5 Things to Consider Before Buying a CT Scanner

by | Mar 5, 2021 | CT

Reading Time: 3 minutes

While many hospitals have their equipment fixed and maintained throughout the years of use, there will come a time when they need to be replaced. X-ray machines, MRIs, Ultrasound machines, and even CT scanners are meant to be replaced or upgraded at some point in their lives. If it’s your first time investing in a CT scanner or you’re in the market to upgrade the old one, here are some things to consider before buying a new CT scanner.


State Your Goals

The first and most important thing you need to realize is your goal in purchasing a CT scanner. Buying a machine means you’ve established a need in your laboratory or medical facility. Focus on that need and define your goals.

  • Is the new CT machine for a new range of pediatric, bariatric, or cardiac services?
  • Do your referring physicians need it for studies? If so, what type of studies would that be?
  • What kind of exams will you be using the CT for?
  • Is it for a new hospital building?


Technical Specifications

When choosing between CT systems, the specifications will greatly influence your purchase decision. Slice count is one specification that determines how many cross-sectional images can be produced with each rotation of the machine. A 16-slice CT is excellent for general studies and clinics with a low volume of patients. If you like to keep up with the industry standard, a 64-slice CT would be the better option.

There are also high-end CT systems with more features like advanced detectors and software options designed for more specialized applications. Premium systems have slice counts that range from 128-320 or even higher.

Finally, the software that comes with the machine will affect the overall capabilities of the scanner. Understanding your goals and the needs of your medical facility will help you decide which specifications are the best for you.


Tube Type and Usage

One of the most vital CT parts to consider is the x-ray tube that acts as its energy source. This particular component has a limited lifespan and is expected to be replaced after a period of use. That lifespan is quite predictable, depending on the machine’s make and model. Some machines allow their tubes to be reconditioned or refurbished to extend their life. If you’re considering buying a refurbished scanner, be sure to ask about the usage of the tube.


Consider the Costs

The price of CT scanners varies significantly because of the vast differences between each machine’s technical specifications. The age, demand, model, software package, tube count, and the number of slices it can do all influence the CT scanner’s price.

Buying a CT scanner is a lifetime investment, which means you also need to consider the maintenance and repair costs of owning one. If you’re running a small clinic, will you be able to cover all the costs? Also, will the new machine bring in more patients and referrals to justify the scanner’s use?


Used, Refurbished, or Brand New

Another factor driving the price of the machine is whether it is used, refurbished, or new. Naturally, a refurbished unit will have a lower price up-front. Used CT scanners are more pricey than refurbished ones, but the condition can be a little bit better than refurbished ones, depending on the supplier.

Out of all the three, a brand new one is always the best option. However, considering your budget, getting a refurbished or used unit also works as long as you choose one in good condition. Check all the specifications first before proceeding with your purchase.



Purchasing a CT scanner involves a lot of research and consideration. You need to look for a machine with the correct specifications that should be enough to meet your requirements, including your budget and goals. Repair, maintenance, and CT parts replacement are also some of the after-purchase costs you should also take into account.

DirectMed parts and service is the most trusted provider of third-party solutions for medical imaging equipment. We are an ISO-certified company offering parts replacement and repair services to MRIs and CT scanners. Get a quote for parts and services today!

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