By Yoosoo Choi

Radiology monitors and the radiologists who use them form a critical part of both emergency and preventive healthcare services—and like most modern industry discussions, any need for new radiology equipment inevitably involves questions concerning cost, quality, and benefits for radiologists or institutions.

However, unlike the mindset that drives innovative room designs or experiments with hybrid employee schedules, purchasing decisions for radiology monitors often come down to simply ordering the latest model from the same name-brand supplier without investigating new options.

While legacy specialty brands may possess effective monopolies, newcomers with vast digital display experience are now introducing functionally equivalent products at various price points and increasing competition. To provide the best care, maintain profitability, and support the growth of remote healthcare services, the industry must reevaluate its purchasing and procurement behaviors to ensure optimal cost efficiency and flexibility.

Complacency Can Be Expensive

When a piece of technology functions well in a workflow, it’s easy to get so comfortable with it that making a change or testing a new technology can seem burdensome and unnecessary. This represents a classic example of brand psychology, demonstrating how past experiences can influence future purchases and even convince buyers to make poor financial decisions rather than initiating a sometimes-laborious testing process to evaluate all the current options.

As healthcare institutions become increasingly cost-conscious, unflinching brand loyalty can cause decision-makers to waste valuable resources when their only real obstacle to savings or improved processes is a lack of knowledge. Moving forward, it’s likely that hospitals and radiology centers that dedicate time and resources to new product research and evaluation can realize significant gains in terms of cost efficiency and flexibility for both radiologists and patients.

Cutting Costs Can Mean More Flexibility

Thoughtful product evaluations can lead to workflow improvements and cost savings for healthcare providers, potentially allowing them to allocate funds to other important priorities or address underfunded initiatives. In fact, amid the rush to make remote healthcare more accessible for patients, providers who make it easy for their doctors to work remotely may find they can offer better standards of care, such as faster response times, without overburdening their workforce.

If a legacy radiology monitor can be replaced with an equivalent product for half the price, it may make sense for an institution to invest those savings into a second display the radiologist can use at home. Whether there are employee gaps that can be filled by periodic remote radiology readings or the radiologist desires remote capabilities to enhance their schedule flexibility or earnings, each scenario presents a valuable investment that promises significant long-term dividends.

Evaluation Is Everything

Every year, medical professionals of all kinds visit trade expos to see how new devices, technologies, and software can benefit their practices. These events provide great insight into current and upcoming opportunities and offer the chance to meet with innovators to discuss in-depth specifications or needs. Once the excitement of the show floor fades, the real work begins. 

When it comes time to evaluate budgets or replace noticeably degraded products, we must suppress the impulse to make purchases simply because something is familiar or fresh in our memory. Whether a new product is a one-to-one replacement, or it requires an intense learning period for users, all solutions deserve a comprehensive evaluation, perhaps even a side-by-side comparison, to illuminate the costs, features and overall benefits for all stakeholders.

For radiology monitors specifically, the new entries into the market have created greater choice and competition, which buyers undoubtedly appreciate in such a monopolized space. As the industry continues to deliver products with ever-higher resolutions, brightness, and picture clarity, combined with more economical options, healthcare organizations and professionals will be able to provide a higher standard of care no matter how their workflow or onsite schedule is organized.

Yoosoo Choi is the director of product management, medical monitors at LG Business Solutions USA, which provides diagnostic, clinical and surgical monitor solutions and digital x-ray detector solutions to channel partners.