GE Definium 8000 vs. Proteus w/Digital Detector: The Cost of Ownership

Ever since the advent of digital flat-panel detectors for analog X-ray systems, people from all over have been asking us for comparisons of retrofitted systems versus "born" digital systems. We've discussed functionality and up-front cost in other articles, but, because there are more costs involved in owning an X-ray system than just the price tag on it, we thought it was about time to talk about the overall cost of ownership.

We'll be using a refurbished GE Definium 8000 and a refurbished GE Proteus with a wireless DR panel retrofit as our examples throughout. Keep reading to see how the figures stack up.

The Costs

GE_Definium_DetectorUp Front

The Definium is a "born" digital X-ray system. Its full-room configuration has two fixed flat-panel detectors (pictured right), one in the table, and one in the wall stand that come with it from the factory.

AVERAGE PRICE: $115,000 - $125,000

The Proteus is an analog system and, by itself, costs around half of what a Defininum 8000 does. Adding digital upgrades to it, however, will put the Proteus in the same relative price bracket as a Definium.

The upgrade we're discussing in this article gives the Proteus digital capabilities comparable to the Definium 8000 with two digital detectors- a wireless one with rechargeable battery in the table (pictured below), and a tethered one connected to the system by a single cable for use in the wall stand.


Parts and Service

While up-front costs for both of these options are in the same neighborhood, ongoing costs for parts and service are where serious differences emerge.

The Definium has OEM detectors. These are far more expensive to replace than third-party detectors. On top of that, there are two of them. Service contract pricing will reflect both of these facts in a much higher number.


DR-Panel-Block.jpgAnnual service pricing on a Proteus with third-party detector panels is much lower. The Proteus is an older, very popular model so parts availability is high. In addition, the third-party detector has a much lower replacement cost and comes with a 5-year manufacturer's warranty of its own.


See the table below for a direct comparison of the dollars associated with purchasing either of these systems from Block Imaging and covering their maintenance with our full service agreement. The first-year costs include a refurbished system (median average), delivery and installation, and service coverage. Subsequent costs are solely related to ongoing service. The table stops at the 5-year mark but, essentially, the more years you run the comparison, the more dramatic the savings that come with the Proteus become. 

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
GE Proteus w/wireless panel
GE Definium 8000

The Experience

Of course, with all the numbers above out in the open, it's important to mention that cost is only one dimension of the ownership experience. The additional $6,300 the Definium will cost you over the Proteus each year comes with a few perks for users and patients:

  • With both detectors hard-wired into the system, you'll never need to recharge any batteries.
  • The Definium is basically a next-gen Proteus. It has several updated software and automation features that can help smooth out your workflow and reduce duplicate radiation doses.

The question of whether or not these features are compelling enough to justify the additional annual expense must be answered on a case-by-case basis.

The Takeaway

At the risk of sounding redundant, we'll say what we've said before: depending on your circumstances, either of these systems could be a great fit for your facility. If the additional cost won't hit your budget too hard and if the volume of patients you see necessitates all the workflow streamlining you can find, the Definium might be your best bet. However, if you're looking to save or to serve a more modestly-sized patient base, a Proteus with a flat-panel upgrade will meet your needs far more economically.


Picture of Tony Baggett

Tony Baggett

Tony Baggett is an X-Ray Product Manager at Block Imaging. Tony assists imaging centers, hospitals, and orthopedic centers in their purchases of x-ray equipment. When he’s not serving customers, Tony can be found hunting, fishing, and camping with his wife, son, and daughter.