Roper St. Francis Healthcare has opened a 9,000-square-foot imaging and diagnostics facility, the newest addition to its suite of medical offices in Cross Creek Village on James Island.

The crown jewel of the new office, at 325 Folly Road, is a $2 million GE 1.5 Tesla Wide Bore MRI scanner, which can accommodate larger patients than a typical MRI machine can and uses more advanced technology.

The MRI machine — short for magnetic resonance imaging — uses high-powered magnets to take internal images of the body, allowing doctors to diagnose a range of issues without subjecting a patient to more invasive procedures. It is the first MRI scanner on James Island.

The Medical University Hospital operates wide-bore MRI machines on the peninsula, and Roper St. Francis has one at its Mount Pleasant hospital.

Josh Seyler, a GE specialist who spent several weeks teaching Roper technicians how to use the scanner on James Island called new machine state of the art.

“It’s the best in the world,” Seyler said.

Roper’s new medical diagnostics center, which opened to patients this month, is the consolidation of two smaller offices in West Ashley and on James Island. The West Ashley facility on Farmfield Avenue is still open for patients needing lab work. The old James Island office closed completely.

“Instead of having a facility on every corner, we are moving to centers of excellence,” said Bruce Manigo, an imaging manager at Roper Hospital Diagnostics. “We can accommodate more patients. We can accommodate more exams, more procedures. ... We could probably look at 100 to 150 patients a day without any kinks in the process.”

Consolidating its offices also allows the hospital system to invest in more advanced, expensive equipment, like the MRI machine, he said.

Technicians, nurses and radiologists at the center also help patients whose doctors have ordered CT scans (computerized tomography), X-rays and other lab work.

Guinette Robinson, an MRI technologist who used to work at the Farmfield Avenue office, considers the new office a big upgrade. “I’m loving it. It’s very nice.”

Roper Hospital Diagnostics is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office will host an open house for the public from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 7.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.