It was in the 1980s when digital imaging techniques got introduced to x-ray and analog to digital converters got introduced to conventional fluoroscopic image intensifiers. X-ray has seen resurgence and enhancement in itself ever since digital imaging has come into force. The digital x-ray images now come out sharper as well as clear as compared to the images produced in the analog form.
With the advent of digital technology, numerous fluoroscopic x-ray procedures have seen significant improvements in them. Digital technology has also shown its impact on angiographic procedures for having a look at blood vessels in kidneys, brain, legs, arms and heart.
According to the belief of experts, conventional x-ray techniques may also get upgraded to digital technology in the coming 10-15 years. In fact, film screen systems are also expected to go digital in this time period.
At present, a technology dubbed phosphor plate is available online. These help ensnare the x-ray energy and need an intermediate processing step so that the stored information could have been released to turn into a digital image.
How digital technology proves its worth to different kinds of x-ray systems?
Just akin to film, x-rays with lower dose may help in achieving a high quality x-ray image. Once these images are produced, computers can be easily used to manipulate or improve these pictures. Beside, these images can be sent to other workplaces or computer monitors through a network. Since, the same helps people when it comes to sharing the retrieved information or diagnosing different medical conditions.
Compact optical disks help doctors archive the digital images. They may also use digital tape drives which help them save hugely on storage space. This also aids in saving on manpower required for a conventional x-ray film library.
An electronic archive may be brought into use when it comes to retrieving digital images for some future reference.
Further, there are a few modalities which can show less acute diseases such as small breast cancers or calcifications only when they have a significant high resolution film. However, these are not into the picture as yet.
But, such digital detectors with such high definition are being developed and it is expected that these will be available in near future. For now, digital imaging is being used in an equivalent manner as a high resolution film would be used, be it in the field of breast biopsy systems or in breast imaging.