Digital X-Ray – Definition and Advantages

X-ray examinations are still the most important diagnostic method alongside ultrasound and MRI. Digital X-rays are being used more and more frequently in surgeries, whether at the dentist or orthopedist. The method is gradually replacing conventional X-rays and brings an innovative technology with new possibilities for designing medical products. In contrast to previous methods, the recordings of the imaging and digital X-ray diagnostics are made on an image plate, which is located in an X-ray cassette. Why is this so significant?

In this article we will explain how digital X-ray can be defined and what advantages come from modern digital X-ray diagnostics.

What is digital X-Ray?

Digital x-ray is an imaging process. In contrast to analog X-rays, digital X-rays use a special image plate or sensor instead of film material that is exposed to light. Due to the high sensitivity of the image plate during X-rays, high-resolution images can be captured with up to 90% less radiation.

Instead of the classic analog X-ray images that were later produced in a darkroom using chemicals, digital X-ray images are recorded by a special reader and saved directly on the computer. Far-reaching analysis and strategy have therefore distinguished themselves and today make the process of digital X-ray possible.

How does digital X-Ray work?

With X-rays, a specific body region to be examined is briefly irradiated with X-rays, i.e. short-wave, high-energy, electromagnetic waves. These are generated using an X-ray tube in an advanced process in which the two electrodes, the cathode and the anode, play a central role. X-rays have the capacity of penetrating the human body. The tissue dulls the X-rays to different extents. While they go through soft tissue relatively easily, it is much more difficult to get through solid bone. Depending on the type of tissue, more or fewer waves arrive at the end, which leads to an image being drawn in different shades of gray.

In contrast to analog X-rays, X-ray film is not exposed in digital X-ray diagnostics, but so-called image plates or sensors are used. Since this significantly reduces the exposure time and at the same time ensures a high resolution, the amount of radiation and thus the stress on the body is significantly reduced. Since the recordings are immediately transported into digital form, the images can even be processed directly using the digital X-ray, which means certain areas can be enlarged or made brighter so that even the smallest details can be recognized. Advantages that speak for themselves, but are by no means the only ones.

What advantages does digital X-Ray have?

Thanks to the aforementioned quick availability of the digital images, they can be viewed immediately on the monitor and medically assessed without any delay. This reduces waiting times to a minimum.

Digital X-ray is reliable. The error rate is reduced, post-processing is possible at any time and X-ray images do not have to be repeated. The high quality of digital X-ray images is another great selling point, since they are much more detailed than analog X-rays.

The digital version also improves communication with colleagues. Digital patient files can be sent quickly and safely from one doctor to the next in an electronically secure manner. Archiving is also much easier, it reduces the need for physical archives, saves time and effort and ensures quality even after many years. Finally, digital X-rays are kind to the environment, since chemicals no longer have to be used. It also eliminates the need for a light box to view the images. A PC screen is now completely sufficient and simplifies the medical design around the equipment required for X-rays. In this way, ergonomics and usability also benefit from digital X-rays.

All advantages summarized:

  • radiation exposure reduced by 90%
  • immediate digital availability and therefore assessment
  • low error rate
  • post-processing possible
  • high image quality
  • innovative image plate for X-rays
  • digital archiving
  • faster communivytion with colleagues
  • sustainable and environmentally friendly

The future of digital X-Ray

Digital X-ray is the step into the future of imaging diagnostics and creates significant advantages for the patient and the treating doctor. Technologies continue to advance and imaging plates for X-rays have certainly not been the last milestone in digital X-ray diagnostics and thus in medical technology. We hope we were able to give you a better understanding of the process of digital X-rays and look forward to further questions on the subject or on our work to advance design for medical products as well. Contact us at any time.

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