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New Digital Radiology

Updated on August 7, 2014

What is a Digital Radiography?

Digital radiography (DR) is a phenomenal technical advancement, particularly over the past two decades for medical imaging. Radiology imaging is a type of x-ray image that is extremely efficient. It transfers the image, while enhancing it, and then stores it on a computer hard drive. It utilized two types of systems, direct and indirect, with the indirect being inserted into a scanner before being sent to the computer.

There are numerous improvements in using digital radiography, such as; a patient receives less radiation than with a traditional x-ray. In the actual process, digital x-ray sensors are used rather than the traditional photographic film. Furthermore, the image may be viewed immediately, and no dark room or toxic chemicals are involved. Since the image is stored on a computer, with encrypted technology, no large storage rooms for x-rays are necessary. The images may also be stored on a DVD. The cost has dropped dramatically since it was first introduced in the early 1990’s, from millions to a few thousand dollars.

Digital Chest X-ray

Benefits of Digital Radiography

Direct digital radiography is the meaning of DR. It is the fastest imaging available at this time, which will shorten the time to diagnosis, plus improve office productivity. It may be used from a home office and allows a veterinarian to take pictures in the field. Digital radiography uses a collection plate, rather than a film or cassette to record the image data. This reduces operating costs as well. The images are uploaded directly to workstations and stored in a DICOM format. This is a specific digital format designed for medical imaging applications.

Why Chiropractors Use Digital Radiography

Chiropractors have discovered the many benefits of digital radiography, due to the time saved by receiving an image within seconds, which allows them to provide the best professional care. They want to stay competitive using digital radiography, plus the storage of images is so simple. A good digital x-ray system is the chiropractor’s most important piece of equipment for making a quick and accurate diagnosis.

Many other medical modalities use digital radiography as well. It is a big improvement and some of the medical physicians include dentists, podiatrists, orthopedic physicians, and x-ray departments in hospitals and clinics.

Digital Radiography

Medical Images Viewed on a PAC System


How Images are Archived

Medical professionals in a smaller office find the use of picture archiving and communication systems (PAC’s) very useful. There are several types of PAC’s available, which all have a large storage capacity. Some have the capability to allow a referring physician to access medical images and medical reports. The images may also be sent directly to the care provider.

The larger PAC’s have the capacity to store 10 terabytes of information, which is considered the minimum amount of memory for large imaging centers. The images may also be stored on DVD’s.

Oregon Zoo Veterinarians-New Digital X-ray

In Conclusion

Digital radiography’s advancement over the past twenty years is extremely important for an accurate and quick diagnosis. For an individual that is ill and requires numerous tests, lowering the risks of being exposed to radiation is in itself a great achievement. The ability of the doctors to view clear images, that they have the ability to adjust is another amazing advancement. This is truly a step forward in the medical field.


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  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 2 years ago from United States

    Johnny, I am so glad you enjoyed this hub. Living in an area of East Africa that is so primitive must have been so interesting, and the satisfaction of helping people who were so poor is certainly something to be proud of. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • jonnycomelately profile image

    Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

    Thankyou Pamela. I was in radiography for 45 years and retired 9 yrs ago (now 74). There is always something new we can learn and the modern radiographer does so much more of new techniques than I ever dreamed of.

    I spent two years as a volunteer in East Africa, in quite primitive (radiographic I mean) conditions.

    I found the videos in your Hub most enlightening. Thank you again.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Bedbugabscond, I didn't know about the mammography issue. Thanks for sharing the information and I appreciate your comments.

  • Bedbugabscond profile image

    Melody Trent 5 years ago from United States

    Thanks for sharing. I am in school for radiology to become an RT. Digital radiology has been revolutionary from what I learned. It delivers a quality picture while exposing the patient to less x-ray. The only area where digital x-rays are a disadvantage is with mammography. There is a big controversy because digital is not as good at diagnosis in this one areas. The tech people are working like mad to solve the issue!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    teaches, I hope it spreads to all medical facilities also. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    Peter Geekie, I like your sense of humor and appreciate your comments. Have a good weekend.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    This is great news on the progress of X-rays. Less radiation and use of toxic chemicals is all good. Thanks for the update on this. I hope that we will soon see this a standard everywhere.

  • Peter Geekie profile image

    Peter Geekie 5 years ago from Sittingbourne

    Dear pamela99

    Interesting hub - digital radiography is new science to me but it's not my field. I am really a chemist and have to get my granny to tune in the new tv !!!

    Thank you for the info

    Kind regards peter

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    drbj, I agree. Thank you for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    anginwu, That is exactly why I was interested in this technology, as I've had so many x-rays and cat scan over the past two year. I appreciate your comments.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

    Thanks for this excellent heads-up concerning digital radiography, Pamela. Its best advantage to my way of thinking is less exposure of the patient to radiation.

  • anglnwu profile image

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    I learned something new today. Glad to know that digital radiography involves less radiation and provides faster results. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    vims, I understand radiologists are being trained for this new technology. I think it is a great advancement. Thanks for your comments.

  • vims003 profile image

    Vimesh Ummer.U 5 years ago from india

    good informative hub.I interested in this hub,because my sister is working in same is really useful to our medical field.voted up