How Much Does an MRI Machine Cost – Complete Overview
How much does an MRI machine cost?
And what is the difference in price for a new and used MRI scanner – This will be answered during this blog. MRI systems are found within a wide price range of 30.000 – 700.000 euros.
But, you need to look at your requirements before making up your mind. Some of the cheaper ones are only fit for extremity examinations and the most expensive MRIs are suited for state-of-the-art examinations which you might not need.
One of the cheapest MRI systems is the Esaote C-Scan, an extremity scanner and an excellent choice for orthopedists. As this system does not require additional shielding it can be installed in a small clinic.
At the other end of the scale, there are systems with higher Tesla measures, systems with zero boil-off magnets, and high gradients.
Furthermore, MRI machine prices are affected by several other factors: Year of manufacture (YOM), field strength, gradient strength, slew rate, and channels. The higher number on these, the higher the price – This we will also dig into later.
For a quick overview of the prices of used systems, have a look at the price matrix below. This will illustrate that there is not one simple answer to: “how much does an MRI machine cost”. It contains examples of MRI price levels, as MRI prices fluctuate greatly, in some cases, you can get an installation project for a certain price, other times you pay the same amount for an MRI system only.
In this article, you get an overview of the prices of MRI scanners based on Teslas, but also information on some of the additional factors that influence prices.
If you prefer, you can sign up for our e-mail course, which will walk you through the main points of purchasing an MRI scanner.
Prices of New and Refurbished MRI Scanners
In the table above, you can see the prices of MRI systems based on their field of strength (Teslas – T) and year of manufacture, which are two of the most important price indicators. However, these prices are for used systems.
So, what are the prices of new or refurbished MRIs compared to this?
The general rule of thumb is: Prices of used systems are typically 50-80% lower than prices of new machines. And prices for OEM refurbished systems are usually 35-45% lower than prices of new systems.
Therefore, if you decide to purchase a used or refurbished system rather than a new one, you can get either a more advanced and powerful MRI model or the same model at a cheaper price.
Additionally, the development of MRI scanners is fairly slow. This is a benefit when buying used, as you will save money, without compromising image quality and speed.
Prices of Low-field MRI Machines: 0.2T – 0.4T
Low-field MRI scanners include the 0.2T, 0.3T, and 0.4T MRIs. They are usually open bore MRIs.
Although the MR market is dominated by superconducting magnets with a field strength of 1.5T and higher, a lower field scanner also has certain advantages. For example, lower initial purchase price, operational costs, service, and annual running costs.
The 0.2T MRIs are the cheapest on the market. We can divide these into two categories:
Systems only for extremities such as the Esaote E and C-scan 0.2T cost between 30.000 – 80.000 euros. On the other hand, a full-body 0.2T MRI will be around and possibly even above 80.000 euros. An example is the Siemens Magnetom Concerto.
Nevertheless, there are exceptions. Even though the Esaote G-Scan is used for extremities, its price could be 80.000 – 120.000 euros. This system stands out, with a movable magnet that allows you to scan patients while they are on their feet. This releases the pressure on the spine of your patients, which results in clearer images.
The used 0.3T to 0.4T MRIs cost almost twice as much as the 0.2T systems. The current price range is 200 – 300.000 euros. These MRIs are used for full-body examinations. Models in this category include the Siemens Magnetom C 0.35T and Hitachi Aperto 0.4T.
Examples of Low-field MRIs
An outstanding 0.2T MRI that provides great image quality, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and patient comfort.
Siemens Magnetom C
A great 0.35T MRI that delivers outstanding patient comfort with its open, compact C-shaped magnet.
Prices of 1.5T MRI Machines
The high-field MRI systems are commonly classified as closed MRI scanners. These systems are very powerful. Higher Tesla strength also means a stronger magnetic field and thus clearer images of deep tissues.
Nowadays, the standard for MRI imaging in a clinical setting is a 1.5T MRI. They are faster than lower strength MRIs and are ideal for cardiac as well as general imaging.
As these MRIs are closed, some patients might feel claustrophobic. Furthermore, purchase prices of the newest models can be high and so can their maintenance cost, as they are helium-cooled.
Their price range?
These are a bit more complicated as YOM has a bigger role here. 1.5T MRIs with a YOM of 2000 – 2008 cost approximately 270.000 to 350.000 euros. For instance, the Toshiba Vantage Titan. However, prices of systems that are manufactured from 2009 – 2014 are 380.000 – 500.000 euros, for example, the Siemens Magnetom Avanto.
Examples of 1.5T MRIs
Toshiba Vantage Elan
The smallest 1.5T MRI scanner ever made with an ultra-short open bore design and excellent image quality.
