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Before You Buy a CT Scanner in Africa...

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So, you're thinking about adding a CT to your imaging facility in Africa but you just don’t know where to start? It’s easy to rush out and buy a CT from the first company that offers the right price, but instead, we suggest you spend some extra time on a few key considerations.

In our experience working with customers in Africa, we've identified that, when concerns arise, they arise most frequently in the following areas. Take note as you prepare to make this important decision. 

Which CT is Best?

Many CTs arriving in Africa are the only CT in the area and the first CT in the area. Because of this, there is no frame of reference for how many patients you may see in a day or what types of cases you will study. Asking these questions and discussing options that meet your needs is essential. There is no need to buy a CT that is highly sophisticated but will only be used for the simplest of studies. You don't want to spend money for features that you will not use.

Service IS a Factor

As you are deciding which CT to purchase, make sure you consider ongoing equipment service. All CTs will eventually have parts that go bad and need to be replaced, so a big piece of your decision should be ongoing service. Consider these questions:

  • Are there qualified engineers in your area to service the CT you’re selecting? Take time to explore your area and know which manufacturer is your best option. 
  • How much will ongoing service cost? Ask lots of questions, explore service options, and be sure you know how much it costs to replace an X-ray tube(one of the most expensive components) on the models you are considering.

Importing and Transporting your CT

After you purchase your CT, you will likely be responsible to import the CT into your country. To avoid stress and unforeseen costs, research your country’s importation policies and procedures. If you are not compliant with these guidelines, your CT could sit in a warehouse for months while you sort through importation paperwork.

Transportation of your CT from its port of entry to your facility will likely be your responsibility as well. Find quality riggers who understand the delicate nature of CT and who have experience moving CTs. Vetting your transportation and rigging company is always time well spent.

Installation and Site Preparation can NOT be Overlooked

It’s easy to overlook the costs of preparing your site for installation. As you discuss options, make sure you are clear on what will be required and account for those costs. Your CT vendor should be able to give you information on what you need to do to prepare your room for installation.

Once you purchase, your vendor should provide a room drawing. Follow this closely. As you talk about site preparation, power requirements are essential to understand. Does your site have clean 3-phase power that rarely goes out? CTs are sophisticated machines and can be damaged by powering on and off at irregular intervals. If you don’t have clean power, a 24-hour generator may be a better option. Make sure this point is covered in the conversations you have with your contractor(s).

Purchasing, installing, and maintaining a CT scanner comes with a set of unique considerations regardless of where the project is done. If you have questions related to any of these topics, we're ready to help. Contact us directly, or learn more with any of our free CT scanner resources.

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