Mobile X-Ray Systems: Pros, Cons, and Costs

Jul 30, 2021 11:06:57 AM / by Jennifer Hutchison

Choosing an x-ray system can be a complicated decision with many types of x-rays and x-ray systems to choose from. You might not think of mobile x-ray systems as a major purchase for your practice, but they can make all the difference in terms of portability and space saving. Whether you are just starting out or have been practicing for decades, we'll explore mobile x-ray systems to help you decide if it's time to invest in this technology.

What is a mobile x-ray system?

A mobile x-ray system is typically a machine on wheels that you can move from room to room and can plug into a standard wall socket or is battery operated. These machines allow you to have your imaging capabilities in situations where a traditional x-ray machine is unfeasible.

Reasons to use a mobile x-ray system

There are certain situations where patients may be unable to go to a traditional x-ray room, for example residents of a nursing home, patients too ill to move, or patients in jail.

If you’re an x-ray business going out to nursing homes or any place where a patient is unable to go to a traditional x-ray facility then mobile could be the perfect solution for your business.

Similarly, hospitals with patients that are too ill to be moved to traditional x-ray facilities would benefit from a mobile x-ray system. This is particularly clear when looking at the experience of hospitals during the COVID pandemic. Mobile x-ray machines have been kept in the designated COVID areas of hospitals to contain the virus by preventing patients from moving throughout the facility.

Urgent care teams would also benefit from a mobile system as they provide more space when working on a patient. The team may not have room for a full x-ray room, additionally they’re able to bring the mobile x-ray machine from one patient room to another.

Handheld mobile x-ray machines are also available. These are great in veterinary environments, in paediatrics, or for x-raying extremities. However, they’re not ideal for chest or lateral x-rays and often don’t produce high quality x-rays of larger patients.

Considerations when purchasing a mobile x-ray system

Before purchasing a mobile x-ray system, there are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure it’s the right solution for you.

  • Will you be moving it in and out of a car? Or back and forth between facilities? If the answer is yes, then you want a mobile unit with good wheels, and is relatively light so that it is easy to move.
  • What type of power source will meet your needs? A traditional x-ray system has 100 amps dedicated to powering it, enabling it to produce a high dose. Mobile systems on the other hand require less power, being able to be plugged into a standard 110v wall socket and others that are battery operated. While battery operated mobile systems are smaller and can be a space saving solution, they won’t get as much penetration which may make it difficult to x-ray larger patients.

It’s important to note before purchasing a mobile x-ray system that different states have varying requirements regarding the use of mobile x-rays. For example, New York only allows you to use handheld units when there’s no option for a patient to get to a traditional x-ray system. This means that in certain situations, such as urgent care, a traditional x-ray system will need to be used instead.

Benefits of using mobile x-rays

There are two major benefits to mobile x-rays; portability and space saving. Having the ability to move from room to room or location to location can make this an ideal system for health practitioners. This is particularly true for those who are part of a portable x-ray business as they can easily take their equipment with them, or within a hospital where a patient is too ill to move to a traditional x-ray room.

Additionally, mobile devices are typically smaller than other types of machines. This space saving is helpful in situations like urgent care where they may need more space to work on the patient.

Downsides of mobile x-rays

One of the downsides is that some mobile x-ray systems are not going to have the same amount of x-ray dose as a traditional x-ray system. This interferes with the ability to get clear images on larger patients.

Here are a few mobile x-ray options:

MinX-ray HF120

This x-ray system can be wheeled from room to room. It has an ergonomic design with large wheels for easy movement.

SourceRay Portable X-rays

The SourceRay portable x-ray machine is similar to the MinX-ray HF120 with great legs and wheels which makes it easy to move in and out of vehicles.

AMX Portable X-ray

This x-ray machine is traditionally used in hospital settings. It is battery operated and the dose is more powerful than other mobile units. However, it’s a very bulky unit weighing several hundred pounds and is not recommended for use other than in a hospital or clinic environment.

Patient Image Portable X-ray

This machine is very similar to the AMX Portable X-Ray system and is not recommended for use other than in a hospital or clinic.

Fuji FDR Portable X-ray

This battery powered unit comes with a built-in DR panel, is more lightweight than the AMX, saves space and moves around nicely. The higher price point is due to Fuji’s unique post-processing software which provides high quality images, even from larger patients.

Cost of mobile x-rays

Depending on the type unit and what features you are looking for, costs for a mobile x-ray machine vary. Prices can range from as low as $35,000 for a MinX-Ray or a SourceRay, up to $85,000 for a Fuji.

Mobile X-ray systems are an incredible tool that allows portable, space saving, quick and easy mobile imaging. We hope this article has helped you learn more about what is out there when it comes to mobile imaging and has given you some direction as you explore solutions for your company's needs.

If you want help deciding between your options then get in touch with us today!

Jennifer Hutchison

Written by Jennifer Hutchison

My goal is to provide my customers with the best equipment possible, at the best price possible, in order to see their business grow and thrive. I currently work hand in hand with doctors of Chiropractic all over the nation to put together custom equipment packages that meet their special needs. Each doctor has their own speciality technique, and by working directly with many of the groups such as NUCCA, Gonstead, CBP, Everest, Blair, KCUCS, and many other groups, I have built the knowledge and expertise to create custom x-ray equipment packages for their specific needs. Seeing my customers using the equipment I sold them in order to heal and help people all over the nation is the true happiness I get from my career. - 9 Years experience in medical device and equipment sales -12 Years experience in Medical Imaging Field - Sales expert for x-ray and digital x-ray equipment nationwide - Work with over 25 different manufacturers and vendors - Strong accounting, finance, and account management background - Upper Cervical X-Ray Sales Specialist