by Brendon Nafziger
, DOTmed News Associate Editor | October 16, 2012
MRI scanners are getting a wee bit older, as units installed during the last purchasing spike some eight to 10 years ago are starting to show their age.
According to a September IMV report, the average age of a U.S. MRI scanner has gone up by about three years: from 8 years in 2007 to 10.9 years in 2011.
Lorna Young, a senior analyst with the Des Plaines, Ill.-based research firm, said in a statement that the last spike in MRI purchases happened from 2002 to 2004.
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The information comes from the group's 100-page 2012 MRI market report, which is based on a survey of more than 400 MR department administrators.
The report also found that about one-fifth of users plan on buying a new MRI system in the next three years, possibly to replace aging units. Wide-bore systems are a popular choice here, accounting for two-thirds of new installations, according to the report. Also, 1.5-Tesla continues to dominate the market, making up 70 percent of all installed scanners.
About 32 million MRI procedures were performed last year, up 6 percent from 2010, the report said.