Knowledgeable procurement professionals and savvy consumers know that taking a long view with investments, capital expenditures and returns is the prudent way to realize a value promise. In the health care context, a short-term approach can have serious consequences on an organization’s reputation, operational excellence, the well-being of staff and patients, and potentially the institution’s long term viability.

With this in mind, let’s consider the long-term cost-return calculus associated with the Crystal Vision surgical smoke evacuator and see where, when and how real value is delivered.

First, it’s important to understand what contributes to the cost makeup of the Crystal Vision and understand why it is a top-of-the-line smoke evacuation device.

Made in the U.S.A. Firstly, every I.C. Medical device and accessory is produced, assembled, tested and quality assured at the company’s manufacturing facility in Phoenix, AZ. The sourcing of high quality raw materials and components, as well as the meticulous fabrication, rigorous inspection and testing processes that go into the manufacture of every Crystal Vision smoke evacuator are all done in-house. Because I.C. Medical does not outsource any of its fabrication processes, it is not impacted by the “quality fade” phenomenon that plagues many global manufacturing firms.

Engineering excellence: Design excellence, engineering superiority, and many unique features further justify the Crystal Vision’s premium position in the market. For example, the Crystal Vision is the only smoke evacuator available today that:

  • Works in both open and laparoscopic modes;
  • Alerts staff when the ULPA filter is not capturing at 100% capacity;
  • Monitors for overpressure of the pneumoperitoneum;
  • Has a built-in occlusion detection alarm to protect tissue;
  • ULPA and Charcoal filters are separated in order to maximize the lifespan of each.

Long-term ROI: The Crystal Vision smoke evacuator is known for its long lifespan. With routine maintenance, a unit will function effectively in an OR for 20 or more years.  

So, let’s evaluate the Crystal Vision’s value proposition over a 20-year time horizon focusing on a single key feature that differentiates the Crystal Vision from all other smoke evacuators: its sophisticated rotary vein pump motor.  

Most smoke evacuators are made with inexpensive carbon graphite brush motors. The brushes work by rubbing against a spinning rotor and wear down over time due to friction. As the brushes scrape against the rotor, they create noise and sparks, and emit graphite dust particles that clog the motor, making it less efficient. As the brushes degrade, the device becomes noisier, less effective, and the sparks emitted can begin to interfere with other devices in the operating room by means of electromagnetic energy. Typically, the brushes require replacement two or three times a year, and this type of unit itself needs to be replaced in three or four years’ time.

A unique rotary vein motor: By contrast, the Crystal Vision is designed to employ the principle of centrifugal force, a mechanical force that directs air away from a rotating axis. The Crystal Vision’s rotary vein motor creates suction, then compresses and funnels air away from the surgical site.  There are no brushes. Besides being convenient, quiet and effective at removing up to 100% of smoke particles, the motor will last 20+ years with routine maintenance.

With all this in mind, let’s do some back-of-the-envelope math. A Crystal Vision smoke evacuator purchased at an assumed price of $3,000* in 1997 is now 20 years old. The original purchase price, amortized over its 20-year lifespan, comes to $150 per year. Other than routine maintenance and disposable filters, there are no additional costs associated with operation of the Crystal Vision.

Compare this with a competitor’s model that may have sold in 1997 for an estimated $1,000*. By now this unit has been replaced at least five times, for a total capital outlay of approximately $6,000 ($1,000 initial cost plus five replacement units @ $1,000 each). Amortized over the same period, this comes to $300 per year. Moreover, over the 20-year time horizon, the units’ brushes have required replacement at least 20 times, further increasing the cost of operation.

Most Crystal Vision smoke evacuators sold twenty years ago are still in use in operating rooms around the world today. They continue to operate quietly, efficiently, at full capacity, and importantly, cost-effectively. They deliver operational excellence, ease of use and ROI far above any other smoke evacuator available on the market.

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