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Radiography job market remains tight, while digital path continues

by Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | November 30, 2014
Molecular Imaging Pediatrics
From the November 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“I was surprised at how many chiropractors do X-ray,” Titus says. “Some are still on film and making the decision to move to CR.”Titus says that gives them a way to move into digital at a price point that makes sense. Some companies are meeting that need by offering more basic equipment for facilities that lack the high volume to justify more robust systems.

Joyce Peterson, director of sales and marketing at TXR, says the company’s primary markets are urgent care facilities, orthopedic practices and chiropractors. In the last year, much more equipment has been going into new urgent care facilities.

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“In the markets we’re covering, cost is a big consideration,” Peterson says. “With our X-ray equipment, you can start off with a very basic unit and add features that can help with productivity. We’re finding that many of the buyers are very price conscious, so they will forgo these features for a lower price. Especially with the urgent care centers.” Philips is also entering the “value” market and is introducing the DuraDiagnost Compact room, a small, multipurpose, floorbased DR system

Institutions that didn’t have the money to upgrade now find they’re able to thanks to systems like DuraDiagnost, says Georg Kornweibel, director of field marketing at Philips. “Traditionally, we are a leader in premium imaging. So for Philips, it’s a new segment.”

Dollars and ‘sense’
Canon recently unveiled a new technology at AHRA in August that company officials say is a cost effective way to transition to DR. The RADpro Delinia 200 digital acquisition X-ray cart uses a Canon detector with autodetect software. When the cart is wheeled into a radiography room, it senses and then syncs to the existing CR X-ray source and can acquire digital images. “We believe it’s one of the first new products available in DR in the last 10 years,” says Tim Willard, national sales manager for Canon Healthcare Solutions.

“There’s no installation needed and it can be an alternative to DR retrofits for certain facilities,” Willard added. With a preliminary $89,000 list price, the cost of the Delinia 200, about the size of an EKG cart, is similar to that of a fixed room upgrade — a recent report from MD Buyline notes that a digital retrofit can range from $65,000 to more than $100,000 — Willard says there’s a savings for facilities that need to upgrade more than one room.

“You don’t have to do three room upgrades to make your entire department digital,” Willard says. Facilities can also have an older portable and move the Delinia 200 between different operating rooms, around the emergency department and into the neonatal intensive care unit. Other budget-friendly options abound. In April, the FDA cleared Siemens’ Multix Select DR floor-mounted radiography system, designed specifically for small hospitals and imaging centers with space and budgetary constraints. The system comes with no overhead construction and has a small footprint, with the generator integrated into the table. Viola Fernandez, Siemens’ radiography product manager, says the Multix Select DR has the full benefits of a digital system with a smaller price tag.

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