Many people visit hospitals and doctor’s offices every day due to injury, sickness, or to check the status of their physical or mental health. Healthcare facilities perform various intricate tasks and tests that detail an unbelievably accurate result about a person’s health status. This is because healthcare facilities have many high-end machines that perform these tests. It makes one wonder then, what are the most expensive medical equipment in healthcare today? While not accounting for every machine, this list has some notable pieces you should know.
CT and CAT scans both refer to computed tomography tests. They use computers and rotating x-ray machines to examine the body via detailed cross-sectional images. These images can show the blood vessels, bones, and soft tissues inside the head, shoulders, spine, heart, abdomen, knee, and chest. The CT scanner uses different angles to create a 3D cross-section rendition of that body part. Due to this purpose, most CT scanners cost anywhere from $65,000 to $3 million.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Machines
Magnetic Resonance Imaging devices (or MRIs) are similar to CT scanners. They create a detailed scan of the external and internal body structures to help radiologists identify and diagnose various disorders. MRIs are notable for spotting strokes, tumors, aneurysms, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, eye problems, ear problems, and other disorders. As the patient lies on a flat surface, the machine generates a strong magnetic field and directs radio waves toward the body. Although painless, loud noises indicate when the machine is in motion. A radiologist will then interpret the results once the test is over. Like CT scanners, MRI machines can range in cost from $150,000 to $3 million.
Surgical robots are relatively uncommon in the medical field today. Also called robotic surgery, a robotic arm uses small tools for precise cuts or insertions. Surgeons control the robots with a computer with hand movements. Some common surgeries that use this method include coronary artery bypasses, gallbladder removals, cancerous tissue removals, kidney transplants, and hysterectomies. With that, surgical robots are one of the most expensive medical equipment used in healthcare, costing around $2 million per robot.
Finally, ultrasound machines perform a medical test that uses high-frequency sound waves to capture real-time images inside your body. It’s commonly used for fetus tests with pregnant women, since it uses no radiation, but there are other sonography exams as well. Sonographers perform other scans on the bladder, brain, eyes, kidneys, liver, and blood vessels. Since ultrasounds scan live images, they can be expensive. The average ultrasound machine costs between $20,000 and $75,000. When you consider the number of ultrasound machines needed per healthcare facility, the costs can add up.