What Is the Cost to Rent or Buy a Mobile MRI?

June 25, 2019 , In: Health & Fitness , With: No Comments

Mobile MRI

Every day, technology is evolving and playing its part in contributing to humankind in a variety of different ways. While tech products serve various purposes, some really innovative technologies are being implemented within the medical field.

While there are more and more technologies being tested for the healthcare environment, there has been a major rise in medical tech products that assist doctors and make the process of diagnosis as well as treatment – efficient.

Even though the term “technology” has become more common in recent decades, medicine and mechanics have been together throughout history.

First observed in the 1930s, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI uses strong magnetic fields to change the spin of the atoms within the human body. By the 1970s, the first MRI machine was created in order to use the technique and construct images of soft tissues inside the body, such as brain and blood vessels. 

While MRI scanners’ benefit is the lack of radiation involved (unlike CT scans or x-rays), there are some restrictions in using this machine as a method for medical diagnosis. Patients with heart pacemakers, metal implants, or metal chips and clips in or around the eyes cannot be scanned. In addition, claustrophobic sensations can occur inside the device.

Modern medicine never stops progressing, and the intermingling between medicine and technology is not an exception, especially when it comes to the MRI scanner.

While the CT scan has become mobile already, the MRI scanner is catching up with the now growing usage of Mobile MRIs.

As the name suggests, Mobile MRIs are basically vans or buses that hold the MRI machining and scans in place, making them an MRI machine on the move. They are a great addition to any hospital system. 

This innovation is helpful in acting as a base for visual communication with dedicated imaging software and removes the technical barriers that usually come along with portable scanners.  

Accessing medical images from any location is an amazing step forward in doctor-patient communication and doctor-to-doctor communication.

By 1987, the United States had approximately 700 functional mobile MRI’s. Since 2001, growing evidence has shown a high demand for the technological machine worldwide.

Unlike popular belief, Mobile MRI machines are not more expensive than fixed MRI scanners; in fact, it is quite the opposite, where Mobile MRI’s are cheaper and easier to maintain in a hospital setting than the earlier rendition.

Fortunately, the cost of Mobile MRI’s is recovered faster than that of fixed MRI’s, so hospitals are now considering it a win-win solution when installing a mobile MRI in their institution.

One of the most significant pieces of information to have is ROI when determining if the facility could profit better from a fixed MRI machine or a mobile version now available in the market.

Currently, facilities that do not have the means either financially or spatially decide to purchase a mobile MRI. If a sufficient hospital determines to install this tech product, it is only used to emergencies when the fixed MRI scanner is not available.

The cost of installing a fixed MRI scanner, at least for a large hospital, is approximately $250,000 to $2,500,000+ depending on its condition. Meanwhile, alone the cost of the mobile MRI is at the range between $400,000 and $2,800,000.

Hospitals are always looking for cost-effective MRI practices. While Mobile MRIs can seem expensive during purchase, there are also renting options available.

Rental rates for Mobile MRIs are based on the length of the term, the type of system one wants to rent and the location.

Like any other product you choose to rent, the price to rent Mobile MRIs is cheaper if the rental term is for a longer period of time. Usually, the industry average is supposed to be anywhere from $18,000 to $45,000 per month. 

The type of technology in the system you are looking for is also a factor in pricing. Obviously, older technology will cost less to rent. 

The location also gets factored in the pricing as the rental company has to deliver this machine to you. So, depending on what company you are renting from and their distance from the location where one wants it delivered, the delivery cost is factored into the pricing.

A Mobile MRI alone can serve the same purpose as the standard MRI scanner and even more.

With its mobility, the new tech device can be utilized in different locations, unlike the fixed MRI scanner. The cost of revenue is much higher with Mobile MRIs than with the fixed machine due to a large number of services that can be accomplished with the mobility of the device.

Now, no patient needs to travel in order to take the necessary procedure to diagnose a potentially serious illness (if need be).

Moreover, the hospitals can come up with strategies to rent out their owned Mobile MRI units to other hospitals, when they are in need. This can not only help recover costs but help other institutions and their patients. 

Moreover, the mobile MRI provides faster patient processing, as well as improved image quality and resolution. Even the installation time is much less than for a fixed MRI scanner.

The flexibility of machines – either their capability to be any location and not taking too much space within a facility – is a great plus that most hospitals can benefit from.

Overall, hospitals are beginning to encompass not only the daily medical advances discovered but also the technological age that continues to grow even more. Medicine and technology are becoming a strength upon the world more than ever in the 21st century.

While mobile MRI’s are one of the recent advancements in modern medicine – thus showcasing the necessity of these technologies – there are even more arising in the conversation. 

According to Digital Authority Partners, the Health AI market has a steady future with its annual growth of about 40% that will help it reach a market size of $6.6 billion by 2021.

Robotic surgeries and 3D printers are some of the prominent technologies currently being tested and even used, in hospitals and other medical facilities.

Overall, it is definitely a healthy decision for any hospital to add a Mobile MRI to their system. The benefits outweigh the price and we can conclude that apart from not using space in the hospital, this unit can recover the investment fast while catering to patients in remote locations.