March 10, 2011 – According to a new KLAS report, computed radiography (CR) vendors offer providers what they need, with few exceptions. Measuring performance of both single- and multi-plate units, the report reveals that customers want little downtime and excellent service. In the multi-plate market segment Konica ranked first (with a score of 89.6 out of 100), and in the single-plate market Agfa took the top spot (with a score of 90.2). "The CR market is extremely tight. The five ranked single-plate vendors span a less-than-five-point margin and the lowest score is an 86.5, which is excellent when compared with performance of vendors in other medical equipment segments," said Emily Crane, KLAS director of medical equipment research and author of the new report. "Providers using CR told us they just want it to run. X-ray is one of the most requested exams, and providers need to know that their CR equipment is going to perform, day after day, and patient after patient. The providers we spoke with told us that vendors are delivering, for the most part." New CR technology was not top of mind for customers, as most vendors have not been introducing new innovations in this market space. However, some praised Agfa and Carestream for continuing to offer new features with their CR lines. Agfa customers were especially pleased with the Musica2 imaging algorithm, citing crystal clear images. Carestream has continued to develop its single-plate offering, making it faster and smaller. Overall, providers report being more satisfied with their single-plate CRs than their multi-plate. The two least reliable units rated in this study were the Philips Corado and the Agfa 85-X, both multi-plate units. Providers reported some product issues that affected the units' uptime and felt that they weren't receiving the service needed to get up and running quickly enough. Some also mentioned that they preferred to use DR rather than multi-plate CR. "While CR is a fairly stable market and single-plate CR is still perceived as a good investment, some providers indicated that they would rather work with DR than CR. This is especially true when it comes to multi-plate CR. If providers were going to make a new purchase, they can do a wireless retrofit for about the same price as a new multi-plate unit. That's not to say there is no value in CR, just that the market is shifting," said Crane. The vendors rated in the report are Agfa, Carestream, Fuji, Konica and Philips. iCRco and Radlink are included in the report, but were not fully rated. The report is available to healthcare providers online for a significant discount off the standard retail price. For more information: www.KLASresearch.com
Scores Soar in a Shifting Computed Radiography (CR) Market
A SPECT nuclear scan of the heart to show perfusion defects in the myocardium due to coronary artery blockages or heart attack. The imaging uses the Mo-99 based medical imaging isotope Tc-99m. The U.S. government has created policy to move away from use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU) for Mo-99 isotope production, but there is one holdout who has not yet converted before a 2020 deadline. Photo courtesy of Philips Healthcare.