Updated on February 27, 2024


Created on March 7, 2022

Low Field MRI Scanner

Upcoming Update

Low-cost MRI system for diagnosis of hydrocephalus in LMIC's

Tested By
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Mbarara University of Science and Technology
  • Pennsylvania State University
Content Partners


Product Description

The Low Field MRI Scanner, designed by Dr. Johnes Obungoloch of Mbarara University of Science and Technology, is capable of diagnosing infant hydrocephalus, a frequently occurring condition in sub-Saharan Africa. The system is built using ordinary permanent magnets encompassed in a magnet cylinder as rings adopted as an approach to reduce the cost of design. This low-field technology, which requires a smaller size magnet and yields lower resolution images, weighs 125 kg. As of 2021, this product is still in the prototyping phase. 

Target SDGs

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Public Sector Agencies

Distributors / Implementing Organizations


Manufacturing/Building Method

This product is currently in the prototyping phase and not yet manufactured at scale. Prototypes are being developed in Uganda by the Biomedical Engineering Department at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

The designers have not yet selected their user provision model.

Distributions to Date Status


Clinical application

Diagnosis of hydrocephalus

Indispensable equipment for function (Yes/No)




Device weight (kg)

125 kg

Device dimensions

2264 mm x 1338 mm x 790 mm

Max power consumption (W)

500 W

Power supply type

240 AC supply

Maintenance or calibration required by user at time of use? (Yes/No)


Type of technology used for test

Permanent Magnet

Time required for procedure


Design Specifications

The most expensive part of a conventional MRI system is the superconducting magnets. During the design of a Low Field MRI scanner, the superconducting magnets were replaced by a configuration of inexpensive off-the-shelf permanent magnets placed in a magnet cylinder as rings. The variations in the magnetic field can be used for spatial encoding, thus removing the necessity for gradient coils.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Provided by Biomedical Engineering Research group at Mbarara University.

Replacement Components

Replaceable components include the permanent magnets.


<10 years Interview with designer in 2021

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Manufacturer specified performance targets include being less than 50,000 Euros, lightweight, and easy to maintain.

Vetted Performance Status

The research group conducted two forms of the test; 1) performance tests in a lab setting using cabbages and volunteers to carry out brain scans, 2) denoising tests using machine learning algorithms using a two-level Bregman iterative method for image reconstruction and image denoising procedure both in Uganda and Netherlands.   Experiments were done on a noisy phantom that was obtained from a low field MRI scanner. Results demonstrated that the two-level Bregman algorithm performs superior image reconstructions that are almost noise-free. The method also performed better than the TBMDU algorithm, which performed better than  DLMRI. However, the TBMDU algorithm was faster than the Bregman algorithm due to additional iterations required during the denoising step.


The low field MRI scanner uses a non-ionizing magnet field which is proven to be the safest technique for medical imaging.  

Complementary Technical Systems

The MRI system has been made to configure on tablet/iPad as an alternative interface.

Academic Research and References

Geçmen, D., 2020, “Deep Learning Techniques for Low-Field MRI,” Masters Thesis for TU Delft.

Diehl, J. C., van Doesum, F., Bakker, M., van Gijzen, M., O’Reilly, T., Muhumuza, I., … & Kabachelor, E. M., 2020, “The embodiment of low-field MRI for the diagnosis of infant hydrocephalus in Uganda,” 2020 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC, pp. 1-8.

den Bouter, M. D. L., Gecmen, D., Meijer, A., de Gans, D., Middelplaats, L., Remis, R., & van Gijzen, M. B., 2020, “Description of a Low-field MRI Scanner Based on Permanent Magnets,” CVCS.

den Bouter, M. D. L., van Gijzen, M., & Remis, R., 2021, “Low-field magnetic resonance imaging using multiplicative regularization,” Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 75, pp. 21-33.

Chavali, A. K., Arvind K. Chavali and Ramesh Ramji., 2018, “Frugal Innovation in Bioengineering for the Detection of Infectious Diseases,” pp. 113.

van Doesum, F., 2020, “MRI for Africa: The design of an MRI for the diagnosis of infant hydrocephalus in Ugandan hospitals,” Masters Thesis for TU Delft.

Compliance with regulations

None, as the Low field MRI is still under development.

Evaluation methods

The methods included in-house testing using small phantom images and a pilot with volunteer participants. More studies will be conducted after the completion of the design.

Other Information


Leave a Reply

Explore similar solutions


January 17, 2024

mWater Field Test Kit

Read Solution

Implemented by



June 5, 2024

Field Papers

Read Solution

Implemented by

Stamen Design


May 30, 2024


Read Solution

Implemented by

LoooP Creative Ltd


January 10, 2024

Aquatainer 10L Collapsible

Read Solution

Implemented by



December 31, 2023

Berkeley-Darfur Stove V.14

Read Solution

Implemented by

Potential Energy


May 25, 2024

Buffalo Bicycle

Read Solution

Implemented by

World Bicycle Relief


June 8, 2024


Read Solution

Implemented by



February 14, 2024

EasyNat TB-CPA Diagnostic Kit

Read Solution

Implemented by

USTAR Biotechnologies (Hangzhou) LTD


January 8, 2024

ElectroChemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR)

Read Solution

Implemented by

Gadgil Lab, University of California Berkeley


January 9, 2024

Envirofit G-3300

Read Solution

Implemented by

Envirofit International

All Solutions

Contribute to E4C's Library of Breakthrough Sustainable Development Technology Solutions

Suggest A Solution

Get more information about Solutions Library and its features.

Learn More

Have thoughts on how we can improve?

Give Us Feedback

Join a global community of changemakers.

Become A Member