Ultrasound machines are remarkable pieces of equipment that aid medical professionals in a variety of important tasks – to diagnose patients with potential heart conditions, monitor the health of internal organs (especially in regard to the abnormal fluid collection), look for cardiac issues and tumors, and monitor the development of the fetus over the course of a pregnancy.
Given their importance in the medical field and the sophistication of their design and production, ultrasound machines don’t come cheap. Although for purchasing agents or hospital administrators on a particularly tight budget, Heartland Medical does have used and refurbished ultrasound machines for sale.
However, before making such an important investment, it is worth getting a clearer idea of the options available to you – the factors that contribute to the cost and the differences between new, used and refurbished medical equipment.
Cost Factors in Ultrasound Machines
The cost of an ultrasound machine varies greatly – anywhere between $5,000 to $200,000. The reason for such a wide range in the price of an ultrasound machine is that there are different sizes, different levels of technology, and different models with different features.
4-D imaging and probes such as TEE probes are advanced features that will significantly raise the purchase price of the unit.
Purchase prices are also affected by the training and maintenance provided, and the delivery – which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
A small clinic might be able to get by with a small, basic ultrasound machine that produces black and white images. Those typically range from $10,000 to $40,000 – half the price if you find the right used model. Whereas a larger hospital might need a machine capable of producing 4-dimensional color images. Those start at around $120,000 for a solid mid-level unit and can go as high as $200,000 (or higher, in some cases) for newer high-end models.
Purchase Price by Categories
There are essentially 4 categories of ultrasound systems based on their condition or the amount of use they have undergone.
Naturally, a new system will cost the most. New units can generally be purchased direct from the manufacturers or a dedicated supplier or even online. A new ultrasound system can cost as low as $20,000 (minus maintenance costs or training costs and often with no, or a very limited, warranty). However, despite their low price, these kinds of ultrasound machines can be perfectly suited for a new or small practice or for clinics with very limited resources.
You tend to get what you pay for. And when it comes to new ultrasound equipment, if you want to, you can pay a lot. The top of the range ultrasound machines can go for a quarter of a million dollars. They offer the highest quality images with the best resolution along with increased portability, and they are sold with an extended warranty and maintenance and training costs included.
An ultrasound machine will typically hold most of its value during the first 2 years, then the cost of the used ultrasound machine will decrease significantly thereafter. A 3-year-old model can cost 50% to 60% of its initial selling price. And an ultrasound machine that is 5 years or older can depreciate to as little as 25% of its initial value.
While there is good value to be had in a used ultrasound machine, it is important to bear in mind that it might not be easy to find replacement parts for an older machine.
Refurbished machines are used machines that have received either a cosmetic make-over or a functional upgrade or both. Depending on the type of system a particular machine uses, with a refurbished ultrasound machine it is possible to get a quality high-end functionality at a fraction of the cost.
The price of a refurbished ultrasound machine can range anywhere from $30,000 to $90,000, depending on the brand, model, and the features the system is upgraded with. A used or refurbished machine could be an excellent option for a smaller clinic or practice, giving them access to advanced imaging features while saving anywhere from $50,000 to a $100,000.
Manufacturers or suppliers will take ultrasound machines to trade shows, fairs, and exhibits, or to conduct in-the-field testing. These machines can then be sold at a price that lies somewhere between new and refurbished, typically at a 30% discount.
Portable Ultrasound Machines
Portable ultrasound machines first appeared on the market back in 1975 – a mere 9 years after the first pulse Doppler ultrasound technology was invented. It wasn’t long thereafter that portable ultrasound equipment was designed to be battery operated, then handheld devices came on the market.
Though the image quality of early portable and handheld devices was quite crude, technology has come a long way since. As the technology and design of ultrasound machines have improved, so have the prices dropped. Although, it’s worth mentioning that models that feature new technological advancements have reached record high prices. However, the price of more basic models has decreased significantly in the last few decades.
How Much Does an Ultrasound Machine Cost – Tiers
To simplify the question, we will break down the ultrasound machine cost into 3 tiers – low, mid, and high.
The price of a low-tier ultrasound machine will range from $5,000 to $20,000. These systems still produce quality ultrasounds with good imaging resolution delivery, but without the advanced features of the higher-tier models.
Ultrasound systems in this price range, on average, are not sold refurbished.
The price of a mid-tier ultrasound machine will range from $20,000 to $50,000. These kinds of systems are suitable for larger medical facilities, including hospitals where vascular and abdominal diagnostics are carried out.
It is possible to find a mid-tier ultrasound machine used at a lower price or refurbished for approximately the same price but with more advanced features.
The price of a high-tier ultrasound machine will start, on average, at around $120,000. As there are no limits on the innovation and advancements we can expect from ultrasounds, there are no limits as to how high the price can go. Prices of refurbished high-tier systems can range from $50,000 to $75,000, while prices for used systems can range from $25,000 to $50,000.
Featured Ultrasound Machines
A top model from a top brand – The GE OEC 6800 Mini C-Arm is a compact, mobile unit with a CCD camera, high-end image processing software, and a user-friendly touchscreen. This mini system is easy to use, perfect for scanning extremities, especially when space is limited.
Find full specs and further product description here.
Ideal for orthopedic surgeons, the Fluoroscan Insight FD Mini C-Arm is ergonomically designed to be easily positioned, conveniently mobile and flexible, allowing for a comfortable experience for patients and clinicians alike.
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Whether you’re in the market for a new, used, or refurbished ultrasound machine, visit our wide selection of ultrasound machines today for free customized quotes on top brands like GE Healthcare, Philips, SonoScape, and many more.