Where do you buy used medical equipment?

H1: Where do you buy used medical equipment of top quality?

Where do you buy used medical equipment of top quality?

 

Estimated reading time: 5 min

 

The first time you do your research to find the perfect used CT, MRI or PET-CT scanner, it is a confusing task. 

How do you know where to look? 

How do you find the gems and avoid the rubbish?

 

This blog is an intro to where to search and where you turn to get help in the hunt for used imaging equipment.

At the bottom of this text, I have added a few extra reads to assist you in your search.

 

You can find anything online, but. 

While it is possible to find all kinds of equipment on the internet, I absolutely do NOT recommend buying your next scanner from the first shiny webpage with some flashy copy you come across. 

 

A good buy needs more than a becoming and intriguing price tag on it.  

 

I DO recommend buying from a reputable source, someone who actually knows the difference from one CT scanner to another. That is why I recommend a bit of caution when you decide on a dealer. 

 

 

Where do you find valuable used medical equipment?

 

You can ask a friend or colleague. That is a tried-and-true approach. Ask someone who has bought that type of equipment themselves. What did they do? Do they have any tips for you? Do they know the person or company you consider buying from? References are always valuable.  

 

If you have zero networks within the industry, a public trading forum could be one place to begin your search for a stable system that fits your needs. Online you find several public trading forums that focus on medical equipment, parts and service. They are only a quick Google search away.

Under all circumstances, I recommend you only buy equipment from a member of IAMERS.

This trade organization guarantees ethical business dealings. In fact, given your supplier is a member, if you feel they have tricked you, you can always ask the IAMERS ethical committee for assistance.

 

 

Give the ownership, or proprietorship, of the system a thought. 

 

Does the one you negotiate with own the system themselves or sell it on behalf of someone else? Taking ownership into consideration has immense potential for saving you time, money and trouble.

 

 

How YOU benefit from buying directly from the owner

 

Cut out the go-between and save money. 

 

When you are in direct contact with the owner, there is no go-between needing payment too. Not having to pay a fee usually means you save a significant bit of money. Money that you can spend on the shipping, a site visit, or whatever you prefer. 

 

Buying directly from the source is a guarantee that the system is actually available. 

By the time you have finished negotiations with your go-between, chances are the actual owner of the equipment has sold the unit to somebody else. 

If you have already wired a deposit to the go-between, then you spend your time getting that money refunded.

 

 

You get the liberty to inspect the equipment.

 

The possibility to inspect the equipment is one of THE best things you can do when you buy used scanners. Because most often, the contractual term will be “as is” (or WAF). 

Your inspection is the only chance you have to check the equipment and make sure everything is as desired and as promised.

 

Preferably you even inspect the system BEFORE de-installing. That gives you the best chances of catching any minor or dominant malfunctions or other quirks of the system before you settle on a price. 


In case you are buying a piece of equipment already de-installed, at least make sure your seller has performed an extensive test of the kit AND that they will present to you their findings. Such a test report is no guarantee, but it is certainly far better than nothing.

 

Follow me to my next point.

 

Where do you buy used medical equipment of top quality?

 

You have an easier time troubleshooting any issues

 

Simply because you are in direct contact with the seller and you examined the device.

 

Having direct contact with the seller often gives you the complete history of the system. 

Did a full-service contract cover the system? Have there been any issues with the scanner? What were they? How and when were they repaired?

 

You can say the communication will be less complicated without a go-between where XYZ gets lost in translation. 

 

 

 Are there no drawbacks?

 

Just as you cannot eat onions without getting bad breath, there are also a few things to consider in this situation.

 

When you are new to buying used imaging equipment, you most likely will not know the usual things to look out for in neither a system nor a sales contract. If you are buying “as is”, it is of utmost importance as the risk is on you.

For this, reach out to your network. If you do not know anyone who can help you, reach out to someone who does. Most people like to help others. No matter what, I would like to stress the importance of choosing a company member of IAMERS as this brings you security.

 

 

To wrap this blog up in less time than a sneeze, the benefits of buying a used CT, MRI, PET/CT directly from the owner are:

  • You save money when you cut out the middleman.
  • You should have vast opportunities to inspect the equipment. 
  • Troubleshooting is easier.
  • The seller often knows the history of the system.

