Pre-owned Imaging equipment, kind of like life, carries with it a simple truth: you can have the "latest and greatest" or you can have a low capital investment, but you can’t have both. Sure, there are exceptions, and you can get lucky some of the time, but on balance, when you want the most current stuff out there, (and coincidentally the most rare, most expensive to service, and hardest to find parts for) you’ll have to be ready to pay for it.
The Siemens Verio is a good example of this. They're very nice 3T systems with a 70cm bore – some say among the best MRI scanners ever made- and they're very difficult to locate and purchase on the secondary market, because most folks are happy to hold onto them. Simply put, once you are in this "rare air" of MRI technology, there isn’t much to upgrade to. Do they slip out onto the market occasionally? Of course, but as a company that deals in MRI every day, we buy and sell perhaps one Verio a year.
If you've been scouring the market for a Verio and either haven't found one, or haven't found one you can afford, we have an alternative that could be a good solution for you. If you can work with a 60cm bore, I’d like to give you a few reasons why you might consider choosing a Siemens TIM Trio 3T over the Verio. I’ve done this with the help of my good friend Mazin Faour at Variware. Keep reading for all the details!
The Verio boasts a zero boil-off magnet. This is a big advantage, as it keeps helium costs as low as possible, but also adds a nice chunk of change to the purchase price of the system. The most common version of the Trio seen on the secondary market costs far less than a Verio and uses the OR64 magnet. It's not a zero boil-off unit, but is stable, reliable, and only consumes helium gradually, at a very reasonable rate (.1 - .2% per day).
The Gradient Coil
The Trio has the advantage in this area with a higher level of gradient efficiency. The Verio is an ultra-short, 70cm magnet and, like other models of this type, can “max out” in capacity when running more robust scans. As a result, during these lengthy scans, image quality is typically better on standard-sized magnets.
Reliability and Parts
As mentioned earlier in this article, the Trio has been around since 2004. It was Siemens' flagship 3T system for many years, and parts are more more widely available than they are for the much newer Verio. Like many systems that have become relatively common on the secondary market, there are plenty of independent, third-party service options for the Trio. The Trio is a system that’s referred to as the “Honda" of 3T MRI systems, due to its reliability and longevity.
Both these systems are famously easy to use, and both have 32-channel capability. The price difference between them, however, can be profound. While a typical Trio might run approximately $500,000 - $550,000 (including installation and warranty), you should expect to pay around $1,000,000 or more for a Verio. Keep in mind that service costs will be proportionally higher as well.
There is no disagreement that the Verio is an excellent system and highly sought after in today’s market. Given the scarcity and expense of these high-end units, however, the Trio is an eminently viable alternative that will give you great image quality, reliability, ease of use, and the same 32-channel capability- all at a fraction of the price.
If you're tired of waiting in the queue on a Verio and would like to talk more about exploring a TIM Trio 3T, our team is ready to get the conversation started. Use the button below and tell us what you;re looking for in your next MR magnet.
Steve Rentz is the Product Manager for MRI Scanners at Block Imaging. Steve's goal is to earn each customer's trust and business by specifically addressing the needs of their unique project. When Steve is not helping customers with their MRI needs, he enjoys running, swimming, and woodworking.