Medical Imaging Equipment Blog

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.

Buying a CT Scanner: 5 Tips for the Best Deal

Buying a CT scanner is a big step for your practice or institution. With prices ranging from $100,000 up to over $1,000,000, it’s a significant investment and it makes sense to gather all the information you can before deciding what to buy, who to buy it from, whether you need new or refurbished equipment and how much to set aside in your budget for the purchase.  It’s important to note that the reimbursement rates are the same for new and refurbished CT scanners.

These steps will help you to make an informed decision based on reliable information, and get the most suitable CT scanner for your facility’s needs:

Step 1: Assess Your Workflow

When you buy a CT scanner, it’s essential to choose equipment that can handle your patient workflow. While everyone would love to have the most advanced technology available, it doesn’t always make financial sense to buy more than you need, unless you’re anticipating a high level of growth in the near future.

Conduct an assessment of your patient load and determine the number of CT studies needed in any given week. This will enable you to calculate whether the throughput of your preferred device is adequate for the demand.

Step 2: Evaluate Clinical Exam Needs

Consult your patient records and compile a spreadsheet of the clinical needs for most of the CT studies you order. From a 16-slice scanner up to a sophisticated 64-slice machine, your choice depends on what you need it to do. These systems also offer different speeds of image reconstruction, so it’s essential that you buy a CT scanner that will optimize your patient workflow.

Step 3: Compare Model Capabilities

Identify two or three CT scanner models that fit your requirements and map out a detailed comparison of their various features. This will help you to avoid finding out after the fact that a feature that you need is not part of your new scanner’s capability.

It’s important to compare issues such as:

  • Systems cycle time
  • Spatial resolution
  • The system’s software options and applications
  • Helical scanning protocols
  • Safety measures specific to your patient profile
  • Whether the models you’re considering comply with XR-29 CT Smart Dose standards.

Step 4: Consider the Service Aspect

When you purchase high-value equipment like a CT scanner, your selection of vendor is as important as your choice of machinery. Don’t overlook comparing the quality of service that the company provides with the scanner, such as:

  • Warranty and extended service plan availability
  • System component coverage and exclusions from coverage
  • Up-time guarantee
  • Guaranteed on-site response timesIt’s always a good idea to get references from existing clients on your chosen vendor’s ability to perform service and maintenance on your medical imaging equipment.

Step 5: Calculate the Costs

The cost to buy a CT scanner that does the job starts with the purchase or lease price, but it doesn’t end there. It’s also necessary to take into account site-planning for the location of the equipment, the design and construction needed to prepare a suitable exam facility, air conditioning and power requirements. Remember that reimbursement rates are the same for studies performed by new and refurbished CT scanners.

The system’s lifespan and ability to image quality can be affected heavily by the availability of a stable electrical supply, so you may need to install surge suppressors and backup generators to protect the equipment from power failures and fluctuations. 

All these factors add to the final cost to buy a CT scanner. Then, of course, there’s the revenue-generation aspect of offering the service, and whether your typical patient load makes it a practical acquisition. 

Once you compare the results of your research, you’ll be able to determine how buying a scanner will contribute to service to your patients and the profitability of your practice.

How Much Do Refurbished MRI Machines Cost?

The ongoing competition between the demand for quality healthcare and the continually escalating cost of providing it has hospitals and medical clinics looking for creative ways to save money. One of the ways to do this is to reduce expenditure on capital equipment such as medical imaging equipment.

Equipment Costs

A report by the Healthcare Financial Management association (HFM) shows that the amount hospitals across the country spent on fixed and movable equipment increased from $12.3 billion in 2001 to $15.9 billion in 2007.  At approximately half of total capital assets purchased, the ratio of equipment to land and buildings is almost 1:1.

Refurbishing Alternative

The days of refurbished equipment being a negative concept are over. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is popular and used machinery is widely available. By purchasing refurbished equipment, hospitals and medical clinics can stretch their dollars significantly. The secret lies in selecting the right machine for your purposes.

Choosing Magnet Strength

Determine the magnet strength that best suits your facility. 3T magnets have one of the the higher magnet strengths commonly used in diagnostic imaging, and are well-suited to studies involving minute detail, such as sophisticated brain imaging. The 1.5T systems are well-suited to the majority of scanning requirements, and often offer the most bang for the buck in image quality and functionality. The 1.0T systems were mostly manufactured before 2002, typically use more cryogens and don’t have the same image quality as higher tesla magnets. They remain an economical choice for smaller clinics that don’t require advanced functionality.

A magnet strength of below 1.0T is typically found on open or extremity systems. They produce the lowest image clarity but are convenient for extremities, as well as selective use in patients who are obese or claustrophobic.

Mobile MRI

Mobile MRI scanners are technologically identical to the scanners used at a fixed site. To date, there is no evidence that they are in any way inferior to fixed scanners. The only physical difference is that these systems are installed in mobile trailers. The trailers are equipped with magnetic shielding, chillers, and other requirements for proper MRI operation, and they can be a convenient choice for clinics and smaller hospitals.  Refurbished MRI equipment is well-suited to this type of application.

Installation, Warranty, Extended Service Agreement

Installing a new MRI scanner may require deinstallation and removal of the existing equipment, which could cost you around $20,000 in total. Then, budget for preparation of the site and delivery and installation of the new equipment, along with the cabling and tuning required. Each of these aspects costs money, and you will need to factor the costs into the price of your new MRI. The average cost of installing a typical 1.5T system ranges between $50,000 and $80,000 excluding the removal and transportation.

Consider the operating costs of your refurbished MRI scanner too. If you purchase an extended service agreement, the cost of a pre-determined quantity of helium is included. If you exceed this amount, you will incur additional costs, but without a service agreement you could experience difficulty maintaining the levels you need. A complete cryogen fill can cost up to $60,000 for a one-time replenishment.

Benefits of Refurbished MRI

With the high cost of purchasing MRI equipment, medical facilities that are prepared to consider refurbished units are looking at achieving hefty savings.