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How Much Do MRI Machines Cost?

by | Sep 18, 2020 | MRI

How Much Do MRI Machines Cost?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines are essential, yet expensive medical imaging equipment. As it uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the body’s tissues and organs, it requires advanced technology that is often costly to purchase.

However, MRI machine prices vastly differ. They often depend on the software package, configuration, year of manufacture, and other aspects. In this article, we will be discussing the costs of purchasing a full MRI machine, its different variants, and the additional expenses involved when setting up the machine and maintaining it.

The Different MRI Machines

MRI machines come in different sizes and power. Their imaging power is measured in Teslas, which denotes its magnetic field strength. Low-field or open MRI machines measure 0.2 to 0.3 T, while the highest field MRI machine available today is 3 T. Low-field machines range approximately from $150,000 to $1.2 million. In comparison, a 3 Tesla machine can go up to $3 million. For a specific quote on a particular machine, please do not hesitate to contact us.

A 1.5 Tesla 70cm Wide Bore MRI machine ranges from around $1 million to $1.5 million. Our GE Optima 450W is a popular option in this range, making it an accessible choice for first-time MR customers.

Meanwhile, a 3.0 Tesla Wide Bore 70cm Wide Bore MRI machine costs around $1.8 million to $2.1 million. The Siemens MAGNETOM Skyra is a highly efficient machine in this range that offers greater patient access and comfort with its Open Bore design.

Factors That Affect The Cost of an MRI Machine

The cost of these machines is affected by several factors. Besides the year of manufacture, size, and configuration, it is also dependent on the gradient strength, field strength, slew rate, and channels. Higher numbers of these factors indicate higher prices of an MRI system.

Gradient Strength and Slew Rate

These two are engines that allow an MRI machine to operate at peak performance. Gradient strength is measured in milliTesla per meter or mT/m, while the slew rate is measured in milliTesla per meter per milliseconds (mT/m/ms). The stronger they are, the crisper and more precise the image will be.

Some studies and examinations require a different gradient strength. For example, the MRI machine’s neuro and cardiac applications need a much higher gradient strength than orthopedic applications. Machines that are mostly used in this manner require higher slew rates and higher gradient strengths, making them more expensive.

MRI Coil Types

MRI coil types also affect the price of an MRI machine. Generally speaking, the more channels a coil has, the more expensive the MRI system will be. The more costly coils are in the 16 – 32 channel coils. The 4 – 8 channel coils are more affordable than these given their lower coil count.

Wide Bore MRIs

These MRIs have a wider opening, measuring around 70 centimeters. They’re usually more comfortable for patients, as these are more spacious, lessening feelings of claustrophobia. Prices for wide bore MRIs have been on the rise thanks to their rising demand.

Different Magnets

MRIs make use of different magnet types that affect its overall cost. For example, low-field MRIs up to 0.4 T use permanent magnets; however, a few 0.4 T MRIs are available today that use helium-cooled magnets. They’re considerably more expensive than MRIs that use permanent magnets.

Helium-cooled MRIs are generally more expensive to purchase and maintain as it incurs higher running costs. You’ll have to buy a regular supply of helium to keep it operating smoothly and without interruption.

Other Costs To Keep in Mind

Apart from the equipment, there are a few other costs that come with an MRI system. You’ll have to pay to train your staff to adequately use an MRI system, as professionals must handle it. It will also be more cost-efficient to have the medical imaging reseller install the system, as it automatically comes with a warranty.

You may also need to purchase spare parts in case a particular piece of your machine is malfunctioning. Buying high-quality spare parts are essential to ensuring its smooth operation, as it will minimize further problems down the road.

The Bottom Line

Determining which MRI system you should get is highly dependent on your needs. There are different systems designed for various examinations and services, and you’ll have to select one that is most compatible with the facilities you have. You must also factor in any nearby competitors, how many patients you expect to have, and your average cost for examination. Ensure that the system you pick is precisely suited to your needs, as you may not need certain high-priced features. Now that you know about MRI machine costs, you can determine which one is best for your facility.

Are you looking for an MRI system? Check us out at DirectMed Parts. We are the most trusted and knowledgeable source of medical parts and services. We understand the importance of working with service professionals to quickly and accurately deliver quality parts to you. Get in touch with us today for a quote!

Gradient Strength and Slew Rate

These two are engines that allow an MRI machine to operate at peak performance. Gradient strength is measured in milliTesla per meter or mT/m, while the slew rate is measured in milliTesla per meter per milliseconds (mT/m/ms). The stronger they are, the crisper and more precise the image will be.

Some studies and examinations require a different gradient strength. For example, the MRI machine’s neuro and cardiac applications need a much higher gradient strength than orthopedic applications. Machines that are mostly used in this manner require higher slew rates and higher gradient strengths, making them more expensive.

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