If you specialize in hands and wrists or feet and ankles, a mini C-arm is likely to be a prominent piece of your imaging equipment stable. Given this demand, manufacturers have stepped up to meet it with a variety of offerings. Among the leading systems in this niche are the OEC 6800 and the Hologic Insight II.
Depending on what your needs and priorities are, either of these models could be a good fit for your practice. To help you make that decision, we've compared the strengths of the 6800 and the Insight II below.
What's the Same?
Dual-mode image intensifiers: Both systems have image intensifiers with 4" or 6" fields of view.
Touchscreen technology: Both interfaces are navigable through touchscreens.
Onboard DICOM: Both systems have built-in DICOM for image transfer to PACS.
Footprint: These systems share a virtually identical, compact footprint.
Imaging quality: Both systems feature 1k x 1k x 16-bit image processing.
Pricing: A refurbished OEC 6800 with a service plan currently averages $39,500 - $46,000. A refurbished Hologic Insight II with a service plan currently averages $42,000 - $46,000.
Manufacture years: OEC ceased manufacturing mini C-arms in 2006. As of right now, the 6800 is their most recent offering. The Insight line continues to be manufactured.
Monitors: The 6800 has dual 16" CRT monitors. The Insight II has a single 21" LCD monitor.
Media formats: The 6800 has a 3-1/2" floppy disk drive. The Insight II features options for CD and USB.
Where the OEC 6800 Wins
Familiarity: The OEC 6800 is, in many respects, a smaller version of the OEC 9800. Most noteworthy among the similarities is the best-selling status of both systems. Any user familiar with the ubiquitous 9800 will be able to adapt easily to using a 6800.
Full size static images: Because of its dual-monitor configuration, the 6800 lets you view a full-size static image while your live image is displayed on the other monitor. Static and live images can be seen side-by-side on the Insight in collage mode, but at the expense of viewing size.
Cost savings: Pricing on the 6800 has come down in recent years. In addition, the market share enjoyed by the system means there are are lots and lots of parts available on the secondary market at significantly lower cost. There are also lots and lots of field service personnel that have training and experience with the 6800.
Where the Hologic Insight II Wins
OEM Support: Because the Insight II is still a current product line, it is still supported by the manufacturer. If OEM support is a priority for you, this is a clear advantage.
Monitor Flexibility: The Insight's monitor has a boom arm that extends and rotates for ease of positioning. The monitor also folds down to clear it from line of sight during movement from room-to-room.
Touchscreen Response: With its LCD monitor and more recent design, the touchscreen response on an Insight II is a little smoother and quicker than on a 6800. Think of the response on your tablet or smartphone versus the response on the typical bank ATM of a few years ago.
Overall Newness: This is difficult to quantify in hard numbers, but there is some general wear and tear that you're more likely to find on an older system than a newer one. Be careful though- system age is just one way to judge the condition of a C-arm.
In the long run, your facility could be served very well by either of these systems. The 6800 and the Insight II are both proven, reliable systems that, at different times, have been market leaders among mini C-arms. That said, if reducing costs is among your primary concerns, the OEC 6800 is the better choice. Also, if you or your team have used other OEC products, the 6800 is a great pick for eliminating the learning curve. On the other hand, if newer technology is driving your decision, consider the Insight II.