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

3 Arguments to Choose Permanent MRI

MRI-units-per-million-population-WHO

3 Arguments to Choose Permanent MRI

 

Estimated reading time: 4 min

If you are opening an MRI centre in an area with insufficient and/or unreliable infrastructure, we do not recommend investing in a high-field MRI. This is a rule of thumb, så exceptions do occur.  More on this in our blog post When Size Matters.

What we DO recommend is investing in a permanent MRI. This would typically be a 0.4T. In this blog post, we will elaborate on why we find permanent MRI solutions to be the smart choice. This goes for instance for many site locations on the African continent.

The key to understanding this is knowing the weakness of any high-field MRI, typically 1.5T. The soft spot of any 1.5T is the cooling chain. Because in case of a power cut, there is a serious risk this will fail. The magnet might even quench.  A magnet quench results in the loss of all helium and the loss of the magnetic field. Then the ability to run the system gets lost.

Normally you can bring such a system can back to life, but it takes massive investments in helium. Often weeks of down-time too, as special tools, labour and helium need to get flown in.

On the contrary, a 0.4T doesn’t have helium cooling, as it is a permanent magnet. If you experience a power cut, you simply switch the system back on, when restoring power.

 

1 Buying a permanent MRI

2 Owning a permanent MRI

3 Benefits for the patients

The takeaway

 

 

Permanent MRI Hitachi Aperto Eterna 0.4T | FlexRay Medical

 

1 Buying a permanent MRI

First advantage: Your initial investment is low. Our clients often break even after about 1 year of operation.

The price for a state of the art “turnkey” 0.4T permanent magnet is mostly close to that of buying a 1.5T  “as it is, where it is” out of a warehouse. For the 0.4T permanent magnet, that price includes a new RF cage, delivery, installation, calibration, warranty and application training.

Added to this comes the before mentioned plus a lot of helium, since your 1.5T would typically be delivered and installed warm. Depending on your location, it could easily add up to EUR 50k or more to cool down a 1.5T.

In short: The initial investment in an installed and operational 0.4T will cost you about half of that of a 1.5T.

Second advantage: The physical footprint of, for instance, a Hitachi Aperto 0.4T, is only 4*5 meters. On top, there is no need for an equipment room. The smaller RF shield is also a cost saver.

 

2 Owning a permanent MRI

It is not only the initial investment which is lower. The running costs with a permanent MRI are significantly lower than it is the case of a helium-cooled MRI too. The permanent design means no need for helium-cooling. As the price of helium is on the rise, with little to no perspective of it changing, this alone is a tangible reduction in the running costs.

If you are based in Africa, please also keep in mind helium is a scarce commodity registered as dangerous goods, which on top needs to get flown in. This brings even further expenses to a 1.5T.

A permanent system is also much cheaper to maintain. The running cost of open MRI is reasonable with no need to buy expensive periodic replacement parts and supplies. Also, the stable operation is assured, with no risk of the system quenching. In most cases, we would even say a traditional full-coverage service contract is overkill. A couple of preventive maintenance visits per year is all you need. This adds further to your savings.

Since the required power supply for eg. an APERTO 0.4T is only 10kw and a large-scale cubicle is not required, the monthly cost of electricity is very reasonable. So, compared to other systems, permanent magnets also save money for electrical power.

All this adds up to lower running costs when you buy a permanent MRI. The lifetime running costs are significantly lower. This contributes to our clients typically breaking even after 1-1,5 years.

 

Permanent MRI Hitachi Aperto | FlexRay Medical

 

3 Benefits for the patients

The open design of this diagnostic imaging equipment equals better comfort for patients. Especially for claustrophobic, children and bariatric patients. This because these scanners have smaller physical footprints and wider bores. Furthermore,  a variety of configurations to maximize patient comfort and reduce claustrophobia

Minimizing patient claustrophobia is essential and not only for the comfort of the patient’s. It is also key to avoid image artefacts as a nervous patient will be more prone to movement during the scan. Fewer artefacts equal better pictures and, as such, the patient on average spends less time in the exam room. This also has the benefit of giving you time to scan more patients per day.

 

The takeaway

The only real disadvantage of a 0.4T is that it is not a 1.5T. For instance, a 1.5T will in many cases be a faster system. As such a 0.4T is not the best choice if you specialize in, for instance, cardiac exams.

But for about 99% of routine studies, it is a terrific technology which brings you great value and diagnostic power at a very attractive price point. This is for sure, the right choice of system for any small private clinic in Africa.

