When you were new to the C-Arm market (and perhaps you still are) undoubtedly one of the first C-Arm models you heard about was the OEC 9800. Given the system’s huge popularity and the size of OEC’s market share, this isn’t surprising. As you began to look into this model a little more, you probably began to realize that it comes in a few different flavors (metaphorically, of course; we strongly recommend that you do NOT taste a used c-arm), not the least of which is the 9800 Plus.
But “plus” what? We know that word stands for addition, but what exactly was added? Is this an auto-industry style ploy where a whole “new” product is created with a spoiler and some hubcaps? Or is this a standard 9800 C-Arm “plus” some really great features that will make a big difference in the way a hospital or clinic scans their patients?
We’ll let you make up your own mind on that, but to help you do so, we suggest you take a gander at what we’ve learned regarding the 9800 Plus.
GE made regular software updates and changes to their 9800 machines throughout the course of their lifetime. When they released the 9800 Plus they released a new revision level of software. However, this new software update is not exclusive to the 9800 Plus. Up until recently software release 29 was the highest level software that could be found on the OEC 9800 C-Arm. Release 29 is compatible with 9800s of all vintages.
DICOM is an incredibly useful feature that a majority of C-Arm owners use regularly. Unlike its predecessor, the 9800 Plus comes with this capability built into the monitor cart through an ethernet PCB board that can connect directly to your PACS system through an ethernet cable. Before the release of the Plus, 9800s required the additional hardware DICOM box accessory.
Increased Image Storage
Both the 9800 and the 9800 Plus offer 63-image onboard storage in their base-level General Surgery Platform (GSP) and 200-image storage for its Extended Surgery Platform (ESP) and cardiac and neurovascular packages. The 9800 Plus introduced higher storage options of 400 images for ESP packages and above. It is worth noting though that most systems with DICOM have access to a PACS network where images can be stored. Unless a c-arm is being used constantly at massive volume, there is really no need to store images onboard that could be sent for network storage, especially at quantities in the hundreds.
As I said before, our intent is only to help inform your purchasing decision, but we feel that the OEC 9800 Plus is largely a rebranding of the 9800. When it was initially released there were some upsides to the model, but none of them are inaccessible to the 9800 owner. Chances are if you had your 9800 under service contract you probably received many of the upgrades already. Some of the software upgrades were even mandatory during the 2007 FDA shutdown. There will be scenarios where the purchase of a 9800 Plus will make sense, after all, it can do everything a 9800 can “Plus” a bit more, and there are a good number of them on the second-hand market for reasonable prices, but don’t let yourself be misled: the 9800 Plus is NOT a full-on overhaul.