EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – University Medical Center of El Paso made history this week by introducing the first portable MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) system to the Borderland.

The MRI system, known as “The Swoop,” allows medical professionals to perform MRIs at a patient’s bedside rather than forcing them to find a way to move patients to a separate room.

“This is another advanced tool our providers have to have scans done for patients who are too sick or unable to be transported downstairs for imaging,” said Greg Erickson, Assistant Administrator of Ancillary Services. “This is a system that brings healthcare in El Paso another step forward, in line with what we are seeing in some of the top healthcare systems in the nation.”

The Swoop, designed by Hyperfine, can plug into a standard electrical outlet and is easily run with only an iPad.

The goal is to save time and make life easier for both patients who have difficulty moving and for the medical care professionals assisting those individuals.

“Not only does this bring added conveniences, but it also expedites our ability to provide MRIs when medically necessary. This brings the system to the patient in minutes,” added Erickson. “The Swoop system is small enough to fit in elevators and through doorways, making it very maneuverable in large, busy hospital environments, such as UMC.”

UMC will initially deploy their new portable MRI unit to the Neuro ICU Department to assist with scans for patients being treated for a variety of brain injuries and issues.

The machine also has an open design that can help ease the concerns of those who are uncomfortable in enclosed or cramped spaces.

Additionally, the device is designed in such a way that family and friends don’t have to leave the room during an MRI scan and can remain bedside to comfort their loved one.