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Portable and handheld ultrasound machines have made ultrasound imaging more accessible, cost-efficient, and easy to use, all at once! These innovations improved health care delivery in point of care settings as well as remote areas. These devices can fit in the palm of our hands and be operated by batteries uninterruptedly for long hours, making them a suitable option for in-clinic as well as on-field diagnoses. They can be carried to virtually anyplace they are needed, be it a hospital bed, medical school, medical office, clinic, accident site, remote village, patients’ homes, disaster locations, and even battlefields!
Portable ultrasound machines are also found to be suitable for an increasing number of applications. Apart from diagnosing minor as well as severe medical conditions in a range of specialty areas like cardiology, musculoskeletal, vascular, OB/GYN, they are also being used to guide real-time interventional procedures like ultrasound-guided injections and biopsies.
A portable ultrasound machine will no doubt prove to be a good value addition for your practice or clinic. However, if you aren’t sure whether to buy or rent portable equipment, read on. To help you make the right choice for your practice learn the advantages of buying versus renting portable ultrasound equipment.
Renting a Portable or Handheld Ultrasound Machine
Ultrasound equipment can be expensive, especially if it has never been used. Considering buying new equipment requires a heavy investment, renting might be the safest option. However, portable and handheld ultrasound machines are relatively more affordable than cart-based machines and don’t require a significant monetary investment. Small clinics and practices may still find the price of portable ultrasound equipment to be prohibitive. So, it would be worthwhile considering renting portable ultrasound equipment.
Advantages of Renting a Portable or Handheld Ultrasound Machine:
Minimal Initial Investment – Small clinics or practices that do not want to make any initial investment may prefer to rent portable equipment. Medical facilities and clinics that may want to invest in separate equipment for in-clinic and on-field practice may prefer to rent portable machines as well. Besides, the machine cost may not be limited to the cost of the machine alone but may also include additional expenses like maintenance and training fees.
Renting portable ultrasound equipment is a more affordable alternative for practitioners who do not want to make a sizable purchase. Renting may be a better option for businesses that don’t have a good credit score, making financing the purchase a challenge. Among the many advantages of renting an ultrasound machine, the most crucial one is the minimal cost. A smaller investment allows you to use your working capital to fund other business expenses. It also means that there is no pressure to recover your costs, unlike buying an ultrasound machine with capital expenditure.
Uncertainty with Regards to Return on Investment (ROI) – Clinics adding a portable ultrasound machine to their practice for the first time may be unsure about the likely return on investment, making renting a more suitable option.
Depreciating Asset – Any machine is a depreciating asset, so purchasing a portable ultrasound may not be a smart choice.
No Endless Waiting – Small clinics and practices that may be relying on financing to purchase portable/handheld ultrasound machines may have to wait for long periods until their loan is approved. A crucial advantage of renting is that you wouldn’t have to wait endlessly for your equipment loan to be approved, which prevents business downtime.\
New Source of Income with Low Monthly Rentals – Renting allows you to add new sources of income by adding new services to your practice without having to make a capital investment. Some other economic benefits of renting an ultrasound machine include low monthly rentals and not having to incur maintenance costs or replacement part expenses. Renting may cost you only a few hundred dollars per month.
Tax Benefits – Renting costs for equipment can be categorized as operational expenses which may offer tax benefits, depending upon your business’s tax structure.
Test Equipment Without Buying – Renting is also more convenient when you would like to test the equipment without having to purchase it. Another advantage is if you would like to rent another machine after a period of one year, it’s possible as ultrasound machine rentals typically last only for a year, which also eliminates the need for a long-term commitment.
Use Latest Machines and Software – With rapid advances in ultrasound technology, this is a huge benefit as it allows you to use the latest models year after year until you find a machine that best suits your practice, in which case, you can turn your rental contract into a purchase and apply all rental payments towards the purchase price. Some OEMs or vendors also provide training apart from additional support, depending upon the contract.
As can be seen, renting allows you to use the latest technologically sound equipment and software updates while allowing you to reserve capital for other expenses. With medical facilities and clinics incurring heavy costs to cover other expenses like rental space and staff and given the delays in receiving reimbursements at times, renting ultrasound equipment may seem to be a better option.
Purchasing a Portable or Handheld Ultrasound Machine
Although a portable ultrasound machine is not as expensive as cart-based machines, it ranges between $5,000 to 35,000, depending upon the brand and model. Of that initial purchase price, 10-15 % is used for maintenance and servicing every year, after the initial warranty period has elapsed. Brand new machines are naturally more expensive than used or refurbished ones. So, if you’re on a tight budget and renting is not an option, you may consider buying a used or refurbished portable machine.
Advantages of Purchasing a Portable or Handheld Ultrasound Machine:
Long-Term Use – If you intend to use the portable or handheld ultrasound machine for a long period, purchasing it may be more convenient as you wouldn’t have to renew your contract every year. Besides, renting may not prove to be so cost-efficient if you’re planning on renting for the long-term.
Opt. for Financing – If the initial investment in purchasing is a huge deterrent, you can consider opting for financing, which may also provide tax benefits.
Purchase Refurbished machines – If new portable or handheld ultrasound machines seem too expensive, consider buying refurbished machines as these are upgraded, cleaned, tested, and repaired. Refurbished machines typically function as well as new ones and cost significantly lower than new equipment.
It is worth mentioning that low range refurbished machines are generally not available as the cost of refurbishing them turns out to be higher than the cost of the equipment itself.
Purchase Used Equipment – The advantage of purchasing ultrasound equipment rather than renting it is that you can buy used machines, saving up to 50-70% of the cost of new equipment.
Portable and Handheld Ultrasound Machines at National Ultrasound
National Ultrasound offers a range of portable and handheld ultrasound machines for sale and for rent. We offer a risk-free and painless rental program with which you can start generating revenue immediately with minimal up-front costs. Contact National Ultrasound to speak to our representatives who will fit you with exactly what you need for your practice, whether you’re looking to buy or rent.