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.

how much does an mri machine cost Per Tesla and YOM - LBN Medical

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.

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.

Any disadvantages?

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.

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.

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

  • Wide Bore MRIs

  • Permanent Magnet or Helium-Cooled Magnet

Additional Costs Associated with an MRI Purchase

Really, more?

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.

What else?

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 parts@lbnmedical.com

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?

How Much Does an MRI Machine Cost - Complete Overview

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