What Is a Mobile CT Scan?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 May 2020
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A mobile computerized tomography (CT) scan is a tractor trailer that houses this type of imaging and diagnostic tool, making it possible to move the machine to different locations as needed. A mobile CT scan provides cheaper, easier access to this technology for small health care facilities. For the most part, static and mobile CT scans provide the same level of service. CT scans are used to create a sharp image of internal structures for diagnosis of diseases and injuries.

There are several advantages to a mobile CT scan. This type of machine is very expensive to purchase and maintain and requires specially trained technicians to run the device. For small hospital facilities and health centers, these costs can be overwhelming and prohibitive. CT scans, however, are essential for the diagnosis of medical conditions even at smaller facilities. A mobile CT scan provides smaller hospitals with periodic access to this technology at a more reasonable cost.

In rural communities where there is no access to CT scans, mobile units can intermittently visit an area to provide this service. Patients can come to the mobile unit locations and will not need to travel long distances to urban areas where CT scans are readily available. This is often a better solution for very sick patients, patients who have difficulties traveling long distances, or patients who have trouble being away from home overnight.

A mobile CT scan provides many benefits to smaller health care facilities. These types of scanners can be shared by several hospital facilities to decrease the cost or the need for a hospital to buy a unit alone. A mobile CT scan also gives a hospital an opportunity to test out a scanner prior to buying it, installing it, and hiring staff to operate it.

There are very few physical or performance variations between a mobile and static CT scan. Both types of scanners take the same amount of time to warm up and require the same preventative maintenance routines. Mobile and static scanners can be upgraded readily as needed. Finally, there is no difference in the quality of a scan performed in a mobile and static CT scanner.

The downfalls of a movable CT scan are that the tractor trailers need to be well equipped with stabilizing shocks to prevent disruption of the machinery. Mobile scanners also function more smoothly when a dedicated crew is linked to the same unit all the time. This is sometimes difficult, especially when the movable CT scans are required to travel long distances.

The general types of ct scans are chest, abdominal, and full body. Specialized CT scans include cranial and heart scans. CT scans provide a very detailed look at the inside of the body and are used for diagnosing diseases and injuries.

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