Manchester United and Canon Medical Systems unveil the world’s most advanced on-site medical imaging facility

Manchester, United Kingdom, March 11th 2014 – Manchester United and Canon Medical Systems today unveiled a brand new medical facility at the AON Training Complex. The partnership sees the club and Canon Medical Systems coming together in a mutually beneficial project involving the use of state-of-the-art medical technology within an elite sports club environment. The collaboration will promote the rapid development of novel sports medicine and exercise-related applications for CT, ultrasound and MRI scanner technology developed by global leaders in the fields of football and medical technology.
The technology will enable Manchester United’s medical team in partnership with Canon Medical Systems team to push the boundaries of sports medicine with regards to optimisation of diagnosis, rehabilitation and preventative care. With the ultimate aim of maximising the wellbeing and safety of players by means of enhanced musculoskeletal, cardiac and general health screening, the collaboration will undertake studies into early markers of potentially preventable injuries and ways of maintaining player career longevity at elite level. By using imaging in innovative ways to track the physical and physiological development of footballers throughout our system, the partnership will result in further refinement of personalised treatment and exercise regimes for individual athletes, from youth academy to first team.

Equipped with state-of-the-art scanners from Canon Medical Systems, the facility can draw on an advanced set of imaging modalities, from MRI to CT and ultrasound:

The premium cart-based Aplio™ 500 ultrasound scanner  is used by many of the UK’s leading imaging research centres. Designed for high-resolution musculoskeletal imaging, the system features exceptional spatial and contrast resolution to visualise muscle and tendon architecture in super-fine detail. Advanced Dynamic Flow and Elastography applications enable assessment of vascular flow and tissue stiffness changes in muscle and tendon, allowing the facility medical staff to make clinical decisions on treatment based on enhanced observations of the tissue structure and function.

The Viamo™ ultrasound scanner combines all the advantages of a portable ultrasound system with the diagnostic precision, productivity and comfort of a premium cart-based machine. Sharing its imaging engine and transducer technology with the Aplio series, the battery-powered Viamo scanner’s high performance imaging function will allow medical staff to visualize tissue details and vascular structures with precision when working with players and teams at locations other than the AON Training Complex such as away fixtures or pre-season tours.

Vantage Titan™ 3T MRI is a wide bore scanner that provides greater image signal and quality for cartilage, muscle and tendon damage identification. Access to this technology enables the medical staff to assess players more appropriately with much greater specificity as it relates to individual players’ personal characteristics, previous injury histories and conditioning programmes. The Vantage Titan 3T’s unique Pianissimo™ technology delivers the quietest MRI scanning on the market enhancing patient comfort and ease of communication during procedures.

An Aquilion ONE™ CT scanner – The World’s first dynamic volume CT system will allow the facility medical team to quickly identify and diagnose potentially serious vascular and neurological anomalies. It is the only scanner that is able to acquire volumes of entire organs with a single rotation of the scanner gantry, by using a 320-row detector.

Volumetric acquisition protocols can also be used to review moving joint structures in 3D, providing new clinical applications for orthopaedic imaging.

For cardiac examinations, the entire heart can be captured in as little as one rotation for coronary analysis, or over a single heartbeat to include complete functional diagnosis. Cardiac arrhythmias or heart rates up to 130 bpm are no longer an issue as opposed to helical and multislice CT, meaning that image reconstruction can proceed as planned, allowing greater accuracy of data capture for scans of players who may require enhanced cardiac screening assessments following exercise stress.

Reducing radiation dose is a significant priority for imaging professionals. Canon’s exposure control technology SUREExposure™ 3D calculates the absolute minimum radiation exposure for each patient based on their size and shape. Combined with Canon’s Adaptive Iterative Dose Reduction 3D (AIDR 3D) the calculated exposure is automatically reduced by up to 75% compared to a scan performed with traditional filtered back projection. Designed to be the fastest, safest CT scanner in the world, AIDR can be used for player examinations where CT imaging is clinically and ethically justifiable.

Imaging equipment comes complete with a full portfolio of applications and protocols for a wide range of scanning specialities, from advanced neuro-applications to echocardiography and musculoskeletal protocols. Canon’s cross-modality approach ensures the same look, feel and interaction of the user interfaces across the ultrasound, CT and MRI scanners for common functionalities such as player/patient registration, 3D post-processing and data saving.

Beyond enhancing player well-being, employing state-of-the-art equipment on site will help reduce disruption to player and team preparation. Additionally, it will safeguard the players’ privacy rights during injury or illness and allow for greater levels of confidentiality during the club’s transfer medicals.

Dr. Steve McNally, Manchester United Club Doctor, comments: “Our partnership with Canon Medical Systems that provides Manchester United with state-of-the-art ultrasound, MRI and CT scanning facilities at our Training Centre will be a world first, offering a unique opportunity to explore the capabilities of medical imaging within an elite sporting environment. Not only am I excited about the possibilities for enhancing player healthcare, athletic development and ultimately performance, the innovative applications we hope to develop through this collaboration may confer wider healthcare benefits for the general population.”

Manchester United Manager, David Moyes adds: “I’m absolutely delighted to have this facility fully up and running. Not only is it cutting edge medical technology, it will also help us detect the early signs of injury and help to refine the rehabilitation process – something that will pay dividends for years to come.”

Canon Medical Systems UK Managing Director, Mark Hitchman comments: “Our technology will enable Manchester United’s medical staff to develop a sophisticated individualized medical programme for its players at all levels. Being able to accurately identify potential predispositions to specific injuries before they happen, will facilitate appropriate modification of players’ training programmes in order to help prevent such injury. With our imaging systems, we are helping Manchester United progress into the future of Sports Medicine, today. Moreover, and this is something we are extremely excited about, the partnership will identify best practice care for professional athletes whilst delivering guidance, potential applications and treatment pathways for health and injury issues affecting the wider public.”

Aplio, Viamo, Vantage Titan, Pianissimo, Aquilion ONE and SUREExposure are trademarks of Canon Medical Systems Corporation.

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About Canon Medical Systems Corporation 
Canon Medical Systems Corporation is a leading worldwide provider of medical diagnostic imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, such as CT, X-ray and vascular ultrasound, nuclear medicine and MRI systems, as well as information systems for medical institutions. Canon Medical Systems Corporation has been providing medical products for over 80 years. Canon Medical Systems Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon. For more information please visit

About Manchester United

Manchester United is one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world, playing one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth. Throughout our 136-year heritage, we have won 62 trophies, enabling us to develop the world’s leading sports brand and a global community of 659 million followers. Our large, passionate community provides Manchester United with a worldwide platform to generate significant revenue from multiple sources, including sponsorship, merchandising, product licensing, new media & mobile, broadcasting and match day.