>> Buy & Sell Now

Contact Us

 Your Guide to Medical Imaging Equipment

Enjoy these tips, tricks and insights that answer 100's of questions we've received from radiology and imaging professionals that need help buying, selling, servicing and maintaining their medical imaging equipment: MRI, CT, C-Arm, Digital X-ray, PET/CT and Women's Health. We extend the life of imaging equipment so that healthcare providers worldwide can extend the lives of patients. This is why we answer your imaging equipment questions.

~ Block Imaging Team

Hitachi Airis Elite vs. GE Ovation: Open MRI Scanners Compared

Posted by Steve Rentz

Oct 19, 2017 4:15:00 PM

:: 2 minute read ::

Airis Elite vs Ovation.jpgTechnology marches on but, with their low maintenance costs, high reliability, and proven track records across a wide install base, the Hitachi Airis Elite and the GE Ovation continue to enjoy a strong worldwide market.

But, if that's a market you find yourself in right now, you might be wondering how best to make a decision between the two.

The comparison below brings some clarity to the open MRI selection process with a side-by-side feature comparison of the Hitachi Airis Elite and the GE Ovation open MRI scanners.

Click here to browse open MRI inventory.

What's the same?

The Airis Elite and the Ovation have a lot in common in terms of the benefits they offer. Like other open MRI models, they have a lower cost of operation and service than standard 1.5T MRI scanners. They have permanent magnets, which means no cryogens. Their open design accommodates larger patients as well as patients who suffer from claustrophobia in a closed MRI bore. They also use phased array coils, which give them advantages in scan time, signal, and coverage over scanners using single-channel coils.

On the other hand, they both share some of the same drawbacks. Like other open MRI models, they have a lower magnetic field, resulting in a lower signal to noise ratio, which results in longer scans. Part of this is compensated for with phased array coils, but scans are still not likely to be as fast as scans performed on many standard 1.5T systems. 

The permanent magnets used in both of these systems also make them significantly heavier than standard scanners. Depending on the construction of the intended facility, it may be necessary to reinforce or provide additional support.

Open MRI System Weight Comparison

A final element of similarity that's well worth mentioning is pricing. Both models occupy the same relative price bracket between $120,000 and $140,000.

Advantage: Hitachi Airis Elite


I don't hesitate to say that the Airis Elite is one of the most worry-free systems sold. In general, the model is very low-maintenance, so much so that many owners choose time and materials service coverage over more comprehensive plans.

Gradient power

The gradients of the Airis Elite are higher-powered with a slew rate of 55, versus 25-46 for the Ovation.

Parts availability (worldwide)

While parts for the Ovation are widely available in the US, the Airis trumps it worldwide due to a larger overall install base.

Younger equipment

In general, Airis Elite systems have more recent dates of manufacture than Ovations, which were brought to market a few years prior.


At approximately 34,000 pounds, the Airis Elite is about 10,000 pounds lighter than the Ovation.

Hitachi Airis Elite vs. Hitachi Airis II

Advantage:GE Ovation

Magnet strength

The Ovation edges out the Airis Elite slightly in magnet strength at .35T versus .3T. Along with the Siemens Magnetom C, the Ovation features one of the highest field strengths on the market for a permanent magnet- second only to Hitachi's Aperto, whose magnet weighs in at .4T.

Parts Availability (USA)

As with most GE Healthcare systems, if you operate in the USA, parts and independent service options for the Ovation are readily available.

The Takeaway

Depending on your most important needs and the location of your facility, either one of these systems could be a good fit for serving your patients. In some cases, your final decision is just as likely to come down to the availability of parts and service as clinical functionality or pricing.

Request MRI Machine Prices

Written by Steve Rentz

author of blog post

Steve Rentz is the Product Manager for MRI Scanners at Block Imaging. He is also a husband, father of 3, triathlete, woodworker, and barbecue master. Steve's goal is to earn each customer's trust and business by specifically addressing the needs of their unique project

Topics: Buying Imaging Equipment, MRI

Post a Comment Here

Search this site

Get medical imaging equipment insights delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe below.

Resources, videos, and tools to learn more about your project
Meet the Block Imaging Team
See Imaging Equipment Prices

Questions? Ideas? Imaging project you'd like to discuss? Let us know!