MO-DE-BRA-06: MrRSCAL: A Radiological Simulation Tool for Resident Education




The goal of this project was to create a readily accessible, comprehensive-yet-flexible interactive MRI simulation tool for use in training and education of radiology residents in particular. This tool was developed to take the place of an MR scanner in laboratory activities, as magnet time has become scarce while hospitals are optimizing clinical scheduling for improved throughput.


MrRSCAL (Magnetic resonance Resident Simulation Console for Active Learning) was programmed and coded using Matlab on a Mac workstation utilizing OS X platform. MR-based brain images were obtained from one of the co-authors and processed to generate parametric maps. Scanner sounds are also generated via mp3 convolution of a single MR gradient slew with a time-profile of gradient waveforms.


MrRSCAL facilitates the simulation of multiple MR sequences with the ability to alter MR parameters via an intuitive GUI control panel. The application allows the user to gain real-time understanding of image transformation when varying these said parameters by examining the resulting images. Lab procedures can be loaded and displayed for more directed study. The panel is also configurable, providing a simple interface for elementary labs or a full array of controls for the expert user.


Our introduction of MrRSCAL, which is readily available to users with a current laptop or workstation, allows for individual or group study of MR image acquisition with immediate educational feedback as the MR parameters are manipulated. MrRSCAL can be used at any time and any place once installed, offering a new tool for reviewing relaxometric and artifact principles when studying for boards or investigating properties of a pulse sequence. This tool promises to be extremely useful in conveying traditionally difficult and abstract concepts involved with MR to the radiology resident and other medical professionals at large.