 

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

 

From Initial Inspection to Final Shipping in 5 Steps – De-installing a Philips Brilliance 64 CT

From Initial Inspection to Final Shipping in 5 Steps – De-installing a Phillips Brilliance 64 CT

Do you know how to dismantle and move your 2000 kg heavy CT scanner, like a Philips Brilliance, from its current location and onto a truck parked outside your facility?

If you don’t, that is totally fine. Because when we buy a system, we also handle all the details related to planning and executing a successful de-installation of the system. Making everything as easy for you as possible.

Buying and selling used diagnostic imaging equipment are not as simple as unplugging and rolling the equipment out the door and onto a truck. Anyone who has been a part of such a process can testify to that.

How do we handle this huge task at FlexRay Medical? In this blog post, we give you a tour behind the scenes. We walk you through the process of planning and executing a removal of a Philips Brilliance 64 CT-scanner, from a Scandinavian hospital.

We have shared a bit of this story before in our mini-series on LinkedIn and Facebook. If you want the short version, you can get that there.

1 Initial Action

2 On-site Inspection

3 Detailed Planning 

4 De-installing

5 Shipping

 

 

1 Initial Action

The planning work begins even before the initial on-site inspection. We begin by preparing ourselves by looking into the OEMs manual for the correct handling of any given system.  In this case the Philips Brilliance 64 CT.

Using and ordering the correct tools and transport devices is all part of ensuring a smooth process and safe removal of the system. We always take the time to ensure we bring essential brackets for securely locking the system into the transport position.

The essential information for the planning process is often found in the pre-installation manuals, installation manuals and site planning guides. Each specific system has its manuals and guides.

For the Philips Brilliance 64 CT-scanner, we use a kit consisting of a special transport device/wheelset, a plate bracket to lock the rotation of the gantry. We also use  4 pieces of bolts to lock the tilt of the gantry and a stabilizing jack. The bolts and the jack ensure the gantry bearing is not damaged during transportation.

Diagnostic imaging equipment is often heavy and sensitive machinery. So, to ensure that we can perform safe and correct removal of the systems, we always “do our homework” before the initial inspection.

With these things in place, we are ready to continue with the initial on-site inspection.

On-site inspection - brilliance 64 | FlexRay Medical

2 On-site Inspection

The de-installation of a used CT system is one very small part of the process of replacing an existing system with a new system. The process as a whole involves many stakeholders.

That is why we always aim to perform the initial inspection well ahead of time. We know the importance of all parties being well prepared and on time, with their part of the work.

A crucial part of the initial on-site inspection is to walk through the outtake route of the system. We measure each door, elevator and passage and determine which departments along the route can be affected by the removal of the system.

This way we verify that the suggested route indeed is suitable. We also make sure to inform the affected apartments about when and where we need to pass through with the large and heavy components.

On this particular project, one door was less than the required 2032 mm.  Because of that, we had to set aside extra time to remove the gantry top, back and front covers. By doing so we were able to reduce the height of the gantry and pass-through this particular door.

At the on-site inspection, we also confirm where all the cables for the system run. Sometimes they run beneath the scan room floor in dedicated cables, ducts or pipes. In this case, the cables ran through the floor and down to the department downstairs and placed in cable trays above the suspended ceilings.

This meant that an additional department of the hospital was actually affected by the removal work. We then had to coordinate a time for accessing these cables of the Philips Brilliance, with this particular department.

We also investigate specifics for the parking area for our truck along with the accessibility along with the outtake route. Taking conditions during and after normal working hours into consideration.

Knowing each one of these details makes it possible to make all the necessary arrangements ahead of time. Careful planning often takes quite some time. In the end, it saves a lot of time in the de-installation process that everyone involved knows exactly what we do, when and where.

At the actual de-installation, it also ensures that we avoid unpleasant surprises.

Detailed planning | FlexRay Medical

3 Detailed Planning 

Back at the office we transform all this data into writing and create the game plan for the de-install.  Included are all findings and agreements made on-site during the inspection. We also map the exit route on a floor plan and document with extra pictures from the route.

An essential part of this particular project with the Philips Brilliance was to complete the agreements with each department affected by the removal works. We had to ensure that we had a green light to work at certain times during the day, at the different departments.

Moreover, at one part of the gantry removal route, the floor could not bear the direct pressure of the weight of the gantry and transport wheels. To handle this we planned to bring thick aluminium plates. This way distributing the weight evenly on the floor at this particular part.

