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Study in Radiology Demonstrates Cost Savings and Environmental Sustainability Benefits for MRIs and CT Scans

A collaboration between Royal Philips and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) proves that sustainable initiatives in health care can be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Today, the two parties revealed the first findings from their joint research effort aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the healthcare system’s radiology department.

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The evaluation revealed that employing circular business models, including upgrades, has the potential to cut the total cost of owning a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system by as much as 23% and reduce carbon emissions by 17%. Similarly, for CT, utilizing refurbished systems and equipment upgrades could lead to a decrease in ownership costs of up to 10% and 8% respectively, along with a reduction in carbon emissions by 6% and 4% respectively.


During their examination, Philips and VUMC evaluated 13 diagnostic imaging instruments, such as MR, CT, ultrasound, and X-ray, which collectively perform an estimated 12,000 patient scans per month. Their findings revealed that these devices emit a CO₂ equivalent comparable to that of about 1,000 gas cars driven for one year over a span of 10 years. Furthermore, the energy consumption of the scanners contributed to over half of the total emissions released from diagnostic radiology. Other sources of carbon emissions within the department included the utilization of medical disposables, PACS (picture archiving and communication system), as well as linen production and laundry.

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“The interconnectedness of human health and the environment means we must prioritize both. This is why there is a pressing need to tackle our carbon emissions and chart a more sustainable and healthy course for the future,” explained Diana Carver, PhD, who serves as assistant professor of Radiology & Radiological Sciences at VUMC. “Through our collaboration, we are tapping into the combined knowledge and expertise of our team to uncover crucial insights that will guide our emissions reduction efforts.”


“It is imperative that health care acts quickly, collectively and globally to mitigate climate impact. this research shows that individual behavioral changes can also play an important role in speeding up global efforts towards decarbonization,” said Jeff DiLullo, chief region leader, Philips North America. “Our teams continue to work closely to define an approach and model that VUMC can leverage, anticipating results of this research will inspire others to take action.”


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Post time: Jan-03-2024