You Wish To Buy a Used Scanner – 5 Fundamental Tips
Estimated reading time: 3 min
You find yourself in the position where you want to buy a used scanner. Maybe it is a CT or an MRI or some other large and expensive piece of equipment. Then the question arises WHAT specific system do you choose to buy? One thing for sure, there are a lot of different imaging systems.
Let us be honest buying a used scanner is more complicated than choosing something new and shiny from a catalogue. Fear not, in this blog, we give you five bulletproof points that will help you narrow down which system to buy. And from whom. I wonder if you agree with me on these points? Your feedback is always appreciated.
1 – The Need
First, you need to know what you are searching for. Do you need a scanner able to scan a lot of patients daily? Is there a demand for specialized scans, like cardiac exams? There is no need to pay for the capability to perform cardiac exams if this is not what your clients need. Also, consider what type of device your competition has? If, for instance, the competition all have 64-slice systems, you do not want to show up with a 16-slice. Do not bring a knife to a gunfight; do 64 or higher – let the arms race begin. 😉
These are all questions you need to answer before you go looking for the right scanner. It is easy to get caught up in the possibilities, but if you do not need an expensive feature, try to avoid it. More extras often mean more pieces that need maintenance and sometimes repaired. The unnecessary extras add to the total price of your chosen device.
2 – The Cost
When you decide what to buy, the price of the system is an imperative factor. My advice to you is to think big. Not in the sense that you only spend money on the equipment. Big thinking means taking into consideration every piece of the price puzzle.
You have to factor in the site requirements and the refurbishing requirements. What size of tube you need and when will you have to replace it? I know it is delicate, but try always consider the lifetime investment. A favourable price often hides an unpleasant truth down the road.
Those numbers get added to the costs of the equipment hardware. And there is more you need to take into consideration.
3 – The Service
I can not underline this enough: You should NEVER buy a system without the possibility of support by local, third-party service providers. Generally, this means that the used scanner you buy is from any of “the big 5” original equipment manufacturers. In alphabetical order, they are GE, Hitachi, Philips, Siemens and Toshiba/Canon.
Having local service providers reduces the downtime if a system needs repair and service and saves you money in the long run. You do not want a system if it makes you dependent on over-priced OEM service.
Sadly there is a little devil-in-the-detail here. It is increasingly difficult to find a make and model not locked by an OEM service key. You must make sure that your servicer confirms that they can arrange for a service key. It does not come cheap, but it’s all a part of the price puzzle.
4 – The Inspection
It is all-important to inspect the used scanner that catches your eye. If possible, take the time to check out the system onsite and before it is de-installed. That way, you can perform test scans and see if said equipment lives up to your expectations. And if the system lives up to what the seller told you. What looks superb to the seller may not look the same to you.
As I write this, the World still experiences different lockdowns because of a little virus called COVID-19. Inspection of any systems you might be interested in is difficult or impossible. All this leads me to the final point.
5 – The Trust
In the end, it is all a matter of trust. You need to trust your supplier. If you don’t my only advice is you make a run for it. Do they own the equipment they wish to sell to you or are they merely brokers? Have they supplied you with sufficient and credible specifications? Do they have a good reputation? Are they a member of an organisation with high standards, like the International Association of Medical Equipment Remarketers and Servicers also known as IAMERS?
You have to feel comfortable that you get what you pay for and on time. Another excellent way to find out if you can trust someone is to visit. Obviously, this is a bit difficult at the moment. Then their reputation is imperative to spend a little time researching.
CEO & partner