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Interest in A/V add-ons drives up price of surgical lights

Providers are paying more for surgical lights as interest grows in units with video monitor and camera attachments, according to the latest Modern Healthcare/ECRI Institute Technology Price Index.

The average price paid for surgical light systems between August and October was $21,584, up 15% from the same period last year, the most recent Technology Price Index data showed. The TPI provides monthly and annual data on pricing for 30 supply and capital items that hospitals and other provider organizations purchase, based on three-month rolling averages.

The price of surgical light equipment can range from about $16,000 to $60,000 a unit, with the cost mainly driven by the amount of light-heads included, said Kevin Lee, senior analyst for ECRI's SELECTplus procurement advisory service. The equipment can include up to three light-heads that are able to be moved separately.

Customers are paying more for the lights as they look to add on arms for mounting video monitors or pre-wiring for in-light cameras, ECRI experts say. Many monitors were previously placed on a free-standing cart, but equipment planners have looked to mount more equipment on the ceiling to save space on the operating room for other equipment and personnel, said Jeremy Suggs, a manager in ECRI's health devices group.

Similarly, mounting a video camera within the light allows for a better angle at which to capture video for surgical and educational purposes. “If you put the camera within the handle of the surgery light, you get an overhead view and you can record everything from the ceiling, and you're seeing from the top down,” Suggs said.

Manufacturers are also boasting about shadow control in their surgical lights, which use multiple reflectors to ensure that an adequate amount of light is shined on the patient even if the surgeon is partially blocking the unit, Suggs said.

Current surgical light models are in their third and fourth generations, following the entrance of LED models to the market in 2005. The market is now almost entirely made up of LED models; the energy-efficient bulbs began to account for the majority of customer interest as early as 2008, Suggs said.

The five major manufacturers of surgical light equipment are Maquet, Skytron, Steris, Stryker and Trumpf Medical, which was acquired by Hill-Rom in 2014.


Adam Rubenfire is Modern Healthcare's Custom Content Strategist. He is responsible for the development of webinars, white papers and other engaging content for marketers looking to target the healthcare industry. Prior to his current role, he served as Modern Healthcare's supply chain reporter. His work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Automotive News and Crain’s Detroit Business. He has a bachelor’s degree in organizational studies from the University of Michigan. He joined Modern Healthcare in 2014.

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