An X Ray image is essential in the ability to treat the patient correctly. If you have been shopping or researching Chiropractic Digital X-Ray lately it can be very overwhelming to weed through all of the agenda driven marketing out there on the internet. I know that everyone is looking for “Cheap Digital X-Ray”. However price should not be what makes you say Yes or No to a purchase when concerning this technology.
There are 3 Different choices for Chiropractic Digital X-Ray
Computed Radiography CR
Computed Radiography still utilizes a type of X Ray cassette but instead of X-Ray Film it uses a Phosphor plate. After taking your image your have to run that plate through a type of scanner that will read the image off of the plate then send to a computer. After reading the image, the scanner then erases the plate so you will be ready for your next image. This entire process can take anywhere from 2-5 minutes.
Benefit of CR: is that you obtain Digital Image, and no longer need X Ray Film, chemicals or a Darkroom.
Disadvantages of CR :are they are really no faster than a traditional automatic processor. They still have many moving parts that will wear out over time. They need to be maintained at least once a year. the phosphor plates will wear out from being run through a scanner constantly.
CCD DR (Charged Coupled Device)
A CCD based system is a DR system..sort of. It uses mirrors and cameras, (as many as 192 in some systems) to obtain a digital image. The CCD systems were very popular a few years ago because they allowed you to go DR without the high cost that was related to a Flat Panel Digital X-ray system at that time. However the CCD systems are really all over the board from a quality standpoint. There was really only 1 manufacturer who provides a quality CCD system. Many companies tried to private label the Vieworks CCD Camera and software and market it as the next best thing. However the system is essentially a huge box you have to attach to your wall stand. It is almost 20 inches from front to back. It limits your focal distance and looks ridiculous in many cases. There is also a product that I mentioned earlier with the 192 cameras. That system is not big and bulky but it doesn’t work very well either. Those 192 little cameras need to be calibrated every few weeks or you will have little blank squares all over your films or overall poor image quality. Run, run fast from that product but ……it’s cheap!
Advantages of CCD: A cheaper way to go DR. Images in 5-6 seconds.
Disadvantages of CCD: You need a High Frequency Generator to obtain a quality image. It is a very difficult retro fit because the CCD box is very big. It is now the same price as a real Flat Panel DR system.
Flat Panel Technology is what is taking over for CR in most hospitals and imaging centers in 2011. This technology is finally reasonable in price when compared to a few years ago. In the past a Flat Panel DR retrofit was almost $100,000. Now that same process can be done for less than half of that! Flat Panel is the Highest Quality Image that is possible with the least amount of radiation to the patient.
A Flat Panel Digital Radiography system utilized a Thin Film Transistor or TFT to produce an image. Some manufacturers use a direct method called Amporhous selinium. This method does not use a Scintillator. The second and more reliable way to contruct a Flat Panel X-Ray Detector is Amorphous Silicon. This method does use a Scintillator either Cesium Iodide (CsI) or Gadolinium Oxysulfide or GaDox. This technology is the most stable of the two Flat Panel methods.
FPD have become the standard for diagnostic image quality and overall efficiency . This by far the best bang for your buck when considering Chiropractic Digital X Ray conversions.
Advantages of Flat Panel DR: Hospital grade image quality. Vizion Flat Panels average lifespan is 1,000,000 exposures! No moving parts. Images in 2-5 seconds depending on the panel you choose. No need for high Frequency generator.
Disadvantages of Flat Panel DR: Not as cheap as CCD or CR.
I have been working in Digital X-Ray for over 10 years. There are so many products and so much marketing hype in the Healthcare space today. I have built a network of sites to give the consumer the information they need to make an informed decision when investing in a Digital Radiography system.