COMPUTERIZED DIGITAL X-RAY TECHNOLOGY
In conventional radiography and mammography systems, images are created using a phosphor/film combination; with fluoroscopy, an image intensifier and TV pickup tube are used to capture images in real-time. In both cas
es, the images are "analog," and the signals are highly susceptible to noise and degradation – much as an LP record can skip if it’s contaminated with dust or dirt.
Benefits of digital technology:
· Lower dosage x-rays can often be used to achieve the same high quality picture as with film. Digital X-rays require less radiation than film X-rays. The patient is still exposed to X-rays, which pass through less-dense areas of the body and are blocked by dense structures. The key difference is in how the rays that pass through the body are detected. In film X-rays, the X-rays hit an intensifying screen that emits light that's then exposed to the film. With digital X-rays, a special sensor detects the X-rays, a computerized process converts that signal into a digital image. (The sensitivity of that sensor results in the reduced radiation exposure).
· Digital x-ray images can be enhanced and manipulated with computers and sent via a network to other workstations and computer monitors so that many people can share the information and assist in the diagnosis.
· Digital images can be archived onto compact optical disks or digital tape drives saving tremendously on storage space and manpower needed for a traditional x-ray film library.
· Digital images may be retrieved from an electronic archive for future reference.
Image enhancement: Unlike film, digital images may be enhanced to bring out all of the diagnostic detail. They can be magnified, inverted (white and black instead of black and white), edge enhanced, and contrast enhanced. Specific areas of density can be brought out by window leveling. Especially valuable to chiropractors is the availability of on-screen measuring tools.
Did You Know?
Diagnostic Imaging or x-rays are a form of radiant energy, like light or radio waves. Unlike light, x-rays can go through the body, which permits a practitioner to interpret images of internal structures. The practitioner can view these images on either photographic film or computer monitor.
The new technology of reading digital x-rays using a computer takes approximately 75% less time than the photographic print, which has been the past method of x-ray reading.