Mobile trailers containing MRI scanners are technologically identical to fixed MRI scanners. Mobile trailers usually have smaller spaces than rooms at fixed locations. Considering the number of patients that have claustrophobia, this could become an issue. Quality control is extremely important in the mobile MRI environment. Mobile units require strict control measures. An experienced team is needed to ensure the image quality of the scans in mobile units. Equal measures must be taken with a fixed MRI machine. Installation of a fixed scanner is more extensive than for mobile units. The requirements for these fixed scanners are more detailed than what is required of a mobile unit. Technological advancements have permitted the trailer to be closer to the main structure where patients are located.
The internal temperature of mobile scanners is critical to the quality of the images and the performance of the scanner. Humidity must also be maintained at a constant level. The extreme weather conditions in different parts of the country require constant attention to the details. The trailers are manufactured to withstand temperatures of -20 to 110 Fahrenheit. Heaters and air conditioners may be needed for states with extreme weather.
The cost of both mobile and fixed scanners includes operating costs. The costs vary according to the requirements of having the unit sited, including renovations and construction. Operating costs for mobile units tend to be higher than for fixed sites. However, this should be weighed against the cost of siting a fixed scanner. Mobile MRI scanners are able to provide MRIs to multiple facilities in a particular region. It can provide a way to disperse the costs of the MRI scanner and also make it possible to help more patients. Considering all these things should help purchasers to make an informed decision as to whether a fixed or mobile MRI scanner is right for them.