When a New MRI Purchase Comes Up, Here's How your evaluation should start

The MRI machine is a medical marvel to be admired, but when the time comes to consider an upgrade to new system, there are some basic factors your staff must consider in order to ensure the next system will be the right choice for your practice or department. The decision isn’t always an open and shut case.

The first question we often ask customers is – what does your facility really need? For example, many new systems provide 1.5T or 3.0T scanning. The higher resolution provides several clinical benefits; however, some exams may consume more time than lower resolution scans do. If a good portion of your scans will be in neurology, prostate, breast, hands and wrists, then the 3.0T unit may very well be warranted. These systems will also weigh more than 1.5T units do, so that needs to be considered depending on where the system will be located. If a 1.5T MRI unit is adequate for your imaging needs, then your considerations will be based on whether you go with closed or open platforms.

There are pros and cons to either one. Closed short bore 1.5T systems will tend to provide faster scan times than open systems.

Open systems on the other hand may alleviate patient anxieties over closed spaces, yet because of their shape they cannot take images of certain areas of the body. Image quality is also of lesser quality as the strength of an open MRI is less than it would be for a closed system. So here again is the reason to start your evaluation with a thorough understanding of what your practice is going to do. Much of that information will come from other stakeholders in your facility.

We usually ask some detail-oriented questions in our approach, but we never underestimate the value of various perspectives including your imaging staff and facilities management. Remember, the weight issue on some 3.0T machines will either restrict your choices or require additional floor support which leads to additional costs.

Our team understands the purpose of working together to address your needs. MRI and CT Systems are not only assets to a medical facility, they are vital tools for a patient’s health. So before you get too far along in your MRI evaluation, take the time to speak with KEI Medical Imaging. We’ll help you make the right choice. Contact us at

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