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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.

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Seven Reasons to Shop MRI Machines Globally

Posted by Steve Rentz

Mar 15, 2017 9:10:00 AM

:: 3 minute read ::

MRI global internationalMaybe you've assumed that the supply level is the same everywhere. Maybe the thought of your equipment on a boat for several weeks is a touch unnerving. Or maybe, it's simply never occurred to you that a great deal on an MRI machine could be waiting on the other side of the planet. Whatever the reason, if you've never thought about looking outside your domestic market for your next MRI machine- you're missing out!

We can think of at least seven reasons why a global approach to sourcing and purchasing your MRI will open up better options and better deals for you and your facility. Some are more obvious than others, but they all increase your chances of coming into the very best fit for your clinical and budgetary needs.

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Supply/Selection

Simply put: when you're choosing from a whole world of MRI machines, there are more to choose from.  Certain areas of the world (the USA, for instance) are experiencing a shortfall in supply while other areas are not. 

Siemens MRI is #1 in Europe where they are made and heavily marketed. Toshiba is more popular in Asia for the same reason, and Esaote in Italy. Knowing where in the world to look and being open to bringing a system in from overseas can help you have more choices in your search and a stronger likelihood of securing the make and model you eventually decide on. An equipment provider with a global presence and strong awareness of the international market opens this selection for you.

Pricing

Just as widening your search through a provider with international scope gives you access to the best selection, so to does it offer you the chance to shop for the best price. Most equipment falls into one general price bracket or another, but browsing costs from offerings all over the globe increases your chances of buying on the lower end of whichever bracket fits your budget.

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Currency Exchange Rates

International buying allows you to make use of currency exchange rates to get some good deals on your equipment. The yen, for instance, is currently weak against the dollar. Coincidentally, there is some excellent, late-model equipment available from Japan. 

Speed

Yes, speed! Especially in the case of 1.5T or 3T MRI, magnets will nearly always be transported via air. Gone are the days of systems languishing on ships for weeks. Air transit takes just a couple of days and, often, the increased cost of air freight is offset by the lower price you’re able to buy for. Sellers marketing internationally know (or will soon find out) that if an MRI has to be flown it has to carry a lower price in order to be marketable.

Quality

Shopping globally can also give you access to more reliable standards of quality. Countries like Japan are known for being meticulous in their care for medical equipment. Many countries with government healthcare systems (Australia, Canada, France, etc.) mandate that equipment gets replaced after a period of time or reimbursements cease or are tapered down. This results in some really nice, not particularly old equipment coming out on the market every year.

Conversely, there are other places in the world who are not known for this (we won't name names). In the international market, you can benefit from the care taken in one area, while also benefiting from depressed prices in other areas not as well-known for their care.

Travel

Give yourself an excuse to travel abroad to perform your due diligence! Most reputable companies will host you and can ensure the process goes smoothly. And if you just happen to have some down time to visit ancient architecture or take in a scenic mountainside view, that doesn't necessarily constitute an ulterior motive... right?

If You Have Equipment for Sale

If your purchase is in tandem with the sale of an existing MRI machine, entering the international market will allow you to tap into a vast reservoir of demand from countries who might value older equipment much more than others. Not only does this create a cost offset for you, it also gives your outbound system a second useful life at another facility instead of finding its way to the scrap yard.

The Takeaway

Regardless of where your next MRI machine eventually comes from, it pays to work with a provider who can support you in an international equipment search. Your purchase stands to benefit from broader selection, more competitive pricing, quality access, and more places/chances to unload your existing equipment.

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MRI Buyer's Guide

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: MRI

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