When you begin budgeting for a major equipment project, don't make the classic mistake of forgetting about ongoing service. A good plan for equipment upkeep is every bit as important to ROI as any bell and/or whistle feature you might be considering. As the title of this article suggests, we'll be focusing on service budgets for open MRI, comparing costs with an independent provider like Block Imaging to costs for OEM service. Before we get into the numbers, though, we'll walk you through the factors that service providers look at when they determine pricing. Being aware of these will help you manage your expectations and streamline the service shopping process.
What Affects Open MRI Service Pricing?
The system's age: Generally, older MRI systems are cheaper to service. Parts availability goes up as units are retired or resold, as does the number of field engineers who have had the chance to work on them and build experience.
Parts: Replacing parts is an eventuality for every piece of imaging equipment (coils, coldheads, RF amps, etc.). The more difficult it is to find a part, the more it's likely to cost. If your system has expensive parts that only the OEM has, the provider who's about to quote you will take that into consideration for the final number.
Open vs. closed: Open MRI systems use permanent magnets and do not require cryogens. This makes them intrinsically cheaper to service than closed MRI systems, which require cooling with liquid helium, a consumable coolant that requires periodic refills.
Make & model: Some systems are simpler to maintain than others. Some manufacturers have larger install bases in certain areas, which increases the availability of parts and qualified engineers. These types of considerations can cause certain makes and models to be more expensive to service.
Multiple systems & multiple years: Most providers will be flexible on the service cost of each system if you cover multiple systems with them. If you can get MRI service through the same provider that covers your mammo or your CT, this is a slam dunk propositions. In the same way, adding more years to a service contract can lower your annual cost.
What Are the Numbers?
With the cost drivers above in mind, here is an idea of what you can expect to pay for MRI service coverage. Please note that these numbers reflect average costs for full service coverage. If your facility uses an MRI scanner that's not in the chart below, contact us anyway. We can offer service on other makes and models as well.
|Average Block Imaging Cost/Year||Average OEM Cost/Year|
|GE OpenSpeed .7T||$65,000||$79,000|
|GE Ovation .35T||$55,000||$67,000|
|GE Profile .2T||$45,000||$55,000|
|Hitachi Airis II||$45,500||$55,500|
|Hitachi Airis Elite||$63,500||$79,250|
|Philips Panorama 1.0T||$88,500||$108,000|
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