Also, we had to pass through the hospital’s temporary COVID-19 emergency reception. So, we had to stay in contact with the pre-hospital services during the day. This to ensure not to bring any large component through the department when a suspected COVID-19 patient would be received. This meant we had to wait until the day of the removal to agree on a small part of the schedule.

When working in areas with an added risk of spreading infections or diseases, we always follow the local guidelines from the hospital. Especially on PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and the like.

For each project, we always share with the hospital and all involved parties a document listing the following details:

 

  • Which system we remove
  • Site and location details
  • Time schedule
  • A check-list for the customer/hospital, to prepare for our work on site
  • Contact details of involved persons

We also share relevant attachments like:

 

  • Outtake route report
  • System component weights and dimensions
  • Notes about which special permissions we need to have in place

With all these details well documented, we ensure that all parties involved are in agreement with the plan and well prepared for their part of the process.

Day of de-installation | FlexRay Medical

4 Day of de-installation

We begin in the morning with one final test, to make sure everything is as it should be and that the scanner is still within OEM specifications. These tests require that the CT is still connected to power at our arrival.

Following the last QA test of the system, we begin with removing the gantry floor bolts. On this particular model, we need to use the tilt function of the gantry to loosen the floor bolts. Without any power to the gantry, we are unable to remove these bolts and unable to remove the actual system.

We always agree with the hospital to keep the system connected to the power grid to perform the last tests. As in the case with this Philips Brilliance, most systems also need us to still have the system powered on, to bring the system into the correct transport position. Then our engineers tell the local electrician when to isolate the power supply to the system.

After isolating the power supply we loosen the floor bolts of the gantry and patient table. Then we finally bring the system into the correct position for transport. Next, we mount the transport wheels onto the CT gantry.

When the gantry and table are on wheels and ready to move, we pack all the smaller components and electronics from the system.

At the agreed time we begin to move the CT gantry and table via the designated outtake route, making sure the coast is clear. Finally, we load these onto the truck at the agreed loading and parking area.

The last that remains is to remove all cables from the cable trays. In this case, we did this after working hours. This way we avoided disturbing the department below the scan room, where we had to remove the ceiling, to access the cable trays.

At the end of an around 11-hour long workday, the complete system is loaded on the truck. We sweep the empty room and the truck and personnel leave for the warehouse. Everything on time and as planned.

Shipping | Phillips Brilliance | FlexRay Medical

5 Shipping

When we sell the system to a new customer, the last step in the process takes place at our warehouse. Here we check the complete system and prepare it for packing.

After all that care and effort in planning and carefully de-installing the system, this final part is also not a place to cut corners. We package the system precisely and all its components. Using internationally approved materials, suitable for the shipping method, which the customer chooses.

E.g. if shipping via sea or air, we use vapour barriers to protect the equipment during transit. This ensures that no moisture reaches the sensitive electronics of the system. There is a possibility that this can cause corrosion and electronic failure in the system.

The final and outer layer is a customised wooden crate. This protects every component of the CT system and makes it suitable for international freight.

After this, the Philips Brilliance, or another system, is shipped and on its way to the new owner, where it will help serve many more patients in the coming years.

Simon Dyrup Nielsen
CEO & partner
+45 2627 2879 (cell)
sdn@flexraymedical.com

 

5 Reasons Why You Do Not Want a Mobile MRI

5 Reasons Why You Do Not Want a Mobile MRI –On The African Continent

Estimated reading time: 5 min

 

To some, a mobile MRI unit sounds like the perfect solution. Especially when you want to bring diagnostic imaging to patients in rural areas. As such you might think a mobile MRI or CT would be the perfect solution for a continent as big and diversified as the African continent. No rules without exception, but generally I do not agree with that at all.

You might not agree with me first of, but after you read this, maybe you will.

 

Let’s be clear, when looking at an entire continent it’s impossible to be accurate. There is too big a difference between the countries. For instance, the needs of Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and Sudan are not the same.

Looking from a helicopter perspective there can be no arguing that the need for medical imaging equipment like MRI is great in the African continent. If you take a look at the image below from WHO, 2014 it is clear that Africa is the continent with fewest MRI units per million population.

 

MRI-units-per-million-population-WHOAt first, it might seem like a great idea to invest in a fleet of mobile MRIs for the African countries. But, when you take everything into account, it might not be such a great idea after all. The need is clinical there, but there are massive obstacles.

