Several medical surveys have hailed computed tomography (CT) scanners as one of the top five medical developments in the past four decades. These devices have revolutionised how a human body is studied, and prognosis formed.
According to a research report published by Markets and Markets, a market research firm, the global CT scanner market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% to reach USD 6.2 billion by 2022.
As a doctor, you would strive to offer your patients the best facilities and installing a high-quality CT scanner is one of them. However, before you buy a CT scanner, consider the following three factors. These will help you select a CT scanner that best suits your needs:
1. Slice count
This is one of the most important factors to consider while buying a CT scanner. Though a machine with a higher slice count can reduce the scan time and produce higher resolution images, it’s important to remember that a device with a higher slice count is not always viable. You need to choose a CT scanner depending on the number of scans you need to perform daily/ weekly.
If you perform only a couple of scans per week, a 4-slice CT scanner is sufficient. On the other hand, if you have a heavy patient load where you need to scan every day, you can opt for a 16-slice scanner. While a 4-slice machine could cost approximately Rs. 60 lakh, the cost of a 16-slice machine could be well above Rs. 1 crore. If you need financial assistance for buying a CT scanner, you can avail of a special loan for doctors up to Rs. 55 lakh.
2. Detector area coverage
Apart from the slice count, another essential factor is the detector area coverage. This is a measure of how much of a body can be scanned/ imaged by the machine. It is important to note that the detector coverage area can vary across scanners with the same slice count.
For example, the detector area coverage of a 64-slice CT scanner, used in high volume critical environments such as trauma and cardiac, can vary from 19.5 to 40mm. The greater the area covered, the lesser the amount of stitching you need to review images of an organ or a part of the body.
3. NEMA XR-29 or equivalent compliant
Ensuring your machine is NEMA XR-29 or equivalent compliant is as crucial as the slice count and detector area coverage. With the increasing demand for exposure to lower radiation, one must ensure that the CT scanner you intend to purchase is NEMA X-29 compliant or equivalent certification. Find out if the model offers enhanced dose modulation techniques. This will ensure that your patients are not subjected to harmful radiation resulting in burns or even poisoning.
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