A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine is a powerful medical imaging technique that takes images of any body part in any imaging direction. This technology is essential to medical facilities because its scans clearly illustrate the difference between healthy and diseased tissues, offering more information about different organs. When planning to add or replace an MRI machine in your facility with a new one, there are various factors that you need to consider, including the following:
The type of machine
Consider if your facility needs a 1.5T or 3.0T MRI scanner. A 3.0T MRI machine is useful in extremity (hands or wrist), prostate, neurology, and breast exams. It has an excellent resolution, but it can take longer, and the weight of its system may be an issue depending on where you plan to install the unit.
You should consider whether you need a closed or open MRI machine if a 1.5T MRI machine is sufficient for your clinical practice. While there are many excellent high-field open 1.5T MRI on the market, you should consider the extended scan times needed for an open scanner versus a closed short-bore system.
Closed 1.5T systems come in different bore sizes. Older scanners are usually around 60 centimeters, while newer ones are now 70 centimeters in diameter.
The MRI equipment–system configuration
Do your research and learn more about the advanced software applications and sequences included on the MRI machine you are planning to buy. There are various names for sequences based on the make and model of the system. Make sure to buy the software that meets your clinical needs for the exams you intend to perform.
Seek help from radiologists and technologists for guidance when deciding which software and hardware to include in your purchase. You can also request vendors for assistance with matching the RF coils with the clinical exams that you will be performing. Some coils include simple surface coils, cardiac, vascular, breast, neuro and neurovascular, transmit-receive, small MRI parts, and specialty coils.
The details of the MRI purchase
Prepare a request for information (RFI) and request for pricing (RFP) from your purchasing department and send them to the vendors to gather information about the MRI machines they sell. The RFI should include all of the hardware, software, coils, and advanced applications that you need, while you should develop a shortlist of two or three vendors that will complete the RFP based on the vendor responses.
Make sure to keep the naming conventions generic and ask for line-item pricing and any associated shipping or rigging charges. Also, include all additional hardware or software as options on any quotes you receive to help you decide whether to add items that were initially considered as an option for the purchase.
An MRI machine is used to detect traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, stroke, and other types of illnesses. With its innovative technology, it is considered an excellent addition to your clinical practice. Before buying, ensure to get one that your facility needs, consider the factors listed above, and use this article as your general guide for your purchase.
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