Just as photographers have mostly moved away from handling film and now work in the realm of digital cameras, radiology is shifting away from analog equipment to digital radiography and is storing images as computer files rather than physical film. The advantages are similar to those of digital cameras: Images are available immediately, and computerized image processing delivers sharper, more detailed images. Moving into the digital era allows medical practices to better serve patients with faster diagnosis via quickly available, high-quality images.
There’s a wide array of DR imaging solutions available to meet the needs of all kinds of medical practices, large and small. DR panels can either be tethered to an image capture unit or wireless for greater mobility and flexibility in some applications. Many panels offer automatic detection of exposures, requiring no generator connection, which increases simplicity of use. A large range of image acquisition options are also available with most DR systems, including the ability to zoom in on an image, flip or rotate images, make notations, change brightness and contrast levels and other tools that make it easier to view and focus on full images or detail sections.
DR systems also enable X-ray images to be handled in ways that are similar to basic digital photography. Image files can easily be stored and retrieved with the use of a PACS system. Images can be exported to multiple file types and copied to a CD or USB drive to give to patients or to pass on to other medical practitioners. The familiarity of digital image handling means office staff will quickly be comfortable using digital X-ray imagery. The immediacy of digital X-rays also speed up many processes because health care professionals no longer need to wait for films to be processed in order to diagnose issues before discussing them with their patients.
DR systems are the next step in radiology, offering numerous benefits to clinics and all kinds of medical offices. Greater efficiency in both taking and retrieving images allows medical practitioners to offer patients a high level of care in less time.