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How to Find Late-Model or Rare MRI Scanners

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Looking for a GE 430S? Or perhaps you’re in the market for a high-end, all-the-software-options-installed 3.0T? Or maybe a Hitachi Oasis would fit the bill?

In any case, new/rare systems like these are going to be difficult to find on the secondary market.  But, while they are rare, there are a few things you should know as you begin your search that will help to improve your chances of acquiring your dream magnet (and typically at a great price!)


Money Talks

When customers call me to discuss their late-model or niche-y magnet desires, one of the first questions I ask is how prepared they are to put down a deposit. As with many things, money talks – and that could not be truer than it is with rare MRI scanners. If you’re hunting for systems that will cost $800K+, you should be prepared to put down a 20% deposit ($160K) so that the company you’re working with can quickly put your name on the system when it appears. As these systems disappear quickly, speed of play is essential for a serious buyer.

The More Time, The Better!

The more lead time you provide for the company you’re working with, the better chances of success you will have. Giving up to a 12-month notice is not unheard of and is a great way for used equipment suppliers to have plenty of time to source a system.


Third-party service options for late-model and/or rare systems are usually very limited due to low availability of parts outside of the OEM's inventory. It is also often difficult to find non-OEM field engineers to provide service even if you happen to find parts.

This is important to consider because, while you may be purchasing your system on the secondary market, thereby reducing upfront purchasing costs, there may be no options for parts or service outside of the OEM, which will leave your ongoing costs significantly higher. Be sure to weigh both your upfront budget and your ongoing maintenance budget accordingly early on in the project.

As a guide, here is a brief list of some of the most requested rare systems on the secondary market:

GE Siemens Philips Hitachi Toshiba Esaote ONI
450W Espree Ingenia Oasis Vantage Titan O-Scan 1.5T MSK Extreme
750W Verio Panorama 1.0T     S-Scan  

The Takeaway

If the system you REALLY want appears on this list, cost, service opportunities, and plain, old-fashioned competition among buyers could all keep you waiting to upgrade for quite a while. In this scenario, we can recommend one of the following courses of action:

1. Follow the tips above and keep your ear to the ground for availability. A few periodic emails to reputable dealers can go a long way.

2. Check our short list of substitutions. There are excellent systems that can hold your facility over until market conditions bring your ideal scanner into wider availability.

MRI Buyer's Guide