Jeff Hough


Siemens’ history in Magnetic Resonance Imaging is long standing and dates back to the 1970s. In the 40 years after producing their first image, Siemens developed many of the standard features and technologies used in today’s machines. If you are exploring a new or refurbished system, this overview will be a guideline for the available systems and technologies that are included.


Let’s begin with an overview of the naming convention and technologies that are marketed by Siemens. At the core of the Siemens MRI machine is TIM and Dot. TIM stands for Total Imaging Matrix. First introduced in 2003, the feature is integrated into their coils to accelerate image acquisition and improve image quality. Now on its 4th generation, TIM is a fully digital architecture that supports up to 128 independent RF channels.

While TIM is all about image acquisition, Dot is all about efficiency and workflow. Short for Day Optimizing Throughput, Dot is the software supporting the system and exams. Dot’s first role is to provide a workflow solution, streamlining procedures and reducing the overall time to perform a study. Under Dot are Dot engines which are tailored programs for the following applications:

  • Abdomen
  • Angio
  • Breast
  • Brain
  • Cardiac
  • Knee
  • Large Joint
  • RT
  • Spine

A new addition to Siemens’ line-up is the BioMatrix technology. The sensors monitor heart-rate, breathing, movement, and can make shim adjustments within a coil based on a patient’s unique anatomy. Together these sensors assess a patient’s physiology help avoid the need for rescans.

Now that we’ve covered the common technologies within Siemens MRI line-up, let’s look at the machines.

1.5T MRI Machines

MAGNETOM Essenza (2007) & MAGNETOM Amira (2015)

The entry level 1.5T systems are the MAGNETOM Essenza and MAGNETOM Amira. Both units have a 60cm bore and include Siemens TIM and Dot technologies. The Essenza has one of the lowest starting prices of any 1.5T MRI by design. This is a scanner meant to bring MRI services into hospitals and clinics where cost was an issue. The MAGNETOM Amira, announced in 2015, is a newer platform with 16 and 24 channel options. While still considered an entry level system, it has some unique features including Eco-Power mode to minimize the energy required to maintain the system when not in use and Quiet Suite for quieter operation, enhancing patient experience.

MAGNETOM Altea (2018) & MAGNETOM Sola (2018)

Released in 2018, MAGNETOM Altea and MAGNETOM Sola are the latest additions to Siemens’ open-bore (70cm) 1.5T MRI lineup. Both include the new BioMatrix technology to improve image capture and avoid the need to rescan patients due to differences in the body. The MAGNETOM Altea is configured as a 32-channel system, while the MAGNETOM Sola has a 32, 48, and 64 channel option.

MAGNETOM Aera (2009)

Rounding out the new 1.5T MRI options is the top-of-the-line MAGNETOM Aera. With available 48, 64, and 128 channel configurations, this system is designed to handle high volumes and the widest range of available exams.

3.0T MRI

The next group of MRI machines have a field strength of 3.0T. TIM 4G and Dot are standard on all of the models which include:

MAGNETOM Lumina (2018)

An entry level 3.0T MRI machine, the MAGNETOM Lumina was announced in 2018 alongside the 1.5T MAGNETOM Altea. The Lumina features the BioMatrix sensors, a 32-channel configuration, and Eco-power to reduce energy consumption when not in use.

MAGNETOM Vida (2017)

Pulling from technologies found in research focused 3.0T systems the Vida includes a new magnet, BioMatrix sensors and powerful 60/200 gradients. The combination makes a system capable of a wide range of exams at faster speeds.

MAGNETOM Skyra (2009)

Released before the Lumina and Vida, the MAGNETOM Skyra is still considered a top-of-the-line 3.0T MRI machines. With TIM 4G, Dot, and Siemens TrueForm magnet design, the Skya is built to handle the most demanding imaging departments. 48, 64, and 128 channel configurations are available.

MAGNETOM Prisma (2012)

Designed for research, the MAGNETOM Prisma is a 60cm 3.0T system with powerful 80/200 gradients for exceptional image capture. By pushing the hardware and software to new levels the MAGNETOM Prisma can handle advanced applications such as: DWI, SWI, resting state fMRI, dynamic angiography, perfusion, and DSI.

7.0T MRI Machines


The MAGNETOM Terra is a 7.0T system designed for both clinical and research applications. The system can be switched between research and clinical modes. In the clinical setting, the MAGNETOM Terra boasts a signal to noise ratio double that of a 3.0T system. This makes it possible to produce images with a submillimeter resolution.

With ten systems, Siemens has a large selection of new MRI machines. An alternative option to new is refurbished. With cost savings up to 40%-60%, acquiring a refurbished system is becoming increasingly popular. Here are a few models that are commonly available as certified refurbished.

Refurbished Options

MAGNETOM Aera (2009)

Including TIM and Dot technologies, the Siemens Aera is starting to become available as a refurbished option. This sought-after unit is a high-performance MRI machine capable of almost any imaging task.

MAGNETOM Espree (2004)

The first 70cm open-bore system, the Siemens Espree is still an in-demand system as it combines good image quality with a 70cm bore. Age, software version and configuration can vary based on availability but the Espree is a one of the best entry level open-bore MRI machines. Another advantage to the Siemens Espree is that it can placed into a mobile trailer.

MAGNETOM Avanto (2003)

This was Siemens’ first scanner to include TIM and Dot. With a 60cm bore and 1.5T field strength the MAGNETOM Avanto is a good option for clinics and imaging centers looking to perform routine scans.


Siemens' first MRI machine to feature both a 70cm open-bore and a 3.0T field strength, the Verio is a good entry level 3.0T system

MAGNETOM Skyra (2009)

Like the MAGNETOM Aera, the MAGNETOM Skyra is starting to become available as a refurbished option. With TIM and Dot, this is a premium system perfect for hospitals looking to make the jump into a 3.0T system.

There is an option for almost every use case and the experts at Meridian Leasing are here to help. For new equipment, we can provide a lease or financial structure that allows you to acquire the right MRI machine to fit your clinical and financial needs. For additional cost savings or to help meet unbudgeted needs, we can source, supply, and finance a quality refurbished MRI machine. To get started contact our medical equipment specialist by phone at +1 (855) 980-4578 or send an email to [email protected] for more details or to speak with a medical equipment specialist.