The discovery of x-ray by Wilhem Roentgen in the late 1800s is one of the greatest contribution in medicine. From an X-ray we can know problems happening inside the human’s body.
Further studies have developed the conventional X-ray to the more advanced diagnostic equipments, such as the CT-Scan, Ultrasound, etc. But the famous black and white x-ray is still widely used as one of the first line diagnosis, because it is a simple, fast, and a relatively inexpensive procedure.
If you ever had an x-ray before you will know that after the radiology technician takes the “shot”, they will process the image in a machine that will print it to a special film. Then the doctor will show you the X-ray film on a lamp box. Some disadvantage of this conventional technology is:
- It takes spaces Just 1 or 2 films won’t be much a problem, but imagine if you needed serial
X-rays and have to bring each one at every follow up. Not to mention the need to store it for months or years to show your doctor next time.
- It causes chemical waste. The x-ray film contains certain chemicals that are shed during the printing process, therefore showing the image we see on the film. These chemicals need special processing before it can be dispossed of or if possible, recycled.
- It’s impractical. Besides taking space. Some x-rays are also large and since they shouldn’t be folded, it can be difficult to transport these films.
Now with the advancement of digital technology, X-rays become simpler and environmentally friendly. With the digital technology, after the “shot”, the technician will input the image into a computer and process it digitally. The digital image can be processed, as you edit your photo in a graphic program. So, the doctors can zoom in a certain area they think is abnormal, they can sharpen the image, they can try to get a better picture of what’s in your body. Storage also becomes much more easier because it can be saved in a CD. The doctor will have the file saved in his database, or when you go to another hospital you can simply give the CD and they just need to pop it in their computer.