Medical Imaging Resources, Inc.

For DOTmed 100 Medical Imaging Resources Inc., Hard Times Mean Profits

December 17, 2008
by Lynn Shapiro, Writer

While the economy is admittedly "in the tank" as Jeff Rogers, Medical Imaging Resources Director of Sales puts it, the DOTmed 100 company in Ann Arbor, MI is enjoying double-digit growth.

What's the secret? Rogers says that the company's Interim Mobile Rental division, which owns a fleet of about 35 mobile systems representing all modalities--MRIs, CTs, Cardiac Cath/Angio and Nuclear Medicine systems--and its Imaging System Sales Group, work together to bring in hospital sales.

Medical Imaging Systems Resources (MIR) also rents and sells equipment to imaging centers, research facilities, and other emerging markets.

He described a common scenario: "Say a hospital needs to build a whole new imaging suite, but can't wait for the build-out to occur. They will rent mobile systems from us," Rogers says.

In addition to the systems themselves, Rogers and his team offer customers what he says is "a variety of very attractive solutions for maintaining their existing revenue streams or getting a jump start on offering a new clinical service....Once their suite is finished, we can then deliver [our own systems] that can meet their clinical needs for many years to come, or they may opt to purchase a brand new system from one of the OEMs," Rogers says.

MIR's fleet of mobile units includes systems from all of the major manufacturers. In fact, in the last four months, the company has added two state-of-the-art Siemens mobile MRIs to existing inventory.

MIR's mobile rental business, founded by President John Vartanian almost 18 years ago, translates into hospital and end user system sales, Rogers says.

"If a healthcare facility has used us before for its interim mobile systems, we already have a track record with them. We do very well with clients who know us, in terms of converting rental sales into system sales and system acquisitions. And since we offer refurbished systems, we can typically save our end user clients 20 to 30 percent over what they would spend to buy new equipment," Rogers says.

The company's sales division is very active in both the wholesale and end user markets, he says. In the end user arena, Rogers provides his customers with complete turnkey imaging system solutions from site planning, installation, calibration, training, service and support.

Bad Times. Good Profits.

While OEMs have experienced a significant decrease in sales during the last two years, Rogers says the financial crisis has boosted business for MIR.

"Larger hospitals are seriously considering refurbished and reconditioned systems. Before they would only consider buying new," he says. As a result, "we are growing. "We've hired two new sales people in the past six months and are looking for a third. We've added dedicated IT and marketing people in the past three years. We have around 20 employees, including engineers and nine sales people."

A Voice on the Phone

"MIR is exclusively devoted to the medical imaging community, has excellent relationships with its customers, and offers support services that parallel what the OEMs offer," Rogers says. "Customers know us, we're not just a voice on the phone."

Speaking of phones, many of MIR's customers like to be put on hold, Rogers concedes. That's because while they're waiting for him to pick up their call, they can play Radiology Trivia.

For example: "What animal's heart was used in the world's first animal to human transplant?" a pleasant female voice asks. Answer: a baboon. "And what does the PET stand for in PET scanning?" Positron Emission Tomography is the answer. "And who is considered the father of nuclear medicine?" Oops, Rogers picks up the phone before this reporter can hear the answer.

"Could I be put back on hold for a minute, Jeff?" she asks. Answer: Marshall Brucer (1913-1994).