 

 

If I can be of any assistance to you, you are welcome to contact me, and I will do my best to help in any way that I can.

Mads Vittrup

CEO & partner

+4528599829 (cell)

mv@flexraymedical.com

 

 

BONUS 

When you want to find out which tips are essential

 

Are there significant factors to consider when you are on a budget?

 

Read here what difference it makes choosing a system from a smaller OEM or The Big Five

5 Fundamental Tips When You Buy a Used Scanner

5 Fundamental Tips When You Buy a Used Scanner

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.  

 

5 Fundamental Tips When You Buy a Used Scanner

 

 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.

 

Mads Vittrup

CEO & partner

+4528599829 (cell)

mv@flexraymedical.com

Why the Prices of Used CT Skyrockets

Why the Prices of Used CT Skyrockets. And what to look out for

Why the Prices of Used CT Skyrockets

And what to look out for

 

Estimated reading time: 3 min

One of the clear advantages of buying a used CT scanner is that you get very high-quality equipment for a very reasonable amount of money. Obviously, this is highly beneficial for a new or small clinic or when you have a limited budget and still want to give your patients excellent care.

In 2020 the prices for a used CT scanner went skyrocketing. The reason for that is pretty simple: A sudden and massive increase in demand.  This very high and worldwide demand for (used) CT scanners is in tight correlation with COVID-19. The reason is they get used for Covid-19 screening and diagnostics. Pushing up the prices of used scanners as the demand is tremendously high. 

We even saw OEMs selling their own used systems as their factories were unable to supply enough new systems! Concurrent, the supply of used scanners from western hospitals is at an all-time low, as they are too busy with COVID-19 to replace their older scanners. It all adds up, creating a “perfect storm” resulting in high CT prices.

Finding a cheap CT scanner is not impossible, but the bar defining what is cheap has risen.

Why the Prices of Used CT Skyrockets

How do you determine if a low-priced CT is a good buy?

First of all, I strongly recommend you to be very careful about buying a low-priced CT. Systems bought too cheaply only too often ends up being very expensive in extra repairs and general maintenance.  There are a few key things which can explain (and perhaps justify) a surprisingly low buying price. Below is a list and also some of the concerns related to this. 

  1. The CT will be timeworn. Things will start breaking. It can sometimes be difficult to source needed spare parts for older systems. This results in additional expenses to the initial buying price.
  2. The CT has a very high tube count. Inevitably you will soon need to replace the X-ray tube, which is a very costly part. A new tube can cost anything from USD 20k to USD 200k depending on what system you buy. Again, adding to the initial cost as well as the lifetime investment.
  3. The CT is in bad condition or has a bad service history. Possibly even making re-installation of the equipment impossible – or as a minimum inflict many extra expenses for parts and repair.

Often a mix of the above points will be “the perfect storm” for any clinic. You will, in the end, be spending a great deal more than for instance an initial $30.000 to get a low-priced system “as it is” up and running.

And what to look out for

It could be a hoax

If someone is offering you an eye-catching CT with a satisfying tube at a low price, then most likely it is a scam. If so, you will lose all your money. Please be very careful. If it looks too good to be true, then most like it is because it is. Personally, I would recommend you would only buy a system from a company which is also a member of IAMERS. This brings you security. 

To get a decent mid-range CT system in today’s market, you should expect to pay between $60.000 and $90.000 “as is”. On top would come refurbishment, shipping, site preparations, installation, warranty etc.
Of course, it always depends on the model, tube count, vintage and much more – but at least it gives you some idea of the level.

 

No matter how you look at it, for the time being there is substantial demand for CT scanners worldwide. In combination with the fact that the western hospitals are postponing replacing their CT scanners, this results in a significant increase in the prices.

Either you bite the bullet and pay the current prices or you wait for the market to come back down. This could happen tomorrow or in 2022 – your guess is almost as good as mine 😉 .
Otherwise, you will have to look into other options. Perhaps consider other modalities that can assist your diagnostic capabilities? It obviously depends on what type of patients you got and the exams you do. But for a low-budget clinic in remote locations, it is often worthwhile considering if an ultrasound system, a mobile X-ray or a C-arm can do the trick.

 

Mads Vittrup
CEO & partner
+4528599829 (cell)
mv@flexraymedical.com

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