I have accumulated the key points in a few chapters. You can access each here to make it easy to jump straight to the points that interest you the most at first.

 

When the Best Option is in Fact Not an Option

 

Difficulties on the Road

 

Connectivity

 

Helium

 

Keeping Your Patients and System Chilled

 

In Conclusion

Mobile MRI not always a good option | FlexRay Medical

When the Best Option is in Fact Not an Option

For most parts of Africa, I always recommend choosing a permanent magnet. Read more about this in another blog post later this year.

But, as a permanent magnet weighs in the range of 16.000kg and also has a bigger footprint than a high-field. It simply does not fit into a mobile solution. The trailer itself would also get heavier due to extra reinforcements and an extra set of wheels. In total, the weight would get to about 30.000kg. That kind of weight is not only heavy, it is too heavy.

So, if you insist on a mobile solution, the only real option is a high-field MRI. Below I will look at some of the key issues arising from operating a high-field mobile MRI.

Difficulties on the road | FlexRay Medical

Difficulties on the Road

A mobile MRI unit travels many miles and not all the roads are paved with smooth asphalt like in the cities. The many miles driven on bumpy roads will lead to failing boards and significantly more service than fixed-site MRI’s. That alone means higher expenses than for an MRI unit at a clinic or a hospital.

Also, moving the mobile MRI on bumpy roads can easily lead to magnet quenches. As I am sure that you are aware of, this is not something to take lightly. Keeping an MRI filled with liquid helium is also a very expensive affair and also not widely available across the continent.

Mobile MRI Connectivity | FlexRay Medical

Connectivity

When moving an MRI from place to place you are very much dependent on the sites to be ready for you. For instance, this means that enough power infrastructure has been established at all locations.

Typically you will need 125 AMP. To establish this is not cheap or without difficulties. Even in Europe, you can not get this everywhere. Also, it goes without saying that the power grid needs to be stable and without power cuts. Unstable power or power cuts can lead to quenches.

Helium MRI | FlexRay Medical

Helium

Because of the constant risk of a quench, you must have a local supplier of liquid helium. This is because you need to be able to get 250-500 litres of helium within 24 hours at all times. Otherwise, an elsewise functional system risks getting damaged beyond realistic repair/cooldown.

The price of helium is fluctuating and is different between regions. As of today, in the EU we are paying in the range of USD 22 per litre. But in Africa, we have seen prices anywhere from USD 35 to almost USD 50 per litre.
If you are curious to see a controlled magnet quench this is a video of such a thing.

Mobile MRI Keeping patients and system chilled| FlexRay Medical

Keeping Your Patients and System Chilled

The walls of a mobile MRI are thin and scarcely isolated. There is simply no room for much else as a high-field MRI system takes up a lot of space.

This also means the temperature inside the trailer is very much influenced by the temperature outside the trailer. Typically a trailer built in Europe is equipped with air conditioning suitable for the European climate. So, when it hits significantly higher temperatures it cannot keep up. This results in overheating of electronics which again results in the system breaking down.

Used mobile systems are extremely rarely equipped with enough isolation to deal with the African climate. If you buy a brand new one it might be different, but that is at a completely different price point.

 

In Conclusion

The largely unmet need for MRIs and the vast distances on the African continent make mobile MRI units seem like the right match. It is my claim that it is not.

It is too costly an affair to maintain and repair them in the long run. If you proceed and get a mobile MRI anyway, I will almost guarantee that you will end up with a warm, quenched magnet too expensive to bring back to service.

Buying an MRI is not about the initial investment. The key is the total cost of ownership and THE most expensive system to own is a mobile MRI.

The money would be better spent on transporting the patients to the MRI and not the other way around. One could also choose to buy more MRIs.

In my view getting the patients to the equipment and getting them a proper diagnosis is the best solution for most places in Africa.

 

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

 

Global Recycling Day 2020

Why Global Recycling Day is important when working with used medical equipment

 

 

3 min read

Today is Global Recycling Day 2020. At first glance, it may seem that buying and selling used medical imaging systems has nothing to do with recycling. But recycling is not only using systems and equipment for a longer period. It is also reselling it after use. In essence, it is seeing not waste, but an opportunity.

