Every day our team talks with people that want to add a digital X-ray system to their equipment stable, but have to do so at a certain price point. The good news for them is that there is more than one way to go digital, and each one accommodates a different budget.
Below, we'll share three digital X-ray options to help you begin building an idea of what might be the best fit for your facility's next solution.
In our experience working with X-ray buyers from a variety of needs and budgets, this option is often the most cost-effective. DR flat panel detectors work with any X-ray system, they eliminate cassettes, improve image quality, and acquire and render images in seconds.
DR detectors are also available in several styles:
Fixed Detectors: In this configuration, a detector is installed into the chest stand of the existing system. It can be an excellent option for chiropractic X-ray rooms or in combination with a second detector that stays in the table tray. A dual-detector setup like this eliminates the need to swap the detector between procedures.
Tethered Detectors: In this configuration, the detector is movable between the chest stand and the table. It communicates with the workstation through a single cable. This option is a good fit for low or mid-volume facilities where the need to move the detector is relatively minimal.
Wireless Detectors: These detectors are powered by a battery and communicate with the workstation sans cables. The detector is free to move between the chest stand and table, and even to be used with other X-ray equipment around a facility. Wireless is a good fit for mid to high-volume facilities or facilities that also have portable X-ray systems.
While the other equipment we'll discuss here offers more robust options to enhance workflow and meet even higher volume demands, the needs of most facilities can be met with systems at this price point.
Average Price Range: $50,000 - $85,000 (prices vary by manufacturer and system age)
In terms of features, patient volume management, and configuration, equipment at this price point is virtually identical to the previous one. Both of them are retrofitted with the same DR panels. The difference is that the X-ray system itself has never been installed and in use with patients. A used X-ray system that's been properly refurbished won't function any differently than a new system, but if the price is right and the equipment is comparable, new is nice. Depending on what's available on the used market when you begin shopping and what kind of warranty coverage you choose, there's a good chance your cost will overlap with prices in option one.
Average Price Range: $60,000 - $95,000 (prices vary by manufacturer)
On the other end of the spectrum is a factory-born digital radiography (DR) unit. These are, by far, the most expensive way to go digital. They offer big advantages over CR in terms of image processing times. There are no cassettes involved and the time between image acquisition and digital rendering on the workstation is a matter of seconds.
Image quality and acquisition time are comparable between factory DR systems and analog systems retrofitted with DR panels. The primary advantage a factory system holds over a retrofit is that many models feature automated movements that can further streamline the overall efficiency of an X-ray room in moving patients through as expeditiously as possible. This option is generally only cost-effective for facilities with a rather high patient volume.
Examples: Fuji Velocity, GE XR656 (pictured right), GE Definium 8000, Siemens Ysio
Average Price Range: $95,000 - $150,000 Used, $160,000 - $300,000 New
Whenever you're ready to pursue your next digital X-ray solution, you certainly won't be locked into any single option. Whether your needs and budget have you leaning toward new, used, or native digital systems, there is a solution that can take your X-ray capabilities to the next level affordably.
If you'd like to start the conversation today, you can contact our X-ray product specialists to talk the options over, or request a free on-site demo of a DR panel at your facility.
Tony Baggett is an X-Ray Product Manager at Block Imaging. Tony assists imaging centers, hospitals, and orthopedic centers in their purchases of x-ray equipment. When he’s not serving customers, Tony can be found hunting, fishing, and camping with his wife, son, and daughter.