MRI Users Rank Best Systems

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. — GE, Philips, Siemens and Toshiba are dominating the MRI market, according to ECRI Institute. The nonprofit health care research organization recently released on Aug. 13 details of its poll that asked hundreds of MRI users to rate the best systems on the market.

ECRI Institute used its Selectplus User Experience Network, a service that helps medical technology purchasers with vendor and product information, to gauge MRI operators on what they thought of vendors’ image quality, coil selection and setup, ease of use, patient throughput and vendor support. The results include function, feature and service ratings for each model, grouped by vendor.

“Hospital leaders and technology purchasers need all the supporting data and market insight they can get to make informed buying decisions, with a keen focus on safety and quality,” said Jennifer L. Myers, ECRI Institute’s vice president of Select Health Technology Services, in a statement. “We rely on our partner health care organizations’ end-user experiences as one of the many tools hospitals can use to help make cost-effective purchasing decisions.”

Key findings of the survey show that MRI models with the highest overall user rating scored high in ease-of-use and image-quality criteria. MRI models with the lowest overall user rating scored lowest in reliability and vendor service.

MRI systems are grouped into three general categories based on magnetic field strength: 3T scanners, 1.5T scanners and low-field (1.2T or less) scanners. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best, the average user rating for image quality across all 3T systems was 4.3 compared to 4.2 for all 1.5T systems.

When comparing the four MRI market leaders and their 1.5T MRI systems, the survey found the GE Optima MR450w had the highest average list price at approximately $3.5 million, and the Toshiba Vantage Titan 1.5T was the lowest at about $2.1 million. The system with the highest average quoted price was the Philips Ingenia 1.5T at $1.7 million compared to the Toshiba Vantage Titan 1.5T, which again came at the lowest price at $1.3 million. The highest average annual service price was for the Philips Ingenia 1.5T at $153,015 and the lowest price was for the Simens Magnetom Aera at $115,201.

The full report is available to ECRI Institute members on its website.