With an estimated 35 million MRI exams performed each year, this technology is a key component to successfully diagnosing and treating patients. With an aging population and the need for a better understanding of soft tissue in the body, the MRI market will continue to grow.

 It’s estimated that by the year 2020, the global MRI market will surpass $7 billion.

Manufacturers like GE, Philips and Siemens continue to push the boundaries of what MRI systems can do. Whether that’s delivering patient care even faster, reducing variability in MRI scans or reducing the overall footprint of these machines, there are exciting things ahead.

Here are a few quick facts about MRI machines and the industry:

  • New MRI machines range in cost from $1 million to $3 million
  • Average age of MRI scanners in the U.S. is 11.4 years
  • It’s estimated that 1 out of every 5 systems is older than 10 years
  • The lifespan can range from 3 years to 20 years

Where is the technology headed?

Medical device manufactures are continually working to improve their technology. For example, real-time monitoring systems provide insight into how the equipment is functioning which can help reduce unexpected maintenance.

While large hospitals have plenty space for these systems, smaller hospital and private medical practices don’t always have the same luxury. Siemens has designed systems with lighter magnets and a smaller footprint to address various site challenges.

A backlog of MRI scans can potentially compromise patient care. In order to mitigate wait times, manufactures are working to improve the speed of scans, which translates into happier patients and increased ROI.

Biggest maintenance challenges

Maintaining diagnostic imaging equipment involves a unique set of ever-evolving challenges.

Hospital equipment is now designed to be “connected.”  The data these machines capture can be shared instantly to allow for a remote diagnosis and more efficient patient care. The challenge now is keeping important patient data secure. This is a topic we’ve discussed on the blog — from how poorly it’s being handled to steps you can take to improve security.

Given the lifespan of these systems along with the need to keep them functioning as long as possible, maintenance and repairs are a top priority. Support technicians and procurement departments must proactively look for suitable medical parts resellers.

Planning for your next purchase

Given the upfront investment of the logical details required to replace an MRI system, significant planning from multiple departments is involved. If you are in the early stages of this process, check out our recent article about repairing versus replacement.

Purchasing from the primary market versus the secondary market has significant differences. MRIs have roughly a 28% depreciation rate, so experienced buyers will usually shop for a good deal in the secondary market first.  Considerations when purchasing from the secondary market include:

  • How much money can be saved?
  • Properly research the vendor
  • Researching warranties
  • Understanding the expected lifespan and maintenance costs

Decommissioning an old system

Eventually, MRI systems will need replaced. Hopefully your medical facility has a decommissioning plan in place – one that will allow for the quick and efficient removal of the old system so the new one can be up and running quickly.

Decommissioning an MRI system is not like other hospital equipment.  It requires careful planning and coordination given the powerful internal components. Here are several considerations:

  • Do your homework to ensure you partner with a company experienced in moving/removing MRI systems.
  • Understand what precautions will be in place to keep individuals working in the area safe. The same goes for other nearby equipment.

With a growing demand from medical facilities and continuous innovation by manufacturers, the MRI market is ever evolving. Check back with us for updates on how the technology is advancing.

Searching for used medical equipment parts

If you’re searching for used medical equipment parts for your diagnostic equipment, radiology systems and other life-saving devices, we encourage you to search our inventory. We have thousands of parts in-stock and ready to ship.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? We’re always adding new parts to our inventory and some might not appear in our web store yet! Feel free to contact us with questions about any part.