Radiography is a popular way of taking X-rays that help in image production of the internal organs of the body. This helps the doctor to get the correct diagnosis and identify the problem accurately. Traditional X-rays have been in practice since the 1900s. However, they are being actively replaced by digital radiography. The main reasons for this are improvement in image quality and accessibility, lesser set-up cost and the reduction in harmful radiations. Digital radiography is a popularly used technology where computer applications are actively being used to replace traditional radiography.
Digital radiography can easily display X-Ray images on a computer with the help of a software application. This process uses electrical sensors that help capture the image. A position indicating the device is targeted on the site on which the image has to be captured. The sensors are then placed against the target site, and then the image is captured with the help of a clicker. It is a quick and easy way of capturing X-ray images, as the processing time involved in this process is hardly a few minutes.
The images are almost derived instantly, which improves the time in diagnosis and helps the doctors make faster and more informed decisions. The processing time of digital radiography helps produce immediate and accurate results.
Why opt for digital radiography?
Digital radiography, also known as DR, is not only cost-effective but also helps in improving the overall image quality. Here are some of the reasons why doctors all over are actively shifting to the use of digital radiography –
With the use of traditional X-rays, the amount of radiation emitted was at a higher end. This was not only harmful to the patients but also had an adverse effect on the doctor. To avoid this, the doctor often needed to take measures to reduce and manage the effects of X-ray radiation, such as the set-up of the clinic and making the patient wear lead aprons and thyroid collars. This helps us trace the effects of the radiation. However, this is also expensive and time-consuming. While switching to digital radiography, the X-Ray radiations are much less harmful. Thus, the need of incorporating these extra elements is not necessary. It also helps in saving a lot of money.
The development of the film in the traditional techniques requires a specialized room and a very specific set-up. This includes setting up a dark room, tanks that contain fluids and fluids that need to be replaced after a fixed interval. This helps in improving the image quality and thus enhancing the diagnosis procedure. During digital radiography, this entire set-up is not required. Only dedicated software is needed on a computer. This helps in saving a lot of money and equipment.
With traditional radiography techniques, the doctor needs to set up a separate dark room and tanks. The dimensions of this room are predefined and need a lot of space. On the other hand, for digital radiography, doctors only require a laptop. Today, most laptops have this directly installed and set up in a small area of their clinic. In fact, for dental treatments, the digital radiography device is directly set up on the dental chair. This helps in saving a lot of space in the clinic, which directly helps in saving money in terms of rental costs.
For a clinic that has a higher patient inflow, digital radiography is a fast and effective way to get X-rays. This helps in improving the patient rate as it helps in faster image production. The patients are easily able to get treatment on time and need not visit one place to another for radiography. At the same time, the doctor is also able to see many patients at one time, thus improving the patient flow of the clinic while saving more money at the same time. This proves to be more profitable for the doctors as well as the patients.
Advantages of digital radiography in terms of image production
One of the many benefits of digital radiography is the quality of image production. During this process, the doctors can directly get the X-ray images on the laptop screen or the PC, which reduces the need for chemical processes. This helps in creating an error-free process as it reduces the involvement of manual labor. As the digital radiography image can be directly captured on the laptop with the help of software, it helps to create a more accurate and precise image. The doctors can easily edit the image to enhance the image quality and make it more sharp and clear. It is also possible to zoom in, crop and focus on the required part of the x-ray film.
During the production of digital radiography, another important factor that helps in easy diagnosis is that the doctors can mark various things on the x-ray film. This includes specific target sites, angles, unknown or foreign objects or anything they wish to Mark or spot on the x-ray film. Further, this can easily be shared with fellow doctors and makes communication and identification easier. On the other hand, all this is not possible in the case of a traditional radiography x-ray film.
Another advantage of digital radiography is storage. For storing and securing the traditional X rays films, there are mainly two things that a doctor can do. Either they can file and store all the radiographs at their center or hand them over to the patient. However, if the X-ray film is lost, there is no scope to retrieve the film. On the other hand, when it comes to storing digital radiography, the image can be directly saved on the computer. It is as simple as saving any image on your phone.
It is easier to retake a digital x-ray than to take a traditional x-ray. All it requires is positioning the indicated device and sensor again. On the other hand, to retake a traditional x-ray, the film again has to be processed and requires a dedicated amount of time and energy for the development of the film. Moreover, it is also very difficult to share the traditional x-ray film with other doctors as the physical copy cannot be duplicated. For sending the traditional x-ray to a doctor who is out of state or country, doctors will have to physically transport the copy from one place to another. Alternatively, the digital x-ray can be shared directly via mail or any other means.
To set up a digital radiography unit, all the doctor needs to invest is in the radiography machine and computer, which is compatible with the software application. It can be set up in a small area and hardly requires any space. At the same time, the image produced is of better quality. With the enhanced output, the doctor is also able to save a lot of money in terms of equipment and space. The patient turnover is also improved, increasing the overall revenue.