Investigative Radiology December 2020

New next-generation low-field magnetic resonance imaging systems (operating in the range of 0.5 T) hold great potential for increasing access to clinical diagnosis and needed health care both in developed countries and worldwide. The relevant history concerning the choice of field strength, which resulted in 1.5 T still dominating today the number of installed systems, is considered, together with design advances possible because of interval developments, since low field was considered for clinical use in the 1980s, and current research. The potential impact of low-cost, advanced-generation low-field magnetic resonance imaging systems, properly designed, is high in terms of further dissemination of health care—across the gamut from industrial to developing countries—regardless of disease entity and anatomic region of involvement, with major niche applications likely as well. [...]