Sensible Solutions for Refurbished Radiology

Buying Used or Refurbished C-Arms:  How Old is Too Old?

Posted by Alex Silbergleit on Wed, Feb 8, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

If you own a healthcare clinic, practice, facility or hospital, you probably already know about the benefits of buying a used or refurbished C-Arm.  And the benefits are many:how old C-Arms.jpg

  • C-Arms have a sturdy design and durable and long-lasting whether the system is used infrequently or run like a race horse. 
  • A used or refurbished C-Arm costs much less than newer models, while still delivering comparable performance.
  • You still get great warranty options, which can protect your investment.

That said, when potential customers contact Atlantis Worldwide about buying a used or refurbished C-Arm, they are often concerned with the age of the C-Arm. While this is an understandable question, the age and date of manufacture of the C-Arm itself may not be the most important consideration.  So what’s really important to know? 

  1. Original Location of the C-Arm. When buying a pre-owned system, you can learn a lot about a C-Arm by learning about its prior owner. A C-Arm originally located at a high-volume hospital will probably have been worked harder than a C-Arm coming from a smaller specialized clinic. Was your C-Arm originally covered by a service contract or did the prior owner just fix issues as they arose. A C-Arm coming from a facility where it wasn’t worked as hard and where it was handled with care is ideal.
  2. Image Quality.The most important feature of a C-Arm is the image quality. We have seen C-Arms manufactured in 2009 with terrible image quality and we have seen C-Arms manufactured in 2001 with incredible image quality. An onus should be put on getting a C-Arm with better image quality over getting a C-Arm with a more recent date of manufacture. 
  3. The software version of the used/refurbished C-Arm. Just because a C-Arm is newer, doesn’t mean it has newer software.  Granted, new systems come loaded with newer versions of software.  But some C-Arm owners don’t take the time and expense to load updated software.  That means a system manufactured in 2008 might not have the upgraded software that a C-Arm built in 2002 has.  The broker or owner of the used or refurbished C-Arm should be able to provide you with information about the version of software that’s loaded.
  4. The life of components.  Find out how old the X-ray tube, CCD camera, collimator, high voltage tank and image intensifier are.  These can be some of the most expensive parts to replace.  However, it’s important to remember that just because a C-Arm is older, doesn’t mean the components are more likely to need replacing.  So much depends on how much use the C-Arm has had.  That’s why it’s important to understand the level of use the C-Arm has had in the past.
  5. Whether it has Onboard DICOM. Find out if it has a built-in DICOM or not.  If not, you’ll need to buy an accessory device in order to be able to send images to your PACS server.  And don’t assume that because a C-Arm doesn’t have DICOM it’s older.  Some newer C-Arms do not come with onboard DICOM.

As you can see, the history of the C-Arm can be much more important than its actual age.  The original owner, broker or reseller should be able to provide you with information about the history, photos of the unit and even service records. 

At Atlantis Worldwide, we can help you find the ideal refurbished or used C-Arm, CT, MRI or other medical imaging equipment to fit the needs of your healthcare facility and your budget.  We hope you’ll contact us, so we can answer your questions, discuss options and find the best solutions for you.  Contact Us Today!

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About the author: Alex Silbergleit

Topics: C-Arm, Used Medical Imaging Equipment, Refurbished medical imaging equipment