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Good planning — especially during a pandemic — is key in mobile imaging projects

by John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | June 08, 2020
Mobile Imaging
From the May 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“Our industry is getting smaller, which makes the demand ever-increasing for us," added Taylor. "The work we do is becoming increasingly vital to the industry."

Tom Biwan
Meanwhile, political and economic factors have left their mark on the mobile imaging industry. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2007 and the Great Recession of 2008 resulted in very few units being built between 2011 to 2016, according to Tom Biwan, senior director of sales for Kentucky Trailer’s custom specialty solutions.

Consequently, many pre-2006 units may be unsafe and not worth the investment to refurbish, he explained. Currently, business is on the rise and the need for new units is increasing but, according to Biwan, many of the new OEM imaging units require more stringent specifications than older mobile units can accommodate.

Insight Imaging has also seen growth, especially in the 70 cm MR market and in the higher-end CT markets, according to Salyer. GE, Siemens, and Philips have all introduced new wide-bore systems to provide full field-of-view and higher-end options that clients demand. Furthermore, he explained, PET/CT has "shown flashes of growth” with the availability of new pharmaceutical products and interest in cardiac imaging services.

“I would encourage hospitals and payers to ask if the mobile scanner they sign up to use is a certified OEM mobile product that is truly FDA approved,” said Salyer. “There are far too many companies building and supplying hospitals with devices that were altered from their original approved design and placed into mobile units. Many of these scanners are placed in coaches not designed for, or approved by the OEM for, that product.”

Ken Harb
He added that healthcare providers need to work with their IT departments to ensure network security, which can be a "time-consuming" task.

Harb with CSMI also stressed the role of mobile providers in meeting the data security needs of their customers and HIPAA compliance standards. In a temporary arrangement, he said, that obligation starts at the commencement of the lease and also requires they protect and/or delete any data in the unit after the lease ends.

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