When to Retrofit and when to Replace your Interventional Lab Equipment
Everyday technology is affecting how healthcare professionals interact with patients. Gone are the days of analog data on spools of paper (well mostly gone anyways); everything is going digital and advancing at a rapid rate. This is excellent for patients as they are able to receive the highest quality of care.
But all this growth isn’t without its challenges. The main one being: How do healthcare providers keep up?
There is a constant inflow of new information; fascinating studies containing updated data are emerging weekly. Keeping up to date on newly published scientific articles is a lot of work as it is; add on the burden of keeping up with new technology and it can feel overwhelming. With new equipment constantly being produced it causes you to wonder: when should you upgrade the technology in your lab?! The major OEM’s will tell you to upgrade frequently, but of course they will, they have a vested interest in the amount of new medical devices that are purchased. So, what’s the truth?
The Fundamental Issue with Aging Equipment
The main problem with aging equipment is that it ages at different rates: The relevancy of old medical equipment varies. Some medical devices haven’t changed in decades and are just repackaged to look new. Yet, other medical devices are rapidly changing, being fundamentally redesigned every couple of years as new data and techniques emerge. This creates a situation where a 10-year-old lab will have equipment that works flawlessly and doesn’t need to be replaced, but will also have devices that are hopelessly outdated.
Managing Outdated Equipment
Often times with medical equipment the interface, displays, and data management tools all age much faster than the actual equipment does (such as x-rays, hemodynamic systems, etc.). Many of our everyday use items age in the same way. Cameras are one example: Lenses, as long as they are kept clean and free of dust and scratches, are good for decades. It’s not uncommon for lenses to gain value over time, rather than depreciate, as they don’t lose their usefulness with age. Contrast that with the body of the camera, the part that contains the sensor and the interface. The body of a camera loses value at a dismal rate because this part of the equipment system changes at a more rapid rate. Medical equipment depreciates in a similar way: The imaging equipment remains relevant but the monitors and display equipment ages quickly.
What are lab managers to do?
A clever way to save money and keep your lab up to snuff is to replace displays, or other components that have aged quickly. This budget friendly option allows you to give your patients the best quality care without requiring you update everything. The C-View system from Carrot is one example of this upgrade-don’t-replace mentality. The C-View platform replaces a multi-bank setup of old CRT screens with one 4k display, allowing physicians to customize what is on the large display at any moment, making their job easier and decreasing case time. This economical solution allows physicians to have the tools they need at a price point that fits most budgets.
The key to staying above water in today’s rapidly changing medical environment is to focus resources on areas that will give the highest return on investment. Analyzing what needs to be replaced and what can be retrofitted will maximize capital dollars when investing in an interventional lab. For more information about equipment retrofit options, contact us.