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A Look Behind the Scenes of Mobile MRI Machines

Dec 11, 2020 | Articles, Mobile

A Look Behind the Scenes of Mobile MRI Machines

Contrary to what most healthcare professionals assume, an MRI machine only accounts for a portion of the cost of a comprehensive diagnostic imaging system. MRI machines are among the most expensive healthcare industry modalities, from room construction and shielding to annual maintenance and staff compensation. 

Some facilities don’t have the square footage to support in-house systems and therefore turn to mobile alternatives. If your facility is considering a mobile unit, learn more about its perks below. 


What is a Mobile MRI?

Mobile MRIs are self-contained suites equipped with a scanner, control room, and patient changing room. These imaging alternatives exist within a 48’ semi-trailer that connects directly to a facility or travels to multiple locations. 


The Best Uses of Mobile MRIs

Mobile MRIs are just as capable as their sedentary counterparts. If you’re looking into one as a solution, you’re likely doing so for the following reasons. 


  • You Need to Save Space

MRI machines demand space—as simple as that. If you can’t shoulder the budget for additional construction or keep up with rising demand, mobile units make for a sound solution. Because they are equipped with shielding, mobile MRIs don’t sacrifice image quality, nor do they put any surrounding areas at risk of its powerful magnetic field.


  • You Need to Split the Cost

If you run a single facility with low patient volumes, it may not justify the cost of a dedicated space for an MRI. Instead, placing the machine on a route lowers overall costs and services for the few patients needing diagnostic imaging services. 

Not to mention, the only costs you’ll have to shell out are for a driver, tractor, and support staff. 


  • You Only Need it in the Short Term

Though permanent fixtures may come in handy, facilities need not have them to experience an MRI machine’s full benefits. Instead of replacing an outdated system, undergoing construction for a new suite, or mitigating a system failure, facilities can keep up with growing demands with a mobile solution. Doing so also allows them to avoid downtime, service interruptions, and lost revenue. 


How Much Does a Mobile MRI Cost?

Depending on the MRI parts and services you require, a refurbished-value system can set you back $250,000, with a brand-new machine costing upwards of $2,500,000. This price doesn’t cover installation or operating costs. 

In comparison, mobile systems have higher up-front costs but require lower overall expenses. Depending on the type of system you’re after, you can expect to pay anywhere between $475,000 and $2,800,000. Additional costs go towards the price of the trailer and build-out. 

Whether you decide to park your machine at your facility or adhere to a route will influence your service cost, which can set you back more than the device itself. Some contracts will only cover the machine, whereas others will cover the trailer too. 


What Systems are Available?

While there is no shortage of MRI parts available on the market, only a few makes and models are certified for mobile use. For instance, mobile systems require a 60 cm bore size, with a few accommodating 70 cm. Mobile trailer shielding also limits magnet strengths to 1.5T.

Popular selections include the GE Signa 16x, GE Signa HDxT 23x, Siemens Avanto, and Siemens Espree. 



Where budget and space requirements are lacking, a mobile MRI makes for an excellent solution. Even low-volume facilities can cater to limited demand without having to break the bank. 

For MRI parts and machines you can rely on, search our rich inventory at Direct Med Parts. We facilitate installation procedures with OEM-trained engineers to provide the best possible quality assurance. 

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