When trying to set up a new Diagnostic Imaging enterprise in a developing nation, there are several items that need to be addressed to give the venture a solid chance for success. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money and not have functioning equipment, or the solutions in place to ensure its long-term usage. Here are some basic areas of concern for your attention:
SERVICE, SERVICE, SERVICE!!!
In my opinion, this is the most important item to consider. I cannot count the times I spoke with someone from overseas who wanted to buy a system, but had no response when I asked: “Soooooo… who will service this system once I sell it to you?” Some firms might not care about what happens after the sale, but Atlantis Worldwide does NOT want to sell you a pile of problems because you are not prepared for what happens next. If money is not a concern to you, Atlantis can fly technic... well, there’s no need to expand on that point, because you would be buying a new system if money was not a concern, right? Not only is it crucial to have local service and parts providers for the obvious reasons, but it also should be a huge factor in deciding which OEM’s (e.g. GE, Hitachi, Philips, Siemens, Toshiba, etc.) products you should evaluate. What will be a larger problem: retraining your staff on another vendor’s system, or not having a functioning equipment because the staff’s favorite vendor has no good local service options? Your answer to this should illustrate why I think this is the most important issue to consider.
Cost and Availability of Supplies
The biggest thing that comes to mind on this is Cryogens for MRI systems. This is crucial for both immediate and long-term issues. Not only can it be very expensive to bring a Magnet back up if it goes Warm or Quenches during shipping, but in many parts of the world the Helium needed for ongoing usage is extremely expensive. You want to make sure you analyze things like this and, in the case of MRIs, it might be better to purchase a Permanent Magnet that does not require Cryogens. Similar concerns are there for CT Scanners regarding Tubes; you want to evaluate if there are non-OEM replacements, and certain systems are configured to have larger or smaller MHU Tubes, with the larger MHU Tubes generally lasting longer while having much higher replacements costs. Another concern that comes to mind is Digital vs. Analog Mammography… almost everyone would prefer to have digital systems, but now it is not just the Tubes that can be an eventual cost issue; the Digital Mammography Detectors are quite expensive to replace, too. This is by no means an exhaustive list of issues to consider, and is merely meant to get you thinking about the costs beyond the purchase price so you can make the proper investment decisions.
Finding the Right Vendor
Atlantis Worldwide is certainly not the only Equipment provider in the market, but we like to think we are the best. We will ask the right questions and do our best to make sure you consider all of the relevant issues. If you cannot source parts locally, we will search our extensive network to find what you need. When possible, we are also happy to supply references to service providers in your area if you do not have existing relationships. Please contact us!
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