Close up of scan on a tablet device
What Considerations Lead Me To The Appropriate Provider For A CT System?
17th January, 2023 11h25
Before starting the search for a provider, there should first be clarity about the budget, spatial conditions, and the desired CT.
In addition, another indispensable point is the comprehensive support around the setup, operation and service. All breakdowns and routine service should be covered by a one-year warranty if you purchase a new CT modality. This is not necessarily expected with refurbished CT systems.
Vendors are often selected based on who gives the lowest bid, instead of who provides the best overall combination of products and services. The value of a product is estimated by comparing what you pay against what you get, and vendors should have a lot more to offer than the product in a box.
We have developed a checklist of services that are needed and which may be covered by the individual provider or included in the benefits package, it's easier to avoid missing any essential details:
- Warranty services (duration and inclusions versus exclusions)
- Maintenance (including regular software updates)
- Repair (including availability of technicians and spare parts)
- Basic operational training
- Specialised application training
- Accessibility of contact persons
- Setup: vet specific service and equipment (e.g. fulfilling the requirement for the veterinary workspace)
It is always helpful to converse with colleagues or veterinary technicians from your area who have already had their own direct experience with a provider or manufacturer and may be able to advise who has superior service and which they personally prefer.
Considering these factors, you can narrow down the search for suitable providers and focus on your limitations.
After that, the options for where to buy a CT modality are relatively limited for both refurbished and new modalities:
Manufacturer: In addition to the CT unit, they also offer a variety of packages for the necessary services such as maintenance, repair and immediate assistance. Many also have special business models, such as leasing or a subscription, and usually offer an all-inclusive service package superior to any other provider.
Distributor: Alternatively, you can purchase a CT system through a distributor, who may offer systems from more than one manufacturer. Service requests could be offered directly by the distributor or it may be sourced out externally to the manufacturer. If a service package is offered by either means, it may be worth investigating whether they provide an acceptable call-out response time and if they provide application specialist support with timely response to requests.
Distributors specialised on the veterinary market often work closely with specific manufacturers and may be able to offer the most veterinary specific service with regards to training and general setup of the CT imaging practice.
Training by persons experienced in veterinary CT studies who have a comprehensive understanding of veterinary needs, is indispensable. Also, CT protocols integrated for veterinary medicine, for example, make the work much more manageable.
Used or refurbished equipment: These can also be found on various used medical technology sales platforms. Most resellers do not offer additional services such as specialised training, maintenance, repair or contact persons for acute problems and are not specialised in the veterinary market. Therefore it may be necessary to approach other service providers or the manufacturer for this. All at extra cost which you may not have anticipated.
Private: In rare cases, CT modalities are also sold privately. There are usually no further service or warranty services on offer here.
Note: Check your country’s national regulations and requirements. CT units need to be registered at a Radiation Control board and require a licence for the use of the unit. Usage can be restricted to technicians that are certified for performing CT scans. It is advised that you contact your country’s Regulatory Authority to familiarise yourself with the requirements and laws.
Do you need assistance obtaining further information about the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a new or refurbished modality?
We recommend reading our forthcoming article about the main differences between new and refurbished computed tomography systems.
Based on our experience through close customer contact, we at DiploVets can advise you professionally and objectively on questions relating to the acquisition of a CT modality.
Do you need support?
DiploVets offers more than just diagnostics. We also understand us as a point of contact for questions and uncertainties that arise in connection with imaging.
Together we achieve the best diagnosis and treatment options.
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