As you enter the market to find your next digital mammography system, you're bound to come across a variety of values at a wide range of price points. We believe that purchasing a previously-owned Hologic Selenia can be one of the best mammography equipment values if the seller is reputable and the buyer is well-informed.
To help those of you who may be looking for a Selenia know what to look for and what to expect, we'll share four tips that we've seen buyers apply for better equipment and smoother projects.
Buying Turnkey Is Best
Generally speaking, your best value on a Selenia will come in a "turnkey” solution from the seller. This means that you will buy a system delivered and installed by the seller which, at minimum, comes with a first scan guarantee (guaranteed passing of physicist testing). In this scenario, the risk is carried by the seller until you receive a complete, fully functional system. Depending on the seller's capabilities and offerings, you may be able to reduce your risk even further by adding parts and service coverage to your purchase.
If you are purchasing a system from overseas or are working with a seller who does not have the engineering capability to deliver and install the system, more due diligence will be required. Consider asking the seller to stage the system so an engineer can thoroughly inspect the system for completeness and functionality prior to shipping. If staging isn't an option, a less reliable, but still informative, request is for the most recent daily/weekly QA results, a functional video, and pictures of the system, serial tags, accessories, etc. from when the system was still installed at its last home. Hopefully, a thorough report was completed by the deinstallation engineer prior to removal. For your reference, click here to see a list of the pictures we generally request from a seller when we bring Selenia systems into our inventory.
Detector Age Is More Important Than System Age
Even more important than the age of the system itself is the age of the detector currently installed on it. 70-90% of a digital mammo system’s value rests on the detector. The serial tag(s) are located on the bottom side of the detector and will indicate the detector’s date of manufacture. While this isn't a definitive indicator of remaining detector life, there is certainly a correlation. Newer detectors typically have more scans left in them. Our engineers and partners in the field have observed that used detectors from 2010 or after generally last between 5-9 years, depending on the patient volume at the facilities they serve.
Know the Market
Expect to pay more when more value is provided by the seller. Often, value comes in the form of assuming more risk over the course of the project. As they say, "the devil is in the details,” so make sure you and your seller have a clear, mutual understanding of who will be doing what, by when.
If you were purchasing a Hologic Selenia as is (assuming all risk and providing all of your own logistics) you could expect to pay between $25,000 (2010) and $85,000 (2017) for the equipment, depending on the age of the detector. Logistics costs can vary, depending on what is needed (inspection, de-installation, crating, transport, installation), but a solid ballpark figure for budgeting purposes is $15,000-$20,000. This puts the cost of buying a Selenia and getting it up and running yourself somewhere between $40,000 and $105,000. A seller offering a turnkey package can deliver all the same services, while shouldering the risk along the way, for a price somewhere in the top half of that range. In Block Imaging's case, the turnkey package includes refurbishment and a one-year warranty.
Know Who Will Manage the Project
As previously mentioned, an ideal seller for your Selenia will deliver and install the system, and at least provide a guarantee that the system will pass physicist’s testing. A seller who is able to provide this kind of turnkey package will add great value and take many headaches off your plate. If there's a problem with the system before the physicist approves it, the responsibility lies with the seller to make it right.
If the seller will not be delivering and installing the system, you will need to consider the following items:
INSPECTION: If possible, have the system inspected prior to purchase. This verifies functionality and creates a mutual awareness of system condition.
DELIVERY: For intracontinental shipments crating is not typically required. We recommend shipping via air ride-equipped van line as a “softer” way to transport your unit.
Internationally shipped systems need to be crated and, if shipped by ocean, vapor bagged. After crating, the unit shuold be transported via a freight forwarder. Working with a reliable freight forwarder will be helpful in navigating the ins-and-outs of shipping. You will still be responsible for importation.
ROOM READINESS: Getting your hands on a site planning guide will provide guidance on room size, power requirements, and HVAC requirements for the room your Selenia will live in.
INSTALLATION: Finally, find a knowledgeable, Hologic-trained, engineer to install the system. If possible, try to work with the same engineer who inspected the unit.
When it comes to outfitting your imaging facility with reliable, high-quality mammography equipment, a Hologic Selenia is an excellent choice. Moreover, with the proper diligence and a reputable seller as your partner, it can be a fantastic value. We won't tell you there's no potential to spend fewer dollars by doing things differently than we describe them above, but the returns on your investment in these steps are lower risk, ongoing support, and, ultimately, greater peace of mind.
If you're ready to begin a conversation about a Hologic Selenia or any other digital mammography solution, our team is ready to help. Use the button below to tell about your project and get a quote.