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OEM Imaging Equipment vs. Secondary Dealer Equipment

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With twenty years in the refurbished equipment market, we've heard the question thousands of times- something along the lines of, "Will the quality I get from a secondary dealer be as high as the quality I get from an OEM?" We know that when buyers ask this, they aren't just asking about the quality of the equipment, they're asking about installation, ongoing service, uptime, etc. They're asking about the overall value of choosing a provider like Block Imaging over the "household names" of the imaging field.

To answer those questions, we'll share with you below what we've shared with equipment seekers all over the world: six areas where choosing medical imaging equipment from a secondary dealer can be a better value than choosing equipment from an OEM.


Buying a refurbished imaging system will cost you less than buying a brand-new one. This is the most obvious value driver a secondary dealer can offer an imaging buyer. Like driving a new car off the lot, there is immediate depreciation on a system as soon as it is installed. Is that depreciation worth the marketing image of being a "cutting edge" facility? On top of the purchase cost, refurbished systems offer ongoing cost savings in service and replacement parts too.

Technology Advancements

Advancements in medical imaging technology are, of course, important. Radiation dose reduction, improved image quality, reduced scan times- all of these things provide tangible benefits for patient and practitioner alike. But not all advancements are equally beneficial. Sometimes new generations/iterations of equipment are brought onto the primary market with few and/or subtle improvements over the equipment of just a few years prior.

Understanding the returns that you'll receive from a technology advancement is key. For example: Will a 5-decibal reduction in MRI noise increase your throughput or volumes? Will it be a panacea for nervous or claustrophobic patients? Or is the money better spent on additional marketing for your services?

Quality Refurbishment

It's true that not all refurbishment providers or refurbishment processes are created equal. With some research, a few emails, or a phone call or two, reputable and reliable providers will come to the fore. These providers will have no qualms about sharing their processes with you, step by step. And if a secondary refurbishment has the same standards and processes as the OEM, is it different?


Whether you're purchasing from an OEM or a secondary dealer, the quality of your system across its lifetime is going to be highly dependent on the service it receives. Service understanding and quality grow as familiarity with a system grows. With the exception of the very latest generation of an OEM's equipment, service engineers from independent providers have had all the same time to build their knowledge on the most commonly installed systems. Many of these engineers received their initial training from an OEM on these same models before going independent.

Replacement Parts

As more systems are taken out of service (whether due to poor service, poor care, or the traditional upgrade cycle) more replacement parts become available from multiple sources. A secondary dealer with in-house parts inventory and a strong parts network can get you the parts you need every bit as readily as an OEM can. Be sure to make parts availability a part of your research as you consider rsecondary equipment dealers.

Initial Bugs

Most system issues come during the first days or weeks following installation. So, regardless of whether you bring a system to your facility from a refurbishment center in Michigan or overseas on a freight ship, the installation and warranty are the pivot point, and either provider is obligated to keep the system up and running for the duration.

The Takeaway

Ultimately, having a piece of brand-new, cutting-edge medical imaging equipment is never a bad thing. Accepting a poor value proposition to get it- that's an entirely different story. Every facility considering a major piece of capital equipment will need to weigh their own circumstances, but in many cases, the cost savings and comparable quality of choosing refurbished systems from a well-vetted secondary dealer make it an extremely valuable option.

If you're on the market for imaging equipment from any modality or manufacturer, our team is ready to help with answers about available systems, service, parts, or quotes for all of the above! Use the button below to tell us what you're looking for.

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