Big changes are happening to C-Arms. These Mini C-Arm updates are the biggest change that has been introduced to the industry since the creation of the Mini C-Arm. What I am referring to is the flat panel detector in place of the image intensifier. Just like its larger brother, Mini C-Arms with flat panel detectors allow for better image quality while emitting lower amounts of radiation with less scatter. What is different about Mini C-Arms with flat panel detectors is that that they can be purchased at much lower prices than the Larger C-Arms. Be that as it may, Mini C-Arms generally do not generate the revenue that the Larger C-Arms can which still makes the expenditure a difficult price to pay. Which is why buying a refurbished C-Arm, now more than ever, will allow facilities to acquire current technology at a price that they can afford.
Whether you are in the position to purchase a brand new mini C-Arm with a flat panel detector, a refurbished FD Mini or just an older C-Arm with an image intensifier, it is important to know what your options are, and the differences between each unit.
The oldest C-Arms that are still relevant in today’s market are the OEC 6600 and Fluoroscan Premier and Premier Encore. These C-Arms were manufactured between 1996 and 2005. They were revolutionary in their day as they set the landscape for all Mini C-Arms. The image quality of these systems will pale in comparison to the current units but they are capable in allowing physicians to perform their fluoroscopy procedures. A big concern with these units is serviceability. The older these C-Arms get, the more service they will require. Additionally, servicing will become increasingly more difficult as parts availability becomes scarce. Refurbished units will vary in price between 12k and 19k depending on the package.
The OEC 6800 C-Arm is the stalwart of the Mini C-Arm industry. The gold standard Mini C-Arms were manufactured between 2000 and 2005, they’ve remained current thanks in large part to an operating platform that is very similar to the OEC 9800 full sized C-Arm. This unit has CRT monitors but they are touch screen which helps with procedural workflow. The monitors on these units can also be upgraded to flat panel monitors to make them more current. The image quality is not as strong as the current systems but more than suitable for most cases requiring Mini C-Arms. The OEC 6800 stopped production in 2006 so there is a finite amount of parts on the market. Luckily, this C-Arm was so popular in its hay day that parts availability is not an immediate concern. Refurbished units will vary in price between 20k and 25k depending on the package.
In 2006, when OEC was prohibited from selling their C-Arms by the FDA, two new players in the mini C-Arm world came to the forefront. Hologic, who had purchased the Fluoroscan product line, came out with the Hologic Insight and later the Insight II. The creator of the original line of Fluoroscan C-Arms started a new company called Orthoscan. The Orthoscan HD 1000 became their main product. Both the Hologic Insight and the Orthoscan HD 1000 have flat screen monitors and are more slender in design. These systems have better image quality and all have DICOM capabilities. Both the Hologic Insight II and the Orthoscan HD 1000 parts are not too difficult to locate. Refurbished units will vary in price between $27k and $35k
Lastly, we come to the flat panel detector mini C-Arms. Hologic and Orthoscan remain the leaders in the market of the Insight FD and the Orthoscan FD C-Arms. The flat panel detectors on these C-Arms allow for better image quality while emitting a lower amount of radiation. The design is similar to their previous units with the exception that both units have larger monitors on the C-Arms. These C-Arms have only been in production for a few years so you often have to go directly to the manufacturer to acquire replacement parts. Refurbished units will vary in price between $40,000 and $50,000.
Orthoscan has also come out with an interesting digital C-Arm called the Orthoscan Mobile DI. This unit is similar to an ultrasound in that it is small and easily portable so it can be used in a very small office. While the portability is ideal and the capability to put it on a tabletop makes it unlike any other C-Arm, these units can not be used for surgery and are for in office use only. They are ideal for sports medicine practices or post surgery check-ups. Refurbished units will vary in price between $40,000 and $50,000.
Is your practice, healthcare facility or hospital ready to add a mini C-Arm to your arsenal? If so, you might be surprised to find out that refurbished and previously used mini C-Arms are available and much more affordable. In addition, you also receive exceptional warranties to protect your investment. Why not talk to and expert at Atlantis Worldwide to see if a C-Arm is right for your practice? We’ve been providing refurbished and preowned medical imaging equipment to healthcare providers, physicians, clinics and hospitals for more than 25 years. Contact Us Today!
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About the author: Vikki Harmonay