Maintaining and repairing imaging equipment is big business—so much so, in fact, that market research firm P&S Intelligence cites the imaging equipment maintenance sector as the fastest-growing segment in HTM. Below, Michael Thomas, director of marketing and business development at Irvine, Calif.-based Ampronix, sheds light on the imaging side of service and shares how the company is addressing this niche market.
24×7 Magazine: What’s new at Ampronix these days?
Michael Thomas: We are continuing to find new ways to assist our customers better. After receiving a lot of feedback regarding website improvements, we are happy to say we have just launched our totally redesigned website, www.Ampronix.com. This will allow customers to find and request pricing on new equipment or get a repair quote for the product they are searching for significantly faster than before.
We have also recently been awarded an Export Achievement Certificate from the U.S. Commercial Service. We are very honored to have received this award and are proud to announce that we have expanded to not only supporting customers domestically, but now into 137 countries worldwide.
24×7: How has the imaging service segment evolved in recent years and how do you expect it to evolve even more in the future?
Thomas:We try to be as calculated as possible before selling and repairing new products. Being in close contact with our customers allows us to see industry trends. The current shift we are seeing is that customers want to take advantage of the latest imaging resolution, which is 8MP, as well as 3D 4K.
This is a significant improvement as only a few years ago, most of the industry was still utilizing HD resolution. Currently, the OEMs are making cameras, medical monitors, and recorders using this technology. We expect to see products become more compact and better built in the upcoming years. Additionally, we are planning to see more robots utilized within the hospitals, such as robotic couriers that can deliver food to patients or DNA within the labs.
24×7: What advice do you have for HTM professionals looking to break into the imaging side of service?
Thomas: If you are passionate about servicing and repairing equipment, I would recommend getting into the field as a biomed. Imaging is constantly evolving, which can lead to new professionals following the trend. Most hospitals will have legacy, as well as newer, equipment—and when that fails, the biomed team will need to get involved and formulate a plan to bring the unit back to operating status. Learning the ins and outs of different repairs they may encounter along the way can be very exciting for new professionals.
24×7:What’s next on the horizon for Ampronix?
Thomas: We are excited to offer new 4K/8MP repair services to our customers—specifically, in relation to cath lab, electrophysiology(EP) lab, and hybrid OR monitors. Since these rooms are very profitable for hospitals, it can cost them $150,000 a day in lost surgeries when one of these monitors fails.
We want to make sure our customers have zero downtime—and, in doing so, we have dedicated service and repair technicians who only specialize in the cath lab, EP lab, and hybrid OR monitor replacement, for instance. The common repairs we are seeing are replacement of the LCD, backlights, reflectors, and power supplies.
24×7: What else do you want to tell 24×7 Magazine readers about Ampronix, and the imaging service market, in general?
Thomas:If readers are considering utilizing a new company for purchases, service, or repair, we want to encourage them to do some due diligence first. Ask companies how long they have been in business for, as well as if they are an authorized reseller of the equipment needing to be purchased or repaired. Additionally, establish a timeline of expectations of when a product will be delivered or serviced. This will limit issues down the road, such as receiving an incorrect product or having to resend a unit for repair that was not fixed properly initially.