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Is Digital Radiography The Future Of Medical Imaging?

  • Highlights

  • Imaging technique utilizing x-ray sensors

  • Processing time of less than 10 seconds

  • Up to 80% reduced radiation exposure

  • Portable and flexible wireless digital imaging

Medical imaging is a popular arm of biological imaging utilizing radiology to create visual representations of internal organs and tissues. A noteworthy advancement in this field is the introduction of digital radiography.

What are the benefits?

1. Speedy image acquisition

Conventional radiology could take up to 20 to 30 minutes on average to process an image, while digital technologies like computed radiology require a processing time of 1 minute or more. But the latest advancement in medical imaging, digital radiography processes the image in 10 seconds. Even though the delay period between a computer and digital radiology is minimal, it might be crucial in times of emergency.

2. High precision imagery

Computer radiology uses photostimulable phosphor (PSP) to create a digital image, if this PSP is exposed a second time before it is developed it can result in blurred images. But digital radiology is not subjected to any such drawbacks resulting in improved images. Digital radiology is also free from any fogging or fading as noticed in case of computer imagery resulting due to exposure to radiation.

3. Reduced exposure to radiation

An X-ray machine requires the patient to be exposed to electromagnetic radiation to produces an image on a metal film. While the amount of radiation has reduced, the health-care provider is still exposed to dangerous levels of radiation on a daily basis. Digital imaging methods have reduced almost 80% radiation exposure as opposed to traditional means.

How doctors can take their practice to the next level

Overcoming challenges

1. Cost

A digital radiography unit consists of an image receptor, image processing unit, image management system, storage devices, patient information system interface, communications network, a display device. This digital imaging system can cost you upwards of Rs.43 lakh. Even though digital radiology units demand a high setup cost they attract a lower maintenance cost as compared to computer radiography.
You can fund your purchase with a Loan Against Property for Doctors that offers up to Rs.2 crore in funding.

2. Portability

The latest version of wireless digital radiology combines the use of both digital imaging and film screen radiology, resulting in improved output. Wireless screens work on the same principle as the tethered ones hence the transition is seamless, and no operational training is required. Going wireless also improves patient experience by reducing the processing time without compromising on image quality. A wireless digital radiography screen could cost you Rs.16 lakh and above.

3. Flexibility

Developing the right infrastructure is an essential part of implementing an EHR system. The software systems may perform sub-optimally without adequate infrastructure or may become inaccessible to some of the users. For example, the need of strong wireless network is important for proper access to the system by every user. Introducing a new information system may also require a certain degree of change of management or existing infrastructure.
Hence, careful planning, critical evaluation and a planned budget are important for successful implementation of a major health information technology like the Hospital Information System (HIS).

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