Toshiba Vantage Titan
An advanced 1.5T MRI system that will provide high performance and satisfy most needs.
Siemens Magnetom Avanto
A 1.5T MRI with advanced Total Imaging Matrix technology that offers ultra-fast image acquisition.
Prices of 3T MRI Machines
These machines generate a magnetic field that is twice the strength of 1.5T MRI machines and 10 – 15 times the strength of low-field and open MRI scanners.
Philips Achieva 3T
An excellent MRI designed to ease the scanning process and make the magnetic resonance system faster.
One of the biggest advantages of the 3T MRI machine is its ability to reduce image noise. Hereby, the 3T MRIs are great for visualizing very fine details, such as vessels of the brain and heart.
Again, the price of the used systems depends on the year of manufacture.
3T MRIs produced before 2006 cost between 320.000 to 380.000 euros. Examples are the Philips Achieva and Philips Intera.
However, if you are looking for machines newer than 2008 you will have to pay even more as they typically cost more than 400.000 euros.
In this category you find the Philips Ingenia, Siemens Prisma, and Siemens Verio.
Additional Factors Affecting How Much an MRI Machine Cost
As mentioned at the top, YOM and Teslas are not the only factors influencing prices of MRI systems.
More are elaborated below:
Gradient Strength and Slew Rate
Together, gradient strength and slew rate are the engines that bring your MRI machine to its top performance.
Gradient strength is measured in millitesla per meter (mT/m) while the slew rate is measured in a similar way, but in miliseconds (mT/m/ms) and the stronger they are the better the image clarity will be.
However, it is important to consider the type of studies and examinations you will perform. For example, neuro and cardiac applications require higher gradient strength than orthopedic or general applications. Therefore, MRIs with higher gradient strength and higher slew rates are more expensive, as the price reflects the capability of the MRI system.
MRI Coil Type
Another determinant of the price is the MRI coil type. The more channels the coil has, the more expensive it gets. The highest priced coils belong in the category 16 – 32 channel coils, while the 4 – 8 channel coils are less expensive.
Hence, the more channels the coil has, the more you will pay for the MRI system.
Wide Bore MRIs
We have already mentioned open and closed bore MRIs, but what if you are looking for an MRI with a wide bore?
Wide bore MRIs are more comfortable for patients, as the diameter of their opening is 70cm instead of 60cm. That gives the patients a feeling that the MRI is very wide. The demand for wide bore MRIs is on the rise, therefore, prices has been increasing.
Permanent Magnet or Helium-Cooled Magnet
And how does magnet type influence the price of an MRI machine?
MRIs up to 0.4T have permanent magnets, there are only a few 0.4T MRIs on the market with helium-cooled magnets and these are also more expensive than MRIs with permanent magnets.
When purchasing a helium-cooled MRI, remember that it is both more expensive to purchase and to maintain as it has higher running costs. For instance, you will need to buy extra helium regularly to keep it running.
Additional Costs Associated with an MRI Purchase
Yes, but almost there.
Be aware that extra cost might come on top of just the MRI scanner price. For example: Installation and warranty. Keep in mind that most medical imaging resellers do not offer warranty if you do the installation yourself.
Training your staff – If they have not worked with such a system before. MRI systems must be operated by professionals, and thus, it is very important to give your practitioners the right education.
And if you decide to purchase a helium-cooled MRI, you should, as mentioned, count on additional costs for helium, because it is pricey.
Also, in time you might need spare parts. If you want to make sure that you receive high-quality parts at a fair price, contact our spare parts department at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Determine What System You Should Get?
It is often the finances that set the limit to which MRI system you can purchase, but the first thing to do is to identify your needs. The questions below might help in that matter:
What kind of examinations are you going to perform?
Do you have any nearby competitors?
What service do you require for the system?
What facilities do you have?
How many patients do you expect?
What is the average cost for an examination?
When you have these questions answered, it is easier to find the right system for you. Let us know if you need further assistance.
Sum Up: How Much Does an MRI Machine Cost?
As you can see, there are many MRI systems available on the market for used medical equipment and their prices vary. Some of them have high-priced features that you might not even need.
When purchasing an MRI, be clear about your requirements – Not everyone needs a 3T magnet, not everyone needs 16 or 32-channel coils. Furthermore, remember that it is not only the system that costs you, but also the maintenance that comes with it.
We hope that this blog post answered the question: How much does an MRI machine cost?
If you are still in doubt, feel free to contact us for more information.
One last thing – below you can see a video with our Business Unit Manager for MRI, Wsam Al-Hariri, answering the question: How much does an MRI machine cost?
What is next?
If you want more, you can sign up for our brand new mail crash course on MRIs.