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The ever-evolving CT tube market

por John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | August 26, 2019
Parts And Service
From the August 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Providing customer service and training
While independent tube companies bring value the market, leading imaging OEMs have a footprint that allows them to offer their own comprehensive advantages. Dave Dobson, chief marketing officer, Services, GE Healthcare points to his company’s emphasis on reducing unplanned downtime associated with ordering, delivery and installation of replacement CT tubes.

“Some customers prefer a service agreement which includes tube coverage and others prefer to purchase tubes only as needed,” said Dobson. “The market for on-demand tube replacement is growing as healthcare providers take action to manage operating cost.”

Engineering and field service are key to GE’s approach to improving the customer experience, he added. This includes not only the CT system and tube, but extends to technologist training, image quality, and radiation dose efficiency. GE offers technologies to continuously monitor system and tube parameters so that proactive steps can be taken to replace a tube on a day and time that is planned.

For tubes specifically, Dobson points to GE’s Tube Watch remote monitoring program as a way his customers can take preventative action before a component fails and causes unplanned service disruption. The system integrates artificial intelligence and software analytics to build a unique digital twin model of the tube, enabling high-accuracy predictions.

“We help customers understand which tube is right for their needs and offer CT tube upgrades or replacement,” said Dobson. “We support customers with usage data, flexible service, trained engineers, warranty, tubes shipped from inventory and remote monitoring.”

Varex is also emphasizing customer experience as part of the value it can deliver its service partners, including increasingly comprehensive support capabilities. Its new Service Solutions Group offers new warranty and service contracts, exchange programs, increased inventory at regional stocking locations, and enhanced technical support.

Dunlee, which is owned by Philips and provides OEM tubes as well as replacement tubes, supports its distributors with continuing education that keeps them up-to-date on CT technology and installation. For example, in 2018 Dunlee partnered with AllParts Medical to provide specialized training to representatives from three new Dunlee distributors in China through a week-long session on how to install the DA200Ultra, DA200 P40 and Reevo240G Dunlee tubes.

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