“DR/CR shows a good prospect for teleradiology”

Doctors have used both conventional and digital radiography for several years, but one can conclude that because of its advantage of immediate image viewing, digital radiography is highly desirable

Chandrasekharan Suraj
Business Head, X-ray Products, Siemens

How do you think the digital imaging market is creating its space into the industry?

There is a clear and gradual shift in imaging from analog to digital, with the advent of new inventions in the digital detectors, imaging chains and this trend is in sync with the increased demand of digital storage, archival and sharing requirements in the industry.

Brief us about the latest trends in DR/CR.

The main demand in this segment is to have a better workflow and faster throughput of patients, films, and diagnostic reports. The new trends focus on faster patient positioning, automated organ programming and motorised movements of the X-ray tube and detector and faster and robust image processing software’s.

Since the workflow in CR is still more like a conventional X-ray machine, the digital radiography system with its direct readout is becoming more popular. DRs with high resolution detector, fully integrated with the X-ray generator to ensure that minimum radiation dose is given to patients are increasingly popular over the CR or Retrofit DR solutions. The latest trends in developed countries shows that more and more users prefer to have a dose display and other measures which ensure safety of the patients and users are given the utmost importance.

What do you think an ideal digital radiography imaging system consists?

An ideal DR system should have the facility of sophisticated X-ray generator, which works in tandem with the other components of DR system like detector, image processing system etc. It is important to have a powerful but well designed X-ray generator system, which ensures that the optimum dose is produced to get the best image quality. The latest high resolution detector systems, preferably the size of 35 x 43 cm wired, which ensures that the important anatomies are covered, either in the landscape or portrait mode is essential for a comprehensive coverage. A good feedback loop which monitors the X-ray dose, records the dose for future reference, and pass a real time feedback to the X-ray generator is a vital part of the DR system.

The digital radiology industry is growing slowly, list down the pros and cons of digital and computed imaging?

Only some digital radiography devices provide immediate viewing. However, phosphorous-plate technology requires placement of the irradiated sensor in a processing device to scan it and put the information into a computer so that the image can be viewed. Immediacy of viewing the image is a significant clinical advantage in accomplishing many X-ray based procedures.

Digital radiography allows the clinician to change contrast (to lighter or darker), enlarge images, place color enhancements or superimpose various textures on images. Pulling up specific stored radiographic images from a computer database is easy because of the highly organised nature of computer file storage. The problems of odors and stains from the developing and fixing solutions and the space occupied by the developing devices are eliminated when digital radiography is incorporated into a practice.

The reduction in radiation offered by digital radiography—usually 70 to 80 percent, and at times even more—allows multiple images for the same radiation exposure involved in a single image obtained via conventional radiography. However, after a short learning period, accompanied with frequent use, the simple software necessary for use of digital radiography is easily mastered. They are based on clinical usage and research and they may or may not be the same conclusions as those reached by other clinicians.

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