One of the largest deciding factors in the choice to add or upgrade to digital x-ray imaging is cost. Despite being one of the most frequently asked questions, no imaging solutions provider can tell you exactly how much making changes will add up to without talking to you about your specific needs. Today, most Computed Radiography (CR) solutions have a clinic price below $20,000 while Digital Radiography (DR) solutions are typically priced closer to $30,000. However, there are several factors that commonly affect the cost of making such changes in your business. The three most impact factors are x-ray sourcing, clinic needs, and additional parts.
First and foremost, do you already have an x-ray source? This is one of the keys to the question of overall cost. If your clinic does not already have an x-ray source or is in need of new equipment, this will have a significant effect on the cost of adding a digital imaging solution. New x-ray sources can require new wiring and shielding as well so make sure to talk to an experienced imaging solutions provider. You may also want to upgrade an existing x-ray source but, unless the system’s generator has pre-existing problems, this probably isn’t necessary.
There are two different image capturing options most clinics consider when adding a digital imaging solution. CR systems are cassette-based digital processing, while DR is a direct capture digital image process. High volume clinics should consider DR for its efficiency, but is also most costly on average, and can lack flexibility compared to a CR system.
If you choose to go with a DR system, you will also have to decide whether or not you want or need a wireless detector. Many radiology rooms will actually work better with a tethered detector wired directly into your computer, but there are also many applications that demand or benefit from a movable, wireless DR. You may also want to add a Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) to view your images on other computers, protective or weight-bearing covers for your equipment, and other accessories which can certainly add up.
Ultimately, the individual needs and overall situation of the clinic can determine how moving to a digital imaging solution will cost. It’s important to go into the market for a system knowing these factors will impact the price of your upgrade. While a price for either CR or DR system cannot be easily calculated, knowing these factors when talking to an experienced imaging solutions provider will help ease the buying process and allow you to purchase what best suits your clinic needs.