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Key considerations when choosing an independent CT service partner

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | September 20, 2023
CT Parts And Service X-Ray

Remote monitoring technologies have allowed ISOs and other servicers to pivot away from traditional break-and-fix models by detecting signs of an issue before it occurs, further preventing unnecessary downtime and saving providers thousands in repair costs. Additionally, tasks like software updates and patch installations can be performed remotely. They can also guide in-house clinicians remotely.

“We are able to see what the technologist is seeing live,” said McCormack. “This allows us to give expert support to biomedical engineers, making them capable of fixing a majority of issues. It also allows us to diagnose the scanner remotely so that we can send the correct parts the first time we need to go on-site to complete a repair.”

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Independent service going forward
As AI and automation change what’s possible with software applications, it’s possible that CT scanners will need to be replaced less frequently. Such a shift would have important consequences for the nature of equipment service.

“Those types of enhancements are going to get built up, packaged, and added to systems in a way that will make CT more powerful, and reduce the need to buy a brand-new system for $5 million,” says Gill. “I think people will get more life and more function out of older systems through this technology.”

The growth of remote diagnostics means servicers and providers must work with one another to overcome hurdles as they arise. Kinnas says this includes “collaborating with an IT team of an organization to ensure the smooth functioning of a diagnostics system."

Meanwhile, as dust settles in the ongoing debate over right-to-repair, it's possible that ISOs will gain greater access to service resources and materials from manufacturers, such as manuals, making it easier for them to compete on a wider array of modalities. In 2021, the Librarian of Congress approved an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which largely prohibits circumvention of technology measures that control access to copyrighted works, allowing it to determine what constitutes a “non-infringing" use of copyrighted works for diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining medical devices.

In any case, ISOs provide a valuable service that allows healthcare providers to save in the short and long term on expenses, enabling them to manage challenging financial situations, while still providing quality CT scanning and other forms of medical imaging to patients.

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