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How to Buy Used CT Scanners

Buying used medical equipment can be an economic solution to your facility’s equipment needs. Although the financial benefits to purchasing used medical equipment may be clear-cut, there are plenty of factors that medical facilities must take into consideration before purchasing used medical equipment, especially with expensive devices such as used CT scanners. MedWOW.com, an online marketplace for buying and selling used medical equipment has written “A Professional Guide to Purchasing Used Medical Equipment” - a comprehensive eBook containing thousands of buying tips for over 200 of the most popular medical devices, including used CT scanners.
  1. A mid-range 16-slice system can adequately perform most routine clinical exams.
  2. Wide bore scanners, which are similar systems with larger gantry apertures, are appropriate for oncology exams, and are also useful for scanning bariatric patients.
  3. Systems with more and thinner slices in one rotation, can handle more complex exams and more varied patient populations. The incremental benefit actually decreases as the number of slices that can be acquired increases. The smallest slice width on a 4-slice scanner, for example, is the same as that on a 16-slice scanner.
  4. Most exams do not require the smallest slice width. For slices wider than 5 mm, there is no difference between 4-slice and 16-slice systems.
  5. Systems may also be different in the speed of image reconstruction. Acquiring more slices is not advantageous if patient throughput is held up by slow image reconstruction. There is no point in buying a very high specification computer that will rarely be utilized.
  6. Before buying a CT system, facilities must evaluate patient population, clinical needs, and desired throughput. Low-volume facilities, for example, will not benefit much from the more efficient use of the x-ray tube on a 16-slice scanner to justify its replacement cost.
  7. Buyers should consider several design features before purchasing a CT scanner. The basic clinical applications are quite similar for units from various manufacturers. The differences between top-of-the-line units and less sophisticated ones generally involve cycle time, spatial resolution, data-storage features, and helical scanning protocols.
  8. Buyers are encouraged to examine any CT scanner model they are considering, while it is operating.
  9. Specially air-conditioned computer rooms are still required in some cases, although distributed processing in the construction of CT scanners has eliminated the need for them.
  10. The reliability of the scanner system can be harmed if adequate air-conditioning for the computer equipment is not provided. This ultimately shortens its useful life. The existing hospital air-conditioning system cannot be used in most cases since its operation is connected to outdoor weather and since many times it is already operating close to capacity.
  11. The ability of the scanner to make artifact-free images often depends strongly on the electrical power energizing the instrument. Buyers should install surge suppressors and means for automatic disconnection if the power fails.
  12. Installation time varies among suppliers and may range from one week to two months. The most common installation period is two weeks.
  13. Adequate training is a must due to the complexity of CT scanners. The training usually consists of one or more visits to the site by an instructor provided by the supplier. These visits can last 3-4 days, but longer visits are often desirable, depending on the expertise and experience within the facility. Users should arrange for follow-up visits 3-6 months after installation.

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