Google+   Facebook icon


 Imaging Systems & Services

Specializing In Used X-Ray And Used C-Arms

Ph: (440) 953-4488

Med Industry Blog

DR Digital X-Ray Prices Finally Low Enough To Compete With CR

February 8, 2013

Direct Digital Radiography (DR) traditionally have been priced so high that only large medical facilities could afford to install them. The alternative for digital x-ray output has been Computer Radiography (CR). Typically a new X-ray system equipped with two fixed DR detectors (one for the table bucky and one for the wall bucky) were priced in the $250K - $300K range. If you wanted to retrofit an existing system, you were faced with a expenditure of around $90K per DR detector. The logical alternative was CR. You could purchase a CR system for $30K- $90K and it could accommodate multiple buckys or even multiple systems.

Of course, when offered a less expensive solution, there generally are several downsides, and CR is no exception. The first and most obvious down side is throughput time. Whereas DR can produce an image in less than 10 seconds, CR needs to be manually manipulated which takes time. First the CR cassette/plate needs to be inserted into the bucky. After the exposure is completed, it needs to be removed, walked over to the CR reader and inserted in the reader . Within 30-60 seconds the reader will produce an image, then it will erase the image from the plate and then needs to be returned to the bucky for the next exposure. This process can take anywhere from 3-5 minutes, a far cry from the 10 second DR time. The second downside is that the CR plates have a limited life and after 1000-2000 exposures will need to be replaced at a cost of about $1000 each. The last and maybe most concerning downside is the dose requirements of CR. DR and even film require less exposure than CR, this could become a problem as x-ray exposure is continually being scrutinized by the FDA and ACR.

The good news is high performance DR is now available at prices which compete with mid range CR systems. As the price of DR contiues to come down and CR remains relatively the same, competion is becoming real. However, it's not just the price of DR that has reduced, but the application has become different. Instead of using two fixed DR panels in a system, many facilities are opting for one portable DR detector. The least expensive is the tethered detector which has a cable attached that can allow it to me moved from bucky to bucky without plugging in or unplugging the cable, it simply stays with the panel. Starting at $55,000, this solution is much faster than CR, is less expensive than a high end CR and about the same price as mid range CR. The alternative choice is a portable DR with a wireless detector. This solution is similar to the tethered DR detector but with no cable. It can be moved from bucky to bucky without moving a cable with it. The wireless DR subsytem begins at about $69,000 again competing with hgh end CR.

DR systems - fixed, tethered and wireless - have pretty much the same compoents - DR detector(s), PC console worksation, acquisition/manipulation/viewing software with full Dicom capability as well as full workflow interface capability, including PACS, RIS, HIS and EHR.

The good news doesn't stop with fixed x-ray systems. Portable DR is the main component of portable digital x-ray. The pricing to retrofit a portable x-ray unit with a tethered or wireless DR system is pretty much the same as for a fixed system. A portable x-ray unit can be upgraded to Tethered DR for about $55,000 and to wireless DR for about $69,000.

The question is will CR go the route of Beta video tape and DR become the VHS of the digital diagnostic imaging world or will they both remain viable in their particular applications?

Contact us for additional information.

Med Imaging System Sales

NCD Medical Company   

For More Information About Digital X-ray Imaging go to

Med Industry Blog

Recent Postings

Nov 8, 2016
"Affordable" Care Act - Isn't. How will it effect the Healthcare Industry

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was passed in March of 2010 contrary to the wishes of the general population. The majority of people were not in favor of this program but the Democratic Congress and President Obama found away to get it passed.

Read Full Article

May 5, 2016

The transition away from x-ray film and Computer Radiography (CR) to Digital Radiography (DR) is advancing rapidly. There are a number of reasons DR is quickly becoming the x-ray digital output of choice.

Read Full Article

March 31, 2014
How To Plan For Diagnostic Imaging Expansion With Healthcare Programs Being Uncertain

Medical facilities are struggling to determine how to accommodate the uncertainty surrounding our current healthcare dilemma. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was established to increase the number of people who would be insured to receive healthcare benefits, by as many as 30 million people, thereby increasing demand for diagnostic imaging services.

Read Full Article

October 9, 2013
Which C-Arm Should I Buy?

Today you can be faced with many choices when deciding to purchase a mobile c-arm. Although most are appropriate for the majority of procedures, some may be particular good for the procedures you perform. Of course, the first consideration must be financial.

Read Full Article

February 8, 2013
DR Digital X-Ray Prices Finally Low Enough To Compete With CR

Direct Digital Radiography (DR) traditionally have been priced so high that only large medical facilities could afford to install them. The alternative for digital x-ray output has been Computer Radiography (CR).

Read Full Article

Nov. 23, 2012
Demand For Diagnostic Imaging Systems Growing Rapidly In Africa, The Middle East And Eastern Europe - Will The Systems Be Purchased?

The demand for medical facilities and related diagnostic imaging systems is growing at a tremendous rate. There is a strong need for x-ray and fluoroscopic systems as well as CT, MRI and ultrasound systems.

Read Full Article

Aug. 8, 2012

I recently received an email from a physician in India. He had been residing in the United Kingdom for several years and had returned to his home land. He contacted me because he was interested in developing a new business of selling and supporting pre-owned diagnostic imaging systems to facilities throughout India.

Read Full Article

How To Safely Buy Pre-Owned Medical Systems
August 8, 2011

Very often there is a need to acquire additional capability in our health care facilities but there isn't always the funds to purchase a new, full-functioned, state of the art, diagnostic imaging system. Therefore, a decision must be made to determine if the additional services can be shifted to another facility or if it is critical or at least necessary to remain at your facility. The decision usually comes back that it needs to remain and options to accommodate it must be considered.

Read Full Article
As Featured On EzineArticles
July 17, 2011
Digital Radiography - Electronic X-Ray - When, Why and How?

It seems like we have crossed the healthcare frontier and the only thing left to conquer is analog or film based x-ray systems. MRI's, CT's, Ultrasound, PET, Bone Densitometry, Mammography and most diagnostic imaging systems output digital data, that is except for Radiography and Fluoroscopy. Most existing systems are still analog and put out either x-ray film and/or analog video. Although most mobile C-arms are now being produced with digital output capability, most existing C-arms, X-ray systems and R/F systems have not yet been upgraded. When you consider that today there are more x-ray studies done than any other modality study, we should concede, we are way overdue in moving to electronic Rad and Fluoro. These upgrades should probably be initiated before all others at medical facilities today.

Read Full Article
How To Get The Most From Your Radiology Dollar
June 3, 2011

The decisions are getting harder when we try and determine what our facility should invest in to provide the best patient care. 256 slice CTs, 3.0T MRIs, Digital Mammography, PACS Upgrade, EHR and so on....? We first try and determine our available budget or we are asked to submit a request for funds based upon current and future requirements, local competition and/or physician requirements. It is now necessary to take a long hard look at what is currently being utilized and determine how best to enhance capabilities. You probably begin to bring in vendors to discuss the capabilities of their new systems, as well as potential costs. If you are like many administrators, you immediately get a large blast of reality $$$$$$$. You instantly know that you will be limited to one purchase or less and it's possible funding won't be available for several years. If you are experiencing growth, patient count is increasing, test procedures are on the increase, and avaliable system time is becoming harder and harder to come by, then you know you will need to upgrade Radiology capacity.

Read Full Article