How to Choose Between OEC and Philips C-Arms

When you’re choosing imaging equipment such as C-Arm machines for your medical facility or practice, it’s natural to want the best that money can buy. There are so many different models available, though, that it’s not always easy to know what to select. It often comes down to budget, and that’s where refurbished systems can really help affordability.

Here are some criteria that might help you make the choice between an OEC and a Philips C-Arm machine.

Generator Power

One of the fundamental basics of choosing a C-Arm or any other imaging equipment is to select machinery that has enough generator power for your purposes. The OEC C-Arms differ from the Philips products in some power aspects, and not so much in others. The generator strength of the OEC 9800 is 15 kW, for example, which penetrates more deeply than the Philips BV Pulsera with its 7.5 kW. If you need a powerful C-Arm to perform deeper imaging that can really enhance procedures such as heart surgery, you might prefer the OEC. If your needs are limited to more surface imaging requirements, then the Philips will likely do the trick.


There’s little to choose from between OEC and Philips C-Arms in terms of functionality. Both manufacturers supply equipment models that do what they are intended to do, including:

  • Providing quality images for your needs
  • Strong software capabilities
  • Tableside physician controls
  • Zoom and roam features
  • Real-time edge enhancement
  • Image annotation options
  • Laser localizer
  • Infra-red remote operation

Some of the newer models from both manufacturers come with touchscreens, while others still rely on keyboard functionality to input information.  It’s important to determine which functions are vital for your purposes, and then evaluate the individual models to see which fits your requirements.


The cost is often one of the deciding factors when it comes to choosing a C-Arm. C-Arms such as the OEC 9900 typically cost more than Philips models, so you can generally purchase a newer machine with more features by buying a Philips. However, if it’s a workhorse with staying power you want and you aren’t likely to use the more exotic options, then an OEC is a quality purchase with longevity in its favor.

Purchase prices of refurbished C-Arms range from $40k for the OEC 9600 to $100k for an OEC 9900, while Philips Pulsera sells at between $40k and $70k depending on the specifications.


OEC products have a huge market share, which makes it easier and cheaper to conduct servicing and repair of their C-Arm equipment. Parts are in plentiful supply, and there are several independent service companies qualified to do the work. With a Philips C-Arm, however, replacement parts and software are often more expensive because they are in less supply.  If you’re buying a newer machine this may not be an issue, but if service costs are part of the equation then it’s a factor you should consider.


Overall, the OEC seems to have more of a market following than the Philips, having maintained a market share of more than 70% for the past two decades. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a Philips that’s just right for your needs, so choosing a C-Arm isn’t going to be easy. If you want to purchase the right refurbished imaging equipment for your purposes, it’s best to get professional advice before you proceed.