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Exploring Your Veterinary Digital X-Ray Options



The first step you need to take when you are considering the switch to digital radiography in your veterinary practice is to look at the type of system you want to buy. The two main types of system are computed radiography (CR) and direct radiography (DR). Here we take a look at the digital systems available so you can make the best choice for your veterinary business.

CR Digital Technology

CR has been around the longest – since the beginning of digital radiography. Computed radiography is actually very similar to the traditional film X-ray system. With both systems you use a receptor to store a light-sensitive sheet that records the image of the object ready for processing. With digital CR, instead of taking the film to the light box, you take the cartridges to a digital processor . Inside the digital processor the protective layers are removed and the sheet is scanned by laser. The light is turned into digital processes in order that the image can be viewed on digital technology. The time taken between inserting the cassette into the processor and viewing the image is around 60 to 90 seconds. Each cassette can be reused many times in order to produce many different images. Some processors can accept more than one cassette at the same time in order to speed up the viewing process.

Advantages and Disadvantages of CR Technology

You can quickly view images from a CR digital processor and the system is efficient and straightforward; the time frame is similar to a traditional radiographic system with film. It is a little less expensive than DR technology. The disadvantage of using CR imaging technology is the time it takes to view the image and therefore identify any errors in positioning the animal. In the practice this will not be a problem as the animal can quickly be repositioned and the image taken again, but when you are working outside with, for example, horses and you need to send the cassettes back to the practice for processing, this is not ideal. You can, however, get portable CR equipment for these purposes.

DR Digital Technology 

With direct X-ray equipment from www.photon-imaging.com you can, as the name suggests, see images within a few seconds. An image is almost instantaneous, so you can adjust the positioning or the quality of the x-ray and get the best images possible. As with the CR system, you also need to purchase a means of viewing these images and storing them. DR digital imaging is popular with many vets and clinical practices even though the price point can be higher than CR technology. If you are working with large numbers of images or you need a solution that allows for the instantaneous display of these images, DR technology is preferable.

Whichever system you like the look of, it is a good idea to discuss your requirements with an experienced professional supplier. As digital imaging technology represents an important investment for your practice it pays to make the right choice.