Medical diagnostic imaging equipment has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. In 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen took the first-ever recorded x-ray photograph, exposing the skeletal structure of his wife’s hand. Only one year later, doctors began to use x-rays in a clinical setting. In 1955, ultrasound became experimented for use of diagnosing gynecological patients. Fast-forward to present day, and doctors now have countless ways of diagnosing their patients.
In radiology, you typically will see computed radiography and digital radiography systems as being the most popular form of recording an x-ray. Computed radiography, or CR, is recorded on a cassette. It is obviously much quicker than film, and the whole process of storage and transfer are much more efficient. While computed radiography was a quite common means of recording, people are now more commonly switching to digital radiography, or DR, as the primary means of recording an x-ray image.
DR is simply much quicker and easy to use than the cassette-based CR system. DR systems allow for the application of a fully digital photo to be archived by way of web-based technology. This allows for the radiologist to be relieved of the stress of losing images or waste money on printing. It has been declared numerous times that the future will be digital, and we are led to believe that this will be no different in radiology.
While the initial cost of a DR system is often times more expensive, the long-term costs are reduced. This is because CR systems will typically require more maintenance and service. A DR panel will spend most of the time in the portable x-ray systems bucky tray, allowing the radiologist to have more space in the x-ray room. The panel’s workstation can either be wall-mounted or sit on the counter. One of the biggest benefits of switching to DR is the image capturing speed. One can have an image captured and rendered in close to 5 seconds, which far surpasses the speed of film and CR.