Buying a PET/CT Scanner? 3 Questions to Guide Your Search

Jumping headlong into the market for your first PET/CT scanner often feels like stepping headlong into a veritable sea of options, accessories, and price points. Overwhelming is an understatement. If you’re looking for a catalyst to send you in helpful directions in your search, this quick PET/CT research guide can help you.

Note: Block Imaging provides new and refurbished PET/CT machines and parts in order to solve all the pain points listed above. You can read about it in detail below or reach out to our sales team to learn more about how it can help improve diagnostic imaging.

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If you feel unclear about anything shared here, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our team members. Their experience has guided our customers to finding the right system for them.

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Which PET/CT Do I Need?

Determining an answer to this question will come down to several considerations like slice counts, cooling systems, physician brand preference, and what kinds of studies you will most likely be performing. Having a careful plan for how you intend to use your PET/CT will remove a few systems from the running once you begin shopping in earnest.

For example: if you have a modest budget but need Time-of-Flight and will be doing oncology studies, the Philips Gemini TF is a strong contender. If, however, your primary use is cardiology, a GE Discovery STE or a Siemens Biograph are top options.

When a customer reaches out to Block Imaging for more information on a system or in need of guidance, dedicated project managers, customer service representatives, and product specialists work together to provide a solution that best meets the customer’s needs. The guidelines in our blog are meant to be as helpful as possible, but ultimately the best way to find the information you need is to reach out to contact us.

How Do I Know I'm Getting a Good System?

Most of us have bought a car or a house that was previously owned. Like any product that has been previously used, some PET/CTs are cared for by their previous owners better than others.

If you are shopping on your own, it’s very important to ask for documentation like inspection reports, pictures, or refurbishment reports. It’s also highly recommended to hire a PET/CT trained field service engineer who can perform an inspection on any system that becomes a serious prospect.

This is important because you can find issues or problems that need to be resolved or you can negotiate a lower price because you will have to fix that issue later.

This is the process we go through at Block Imaging because we want you to be more than satisfied with your new equipment. When you purchase a refurbished system from Block Imaging, you can be assured that any issues that were discovered during our due diligence were repaired or failing components replaced.

How Much Will the System Cost?

Having a budget in mind is important to narrowing the options down and easing the decision-making process. A range is helpful to have — as in house shopping — but if your budget is $300k, you won't want to waste time looking at $700k PET/CT systems.

Keep in mind though; the price of the PET/CT system itself is far from the only cost involved in getting a PET/CT up and running in your facility. Building some preliminary expectations for what your total budget will be (construction, transportation, a hot lab, applications training, etc.) may play a hand in your approach to finding a system.

The most accurate way to determine system budget is to contact one of our product specialists. We can help you weigh the different priorities and offer feedback based on market availability.

Final Takeaway

You may not actually enter the PET/CT market with your final answers in mind, but by considering these three major facets of the purchasing process in advance you can point yourself in the right direction and save the time and trouble of looking at the wrong kind of equipment.

If you'd like to explore these questions in further detail and learn more about what follows, you can also download our free PET/CT Buyer's Guide. Inside you'll find tips on what to look for and what to avoid while shopping around for the best PET/CT for your facility.

Click here to download your guide

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Josh Nunez

Josh Nunez is the Director of Product Management at Block Imaging. Josh is energized by developing an understanding of each customer's unique imaging needs and overcoming the challenge of helping find them the perfect equipment match. When he is not providing PET/CT solutions he enjoys traveling, soccer, and spending time with his wife and five kids.