Computer tomography scanners, more commonly known as CT scanners, use X-rays to record multiple ‘slices’ through bodies that are then built up by computer processing into 3D images that can be rotated on a screen to be viewed from different angles.
The advantages of this over traditional flat X-rays are plain. Although use of these machines does deliver a small dose of radiation to the patient, the ability to obtain a clear view of bone and soft tissue with a quick and non-invasive process far outweighs this consideration.
“When you go beyond a local small veterinary practice, these days I think that any clinic is at a medical disadvantage if it does not have a CT scanner,” says Dr Christoph Dänzer, CEO of the DACH region for Evidensia. “You’re simply at a medical disadvantage if you don’t have one but your local competitor does.”
“These days, I think that any larger clinic is at a medical disadvantage if it does not have a CT scanner.” Dr Christophe Dänzer – Country Manager, DACH Region
Why doesn’t every clinic own one then? Cost of course. A decade ago, installation costs hovered around the €1m mark, once the costs of shielding walls, strengthening floors and refurbishing the facility were factored in. The thought of an independent clinic taking on such a debt was virtually unthinkable.
“These days, depending on the facility situation, you’re probably talking about SFr150,000 to SFr250,000,” says Christoph. “Yes that’s a lot of money, but it’s significantly less than it used to be.” For practices within the IVC/Evidensia group that can build a strong enough business case for owning a CT scanner, there’s the backing of a larger group to fund this kind of investment.
“I hope that the installation of such technology is becoming the norm across Evidensia,” says Christoph. “We recently put a CT scanner into a second Swiss clinic, leaving only our three smaller practices in the country without one. In Germany, we have 13 clinics that are all quite large and only two smaller ones do not have a CT scanner.”