X-rays in the Digital Age
- Posted on: Jan 15 2018
The use of x-ray technology began just before the 20th Century when Wilhelm Röntgen sought to understand the transference of electrical rays through an induction coil. Sounds like what anyone would do on a Sunday afternoon, right? Perhaps, back in the day, this was quite common. From this initial experiment came the discovery that rays could be passed through a variety of objects, including, at one point Röntgen’s hand. It was this curiosity and resulting image that led to the widespread use of medical x-ray imaging.
Medical radiology was an enormous step forward in clinical practice because it reduced the need for invasive exploratory surgery. It was a lifesaving advance in diagnostic medicine. However, this early form of imaging was not without drawbacks; nothing serious, but something that could be – and eventually would be – improved upon.
Precautions are taken during standard film x-rays to reduce exposure to low-dose radiation. At the same time, there has also been an advance toward the use of digital x-ray equipment. This method is beneficial for patients as well as clinical staff in the following ways:
- Less exposure to radiation. There is 80% less radiation in the digital x-ray procedure than in standard x-rays. This is a significant reduction. Still, safety measures continue to be the norm to reduce exposure as much as possible.
- The development of digital x-ray equipment has put an end to the use of films for image display. If you have an x-ray that needs to be shared with more than one healthcare provider, this is much easier to manage than it used to be. Instead of needing to carry physical x-ray films from office to office, it is possible to email images or downloads them onto a cd for convenient sharing.
- Expedited results. Digital x-ray equipment immediately transfers images to computer software. There is no physical processing, as there is with x-ray films. This means referring physicians can receive imaging reports more quickly.
- High quality. Digital imaging equipment has improved the final product that provided to the radiologist for interpretation. Furthermore, imaging software facilitates resizing without resulting distortion of the original image.
Posted in: X-Ray