Medacs Healthcare

APR 30/2013

The switch to digital radiography

Radiographers will be aware of the rise of digital radiography and the potential for it to overtake film or computerised radiography in the near future. Professionals may have asked themselves how adopting the technology will affect their current environments, but as industries tend to change with technological advancements, it may well be the case that radiographers need to keep pace with this latest shift.

A major question radiographers might ask is whether or not they will need to undergo training to help them make the transition from computerised to digital radiography. It could be the case that you have to learn how to operate the new equipment, but it should not affect the way you interpret x-ray images. Getting experience as a locum at other hospitals might also lead you to working on this new equipment. This would help with the changeover and give you a chance to see how it operates and what it demands of its user.

What are the advantages of digital radiography compared to the typical computerised forms of the technology? Well, according to Vidisco - a manufacturer of x-ray inspection systems - digital radiography enables the operator to approach the system once, rather than twice, making it potentially safer for the user. The company also argues that the digital images are produced in seconds and are available on a laptop screen instantly. On the other hand, computerised radiography operators have to wait for the film or image plate to be scanned before they can analyse it.

Any industry facing the shift from one piece of equipment to a more 'modernised' version has to consider a few questions. These often centred on cost and efficiency, but ultimately, what tends to determine the change is if the industry as a whole, rather than in isolated groups, adopts the technology. For radiographers, that could mean waiting to see if hospitals take on digital radiography in the future. Either way, it is an exciting time to see how technological advancements shape the future of the profession.  

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