What Is the Lifespan of an X-Ray Machine?

Mar 31, 2023 5:17:00 AM / by Chad Hutchison

Over the past 100 years, medical imaging has become vital to almost every medical practice. Radiological equipment such as the X-ray machine provides a low-risk way for healthcare providers to deliver fast and accurate diagnoses for treatment guidance. X-ray machines can last for many years, but it's essential to have a properly functioning and technologically up-to-date machine to obtain accurate images in your practice. In this article, we will explore the lifespan of an X-ray machine, how to spot issues with your machine, ways to prolong your machine's lifespan, and when it might be time to invest in a new one.

How Long Does an X-Ray Machine Last?

As with all technology, X-ray machines have a life cycle span. As time passes, image quality may decrease significantly, eventually making the X-ray machine unusable. Likewise, the X-ray machine type dramatically impacts its state, use, maintenance, and operation.

General X-ray machines typically can last between 10-14 years, with 10,000-20,000 examinations performed a year. Mobile X-ray machines can last 10-14 years, but with much lower use - around 3,000-6,000 examinations per year.

Below are the general recommendations to take into consideration when assessing the state of your X-ray machine: 

  • X-ray machines older than 10 years old are no longer considered “state-of-the-art” equipment.
  • Older equipment will have higher operating costs compared to new equipment as the technology becomes outdated.
  • Maintenance can become infeasible as machines age and spare parts are no longer available.
  • Older machines have a higher risk of breakdown and failure.
  • Newer equipment emits less radiation, which is safer for patients and operators.

How Often Should an X-Ray Machine Be Tested?

When new X-ray equipment is installed, it is regulated at the state, county, and federal levels. Typically, the FDA will visit within the first year for an inspection. As time passes, X-ray machines need to be tested to ensure they are working up to the standards of the manufacturer, FDA, and state regulations. It is best to have your X-ray machine tested once a year to ensure you follow all of the required guidelines and regulations. It's best to have an ongoing service contract with a maintenance team who can help you ensure your machine is working correctly.

How To Prolong Your X-Ray Machine Lifespan

You can prolong the lifespan of an X-ray machine by performing proper and consistent maintenance, operation, and inspections. Below are a few practices to ensure you get the most out of your X-ray machine.

Perform Regular Preventative Maintenance

Regular preventative maintenance will ensure that you avoid a problem before it occurs. Damaged and broken X-ray machine parts can be expensive to replace or repair, so avoiding these issues before they happen will keep your X-ray machine in good working order.

Perform General Function Checks

It may sound simple, but performing routine checks on the X-ray machine parts will show you if your machine is working optimally. Checking the status of the radiation receptors, platform, and console can ensure the X-ray machine is in top-notch form. 

Regularly Clean X-ray Tube

The X-ray tube is an essential component of any X-ray machine. If damaged, it can result in the loss of your X-ray machine for a substantial amount of time. Performing regular cleaning will ensure you have a well-working X-ray machine. Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines when cleaning X-ray tubes.

Operate the X-Ray Machine According to Technical Specifications

It is essential to follow the manufacturer's technical specifications when operating your X-ray machine. Requirements include directions on maximum operating temperature, exposure time, voltage, and speed. Operating the machine within these parameters will prolong the life of your X-ray machine and ensure patients and providers are safe.

Prolong the Life and Improve the Quality of Your Medical Practice

Prolonging the life of your X-ray machine is possible, but it's vital to know when your machine may need replacing. Using outdated, damaged, or faulty equipment can result in an inconvenient or expensive loss of image quality or inaccurate imaging. It's essential to recognize when an X-ray machine needs replacing for the safety of patients.

Time to Invest in New X-Ray Equipment? We Can Help!

It may be hard to decide when your X-ray machine has seen the last of its days, but one foolproof way to find out the state of your X-ray machine is to contact Maven Imaging. Our experienced staff can help answer any questions you may have about the condition of your X-ray machine and guide you in purchasing a new one. Maven Imaging has financing options available to help make the transition into a new X-ray machine easy, simple, and attainable for any medical practice.

Tags: X-ray System

Chad Hutchison

Written by Chad Hutchison

Founder and CEO of Maven Imaging, Chad Hutchison has been in the medical imaging equipment market since 2003. As his business grew, he pioneered buying and selling medical equipment online and eventually began offering leasing and financing to meet market demands and help customers. His market expertise goes beyond traditional medical imaging and finance support, as he’s spearheading cloud-based lending solutions for vendors across the sector.