On top of that, minimizing the resources used for scrapping and reprocessing the materials.  20 years ago a used X-ray system would have ended its days in the scrap yard. Where the contents of plenty of different plastics, chemicals and minerals ended their days. Today it is different. Used systems are very often reinstalled in a new facility. Or split up for parts use and thus supporting similar systems installed around the Globe. In fact, even when you today buy a new part from your local OEM representative, it’s quite often a used, but thoroughly tested, part, you are getting. Buying new or used doesn’t make a difference as long as you get the right mix of warranty and affordability.

Recycling is part of using the Earth’s resources wiser. Recycling also helps combat climate change and makes the most of the resources. Used medical equipment might be a small drop when saving natural resources. But every drop counts. On top, it is of real importance in bringing affordable healthcare solutions to more people.

Global Recycling Day is important to us. Because reselling medical imaging equipment gives more patients access to proper diagnostic tools. This is the basis for a successful treatment. resulting in many more saved lives. This also has the fortunate side effect that the specialised equipment functions longer. Saving resources saves lives.

 

Why Global Recycling Day is important when working with used medical equipment
Used medical equipment arriving at a new facility

 

Doing what we can

Flexray Medical has already been part of this cycle for some years and our team for decades more. We have brought high quality and affordable diagnostic imaging to some of the most remote parts of the World. We have even installed some of the first-ever MRI, CT and X-ray systems, in more rural areas of developing countries. But that is a different story which we will save for another day.

At Flexray Medical we are happy and proud to do our bit to a better World. Large words. But a wider reach of imaging equipment leads to better diagnostics for patients in need. At the end of the day investing in used medical imaging equipment and Global Recycling Day wants the same. In essence, it is about better lives for all of us. Without ruining the planet.

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

PET-CT scan can detect cancer

PET-CT scan can detect cancer

3 min read

Today is World Cancer Day. Did you even know? Quite possibly not and even so what’s to celebrate? We all connect cancer to the sadness of losing someone dear. But what if it could be a day of reflection and perspective. This will be a way to find some glimpse of hope in all the sadness.

First of all: What is a PET-CT? That is complicated to explain in depth. To say it simply a PET-CT scanner is a clever piece of medical imaging equipment. It is a combination of a positron emission tomography (PET) and a  computer tomography (CT). This gives you unique detail and clarity in your cancer diagnosis.

Combining these scans enables the doctor to make a more precise diagnosis. Even making it possible to diagnose cancer at an earlier stage. And the earlier you can detect cancer, the better are the chances of curing cancer.

Huge differences in PET units per million population

A PET-CT is a great diagnostic tool, but it is also a very heavy investment. On top, it is as costly to operate. You have the service of both a PET- and a CT-ring. You also need to deal with radioactive consumables. As a result, PET-CT is still not available in the same extent outside, what we would often refer to as, “The Western World”. In most developing economies you find between zero and 0.25 PETCT per 1 million capita (as per WHO).

Reasons for this are plentiful: failing infrastructure, lack of educated personnel, lack of knowledge at the referring doctors and financial constraints. It depends on the specific case, but buying a brand new PET-CT scanner would cost you the in the range of EUR 1 to 2 million.

When buying a USED PET-CT your investment would often be in the range of EUR 200.000-300.000 for a 16-slice and EUR 300.000-500.000 for a 64-slice.

Many PET-CT models, but not all, have the brilliant ability to be multi-functional. This means you can use it as either as PET, as CT or as combined PET-CT. As such you can change the usage depending on your day-to-day need. This is particularly interesting if you have a somewhat “normal” need for a CT and a minor need for PET. When choosing a PET-CT you can do your routine operations. At the same time, you have the possibility of PET-CT patients 1-2 days a week.

 

 

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All the above is of a technical and financial character. The importance in this context is, that the PET-CT is brilliant when diagnosing cancer. But it is not a possibility for everyone to have access to this type of diagnostic imaging equipment. Making the chances of surviving a cancer diagnosis slimmer in some parts of the world compared to others.

Perhaps in PET-CT more than any other modality you gain a huge advantage when buying pre-owned compared to a new scanner. The reason being the very high entry point on state-of-the-art systems compared to 5-8-year-old systems.

The question is if having the newest functions and gadgets are need-to-have or nice-to-have? If the first, you should look deep into your pockets and buy a new scanner. If the latter, you are welcome to reach out to FlexRay Medical and talk about the possibilities of buying a used system.

Making high quality used PET-CTs available to more people could be a way to make PET-CT diagnostics more available across the World.

Mads Vittrup

CEO & partner

+4528599829 (cell)

mv@flexraymedical.com

 

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