How Much Does a CT Scanner Cost?

by Brian Walker on May 2, 2024


Your healthcare facility has decided to invest in a new computed tomography (CT) scanner; now you’re in the process of evaluating your options. While considering variables like imaging capabilities, workflow efficiency, and patient experience, you’re also crunching numbers tied to cost.

If you’re asking the question ‘how much does a CT scanner cost?’, we want to offer clarity. As you’ll see, the answer depends heavily on CT scanner design, performance, and features.

How the Number of Slices Impacts CT Scanner Costs

The slice count in CT scanners can vary considerably, from as few as four to 384. Generally, slice counts can be categorized in one of three ways:

  • Low-range: CT scanners with four to 16 slices
  • Mid-range: CT scanners with 32 to 128
  • High-range: CT scanners with 256 or more

CT scanners on the lower end of the slice spectrum tend to be more affordable. Their basic imaging capabilities are suitable for smaller healthcare facilities that perform routine diagnostics and manage lower patient volumes.

While costs rise with mid- and high-range slice CT equipment, so does image quality and scan speed. With these variables in mind, CT scanners with a mid-range slice count are a good fit for medium-sized hospitals and imaging centers with moderate patient demands. The advanced technologies in high-range slice CT scanners make sense for large hospitals where high throughput is essential.

Is the CT Scanner Equipment Single Source or Dual Source?

Another variable that impacts image quality, and subsequently CT scan equipment cost, is whether a CT scanner is single source or dual source.

Leveraging a single X-ray tube and detector array to capture images, single-source CT scanners are a more cost-effective, widely available option. They’re an optimal choice for facilities that perform routine imaging procedures, and those with budget constraints.
siemens-healthineers_SOMATOM-Pro.Pulse_Dual-Source-Difference_CT-scan-machineThe configuration of dual-source CT scanners — two sets of X-ray tubes and detectors at different angles — allows for advanced imaging techniques that deliver superior resolution. These capabilities can be a worthwhile investment for specialized imaging centers or specialty clinics that deal with more challenging diagnostic scenarios on a consistent basis.

How Photon Counting Is Impacting CT Technology & Costs 

Just a few years ago, the FDA approved the first major CT advancement in nearly a decade — with the goal of driving innovation in scientific and diagnostic progress. The advancement: a shift from traditional energy-integrating detectors to photon-counting detectors.

By detecting and counting individual photons, photon-counting CT scanners have the power to deliver enhanced imaging quality at a lower radiation dose. Achieving this level of reliability and performance in equipment requires the use of advanced manufacturing techniques and materials. Increased production costs understandably translate into a higher price tag.

As photon-counting CT technology advances and becomes more widely available, its cost will likely come down. In the meantime, this type of equipment is a justifiable investment for tertiary care hospitals and other facilities that are focused on handling complex medical conditions and specialized treatments.

Additional Features That Impact CT Equipment Scan Costs

Artificial Intelligence
AI has found its place in a variety of healthcare applications, including CT systems. Some scanners include smart tools that guide staff through procedures in a standardized way while automatically checking for any errors related to organ coverage, contrast media volume or distribution, or the presence of wearable metals.

While you’ll pay more for AI capabilities, the reduced scan times and increased throughput resulting from this software could potentially help you recoup your investment faster.

Bore Size & Table Load
There’s some variance in CT scanner models when it comes to bore size and table load. Bore size can range from anywhere between 35 to 82 cm, while table load can range from 450 up to 677 lbs.

The higher these numbers are, the more patient-friendly the CT equipment design is, but you could also be looking at higher costs too.

The upfront cost for these features makes sense for centers that treat obese patients, as well as for trauma, orthopedic or interventional procedures. But there’s also a case for facilities to invest in these features to generally reduce anxiety for patients and minimize any need for repeat scans. That’s less radiation exposure for patients, and it helps you maximize your appointment and scan volume.

Mobile Workflows
Some CT scanners come with provider-friendly features as well, like mobile workflows.

Whereas users have traditionally spent most of their time in the control room with traditional CT equipment, mobile workflows let staff spend more time in the exam room with patients. As one example, the SOMATOM go.Top CT system from Siemens Healthineers offers users a tablet and remote control to control the machine and process and examine images.

While priced higher, it’s important to consider the space savings mobile workflows offer. When you don’t have to worry about a separate control room, you can free up that real estate for other uses while saving on utility bills.

Back to Where We Began: How Much Does a CT Scanner Cost?

As we’ve highlighted, CT scanner cost depends on several variables — its number of slices, whether it’s single or dual source, and the patient- and provider-driven features it includes.

To answer the question that brought you here in the first place, below are a range of costs you can expect for CT scan equipment. These costs account for installation, however, service and maintenance contracts are additional and priced out per year with regard to types of coverage, location, etc.

Low-end CT scanners will generally cost upwards of $350,000.

Mid-range CT scanners range from $400,000 to $750,000.

High-end, single-source CT scanners will likely range from $1 million to $2 million.

Upper-end, dual-source CT scanners typically start at around $2 million, but can reach $5 million+ in the case of photon-counting, dual-source CT equipment.

Once you determine the design and features that make the most sense for your needs, take the next step and connect with a Cassling representative. As a leading supplier and servicer of innovative diagnostic equipment, we’ll help you find the CT scanner that best suits your clinical expertise, as well as your organization’s size and budget.

It’s our first step in helping you get the most out of your investment.

Meet the Author

Brian Walker is the Regional Vice President of Sales – West Region at Cassling. He came up through the organization as an Account Executive, making a positive impact thanks to his extensive experience with CT, PET/CT and an array of other imaging modalities. A mentor and coach to a team of account executives located through the western part of the United States, Brian travels extensively throughout his territory to assist his team in connecting hospitals and health systems with the technologies and solutions they need to make a difference in their communities.

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