Buying a new ultrasound system?

Buying a new ultrasound system?

If you or your organization are currently looking for a new or reconditioned ultrasound system, the array of choices can be confusing.

The first decision to make is whether you want to purchase brand new or reconditioned equipment. With brand new, you get the very latest hardware and software along with a warranty. With reconditioned, you get a system that is a year older or more, as well as a warranty, at a substantially lower price and potentially hardware and software with a proven track record for reliability.

Next you want to look at your options. There are dozens of different manufacturers who have products in today’s marketplace. Which one to choose? You should begin to narrow your choices by asking a series of questions which pertain to current customer installed base. By requesting a list of customers in your area, you can contact them for feedback on the system and company’s performance. Do not just accept a few references in the area. Ask for a larger list so you can choose whom to contact.

When a demonstration is arranged, request that the system remain on-site for a period of time and operated by in-house personnel. This gets the equipment out of the controlled environment of a standard demo by exposing it to a wide variety of patients, sonographers and conditions such as portables where the system is moved and turned on and off repeatedly.

Now ask about support from a service standpoint. How many service engineers do they have in the area? Does the company provide training? Service manuals? Where are their parts depots located? Technical support? Diagnostics? Software? If these items are not included as part of the sale, what is their availability and cost? By asking these questions during the sales process, you are much more likely to obtain these vital items at a reduced cost or no cost.

The initial cost of the ultrasound system is a large factor when making a purchase, but there must be a focus on total cost of ownership and service support. You will have this system for five to seven years so a long-term support plan is vital to overall cost and uptime.

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