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Satrajit Misra

The future of equipment upgrades

By Satrajit Misra
From the August 2018 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News magazine

There is an undeniable trend happening in diagnostic imaging: replacement cycles for systems are lengthening significantly.

In fact, according to IMV’s CT Market Summary Reports from 2002/03 through 2007, the average replacement cycles were only 6.6-6.7 years due to the fast-paced market adoption of multi-slice CTs. Since then, replacement cycles have lengthened to the current level of 10.1 years. MR has undergone a similar transformation, with cycles lengthening from 7.8 to 11.8 years within the same time frame.
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Beyond MR and CT, we’re seeing this trend permeate all modalities, including X-ray, vascular and ultrasound. And with this trend, the total cost of ownership for imaging systems – beyond the initial hardware investment – is more top-of-mind for healthcare providers than ever.

As you hold on to equipment for longer periods of time, you need to make smart decisions about the total cost of device ownership. Software upgrades versus a hardware replacement can assure compliance as well as improve clinical and operational capabilities, all without additional capital costs, which is why we are seeing a growing prevalence and desire for console upgrades among healthcare providers.

When evaluating the total cost of ownership, the two biggest factors that should be considered are 1) compliance and, 2) cybersecurity. These two factors can have a significant impact on the lifespan of your system and prevent it from becoming obsolete.

It’s important to choose a partner that offers frequent and comprehensive features and security updates. This will ensure that your devices not only maintain workflow and efficiencies, but they also comply with regulations.

Compliance
From XR-31 to XR-29, the compliance paradigm is constantly evolving. Choose an imaging partner that will guide and help you maintain compliance with these and other current regulations.

Some partners upgrade existing systems, which is a fast solution that eliminates the downtime for a new installation and maintains compliance at a fraction of the cost of system replacement.

For instance, at Canon Medical Systems USA, we’ve received positive feedback from the recent expansion of our VeloCT Console upgrade program that is now available for Aquilion PRIME CT customers. The program helps keep existing diagnostic imaging technology in service longer and contain costs by enabling facilities to keep pace with the latest technological advances and offer better patient care and improved workflow, with upgrades that include enhancements for patient safety, dose management and workflow.
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