The OEC 9800 is, without a doubt, the most popular C-arm of all time. It's a workhorse, parts and service are easy to find, and doctors and techs everywhere have a great deal of familiarity with using it. However, C-arm technology has changed quite a bit since the 9800's inception, leaving some users wishing they could keep what they love about their 9800 while taking advantage of some the advancements of the last few years- namely flat panel detectors.
For those users wishing their OEC 9800 had a flat panel digital detector, it looks like your moment has arrived! Upgrades for the 9800 are fresh out of FDA 510 k approval and we have the scoop on everything you need to know about them. Keep reading to find out the pros, cons, and costs of upgrading your OEC 9800 with a flat panel detector.
Pros of OEC 9800 Flat Panel Detector Upgrades
Identical workflow: The new flat panel upgrade uses the native OEC software. This means your techs won’t have to change a thing. Workflow and navigation of the machine will stay the same.
Increased image size for 9" systems: Currently, the upgrade features a 9" x 9" panel. Because you are moving from a round image to a square, you get about 30% more viewing area than a traditional image intensifier.
Increased image contrast/decreased image noise: Flat panel upgrades nearly double image contrast. They also eliminate almost all image noise.
CE marked: In addition to FDA 510 k approval, the upgrade has also been CE marked for use in Europe.
Cons of OEC 9800 Flat Panel Detector Upgrades
Still uses a 1k camera: This first iteration of the flat panel upgrade still uses the 1k camera, so we’re not seeing much increase in the way of actual spatial/line resolution. A future version, still under development, is slated to move the resolution up to almost 4k.
No 12" option: 9" x 9" is the only detector size that comes with the current version of the upgrade.
Cost of OEC 9800 Flat Panel Detector Upgrades
When these upgrades come to market, they are expected to be available for under $50,000. The Elite FD, OEC's current flat panel model, costs $150,000 or more new. If you own a 9800 that's in good condition, the upgrade could be a far more cost-effective way to improve your C-arm technology.
For now, flat panel upgrades for the OEC 9800 have their limitations, but offer substantial performance improvements that make them well worth considering. What's more, they're likely to be available at price points that make them more manageable than a full system replacement. With no firm time line on when to expect the next generation of upgrades, now could be the perfect time to start a conversation about stepping into up-and-coming 9" x 9" C-arm detectors.
Written by Chris Sharrock
Chris Sharrock is the Fluoroscopy Product Manager at Block Imaging. Sometimes referred to as the “The C-Arm Guy”, Chris has a passion for music, fitness and genuinely enjoys helping others make decisions about c-arms and fluoroscopy equipment. You can download Chris’ very popular “C-Arm Buyer’s Guide” or connect with him here.