What is Digital Radiography?
Digital radiology may represent the greatest technological advancement in medical imaging over the last decade. The use of radiographic films in x ray imaging might become obsolete in a few years. An appropriate analogy that is easy to understand is the replacement of typical film cameras with digital cameras. Images can be immediately acquired, deleted, modified, and subsequently sent to a network of computers.
Digital radiography is a form of X-ray imaging, where digital X-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film. Advantages include time efficiency through bypassing chemical processing and the ability to digitally transfer and enhance images. Also less radiation can be used to produce an image of similar contrast to conventional radiography.
Instead of X-ray film, digital radiography uses a digital image capture device. The gives advantages of immediate image preview and availability; elimination of costly film processing steps; a wider dynamic range, which makes it more forgiving for over- and under-exposure; as well as the ability to apply special image processing techniques that enhance overall display of the image.
What are the benefits?
The benefits from digital radiology are enormous. It can make a radiological facility or department filmless. The images are no longer held in a single location; but can be seen simultaneously by physicians who are kilometres apart. In addition, the patient can have the x ray images on a compact disk to take to another physician or hospital.
Furthermore, my patients can see the image immediately on a monitor and I can point out the trouble spots or indicate where improvements have taken place. I can easily enhance visualization by colorizing, magnifying, or brightening portions of the image to help isolate and pinpoint the problem area. This helps me to promote more constructive consultations with my patients, and I’ll be giving them a much clearer understanding of their conditions.