What Are the Main Differences Between the GE LightSpeed and BrightSpeed CT Scanners?

by Jeff Hough Program Manager
GE Healthcare’s reputation for durable scanners paired with ease of use has made them one of best-selling brands in computed tomography (CT) technology. Out of GE’s entire line of CT scan machine models that include the GE Optima, Discovery, Revolution, BrightSpeed, and LightSpeed, the two most popular are the GE LightSpeed, released in 2002, and the BrightSpeed, released in 2005. These models are similar in that they offer comparable benefits yet they have notable differences. We will cover the main differences between the GE LightSpeed and BrightSpeed CT scanners, including variances in price, hardware, software, siting and environment, and repair and maintenance costs.

Hardware Differences

Generally, most LightSpeed scanners use a 6.3MHU x-ray tube that is priced lower than tubes in other models. However, this is not true for the LightSpeed 16 Pro, which features an 8.0MHU x-ray tube that runs a higher cost and offers a longer usable lifespan. Apart from the x-ray tube, the availability of parts for the LightSpeed and its broad adoption has made its service costs more manageable than those of the BrightSpeed, further spurring its popularity. 

The number of slices on a detector will determine the quality of the images a unit can produce and the speed of acquisition and price. Outlined below are examples of varying uses for different slice counts:

  • 4 and 8-slice CT scanners are generally utilized in low-volume imaging centers with basic imaging needs.
  • 16-slice scanners are the industry standard for imaging centers and clinics with low to median patient volumes with basic imaging requirements.
  • 64-slice scanners are the gold standard for imaging centers and hospitals. Faster acquisition times and image clarity enable these units to be used in cardiac, trauma, and high-volume applications. 

Both the LightSpeed and BrightSpeed CT scanner models come in 4, 8, and 16-slice varieties, but the LightSpeed further offers additional 32, and 64-slice options.

Known as the LightSpeed VCT, the 64 slice version of the LightSpeed has cardiac capabilities, allowing it to scan the heart in as little as five heartbeats. The rich feature set of the LightSpeed VCT and its price point on the secondary market have made this unit a popular option for facilities on a budget that need advanced imaging. 

Software Differences

The LightSpeed and BrightSpeed CT scanners are also differentiated based on the software and computer systems. BrightSpeed systems have radiation dose reduction software known as ASIR (Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction) as an option. ASIR uses software to maintain the same image quality while reducing the radiation dose. While, ASIR is not supported on many LightSpeed models it can be added to the LightSpeed VCT 64. 

Most LightSpeed systems, particularly lower slice systems, have older consoles called the Octane computer. These systems can be upgraded to the Hewlett Packard Xtream computer console, which is a standard feature on the BrightSpeed. The Xtream console is also known as the GOC6, GOC6.4, or GOC6.5 console. 

Price Differences

For many, the deciding factor in the decision to choose one CT model over another is the CT scan machine cost. In this regard, the LightSpeed CT has become one of the best-selling models as it pairs a broad feature set with an attractive purchase price and low operational cost. On the secondary market the price of a comparable BrightSpeed may be higher than a LightSpeed by +/- $20,000 even though the BrightSpeed was originally considered the entry level system. This is due to basic supply and demand and that there are fewer BrightSpeeds on the secondary market.  Please note many factors affect price including: date of manufacture, tube usage, feature set, and cosmetic condition. 

Siting and Environment Differences

One of the BrightSpeed’s biggest selling points is its small footprint. GE designed the BrightSpeed to be ultracompact while incorporating many of the technologies from the larger LightSpeed systems. In fact, the BrightSpeed only needs a room of 18.4 square meters vs the minimum recommended size of 21.7 square meters for the LightSpeed VCT 64. 

Repair and Maintenance Differences

An additional difference between LightSpeed and BrightSpeed CT scanners stems from repair and maintenance costs. Similar to the base price difference between the models, repair and maintenance costs are lower for LightSpeed systems simply because there are more of them in the market. More systems means more parts and engineers trained to service these units.

Final Thoughts

The GE Healthcare LightSpeed and BrightSpeed CT Scanners are sought out as a reliable computed tomography units that can be acquired at attractive prices. Though similar, their variances in areas like price, hardware, software, siting environment, and repair and maintenance costs, have made them applicable to different audiences. For more information about the GE LightSpeed and GE BrightSpeed, including lease and finance options, contact your representative at Meridian Leasing.

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About Jeff Hough Freshman   Program Manager

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Joined APSense since, February 28th, 2019, From Deerfield, United States.

Created on Sep 5th 2019 02:48. Viewed 234 times.


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