far away, exposing him to infections,” explained Dr. Alona Bin-Nun, a senior neonatologist at the hospital. Bin-Nun added that rooms with MRI machines are usually kept at cold temperatures, which is not a good environment for newborns.

During the regular MRI procedures for premature babies, the neonatologists need to wait outside of the room. However, the new Israeli machine allows the experts to remain in the room with the babies and supervise the procedure from up close and deal with any complications during the examination.

It is common in Israel and around the world for doctors to use ultrasounds in order to check whether a newborn has suffered brain damage. But now, thanks to the Embrace Neonatal MRI system, the doctors can conduct a more accurate examination, which will lead to better diagnoses.