X-ray marks the spot

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When it comes to x-ray systems these days, there is something for everyone in any setting, from compact and mobile equipment and advanced viewing functions to improved efficiency and image quality.

Although CR has outpaced DR, the line is blurring as more vendors are offering hybrid solutions. DR systems offer more and more features and enhancements to ensure that the investment is well worth it, but CR vendors are offering more compact systems and systems that integrate a CR reader with the DR working environment. Whichever a facility chooses, they are sure to get a lot of bang for their buck.

Regardless of the intended use and setting, image quality gets better and better thanks to higher resolution. Images taken precisely and accurately the first time mean improved efficiency, reduced costs and less radiation exposure for patients.

Aside from better image quality, more 3D reconstruction capabilities were on tap. For example, real-time 3D reconstruction via one rotational scan will help clinicians better view vasculature and plan for complex vascular procedures.

Vendors also are supplying systems that allow for improved ease of use for technologists. From remote controls to displays right on the equipment to systems that only show the tool buttons applicable to the current exam, vendors are helping technologists work efficiently while providing the best patient care. Other features include multiple operator interfaces, the ability to set up automatic positioning and imaging acquisition requirements and tools such as individualized worklists.

Alara showcased its CRystalView R200 desktop CR system. Designed as a compact system small enough for desktop or mobile use, the CRystalView R200 system combines excellent image quality with a 50-plus-plate-per-hour output for a variety of clinical settings.

Agfa HealthCare introduced its new DX-S-I, an integrated DR system for all general radiology applications and particularly well suited for emergency rooms and pediatrics. Agfa also showed its latest digital x-ray image processing software MUSICA2 (multi-scale image contrast amplification), which offers improved image visualization and greater autonomy.

Agfa also demonstrated its new CR 30-X. This compact tabletop CR system with a single-slot digitizer is suited for decentralized general radiography, military field hospitals, orthopedics, dental, chiropractic, and veterinary use. It is available with NX, Agfa's image identification and quality control tool.

Canon CXDI-50CCanon Medical Systems spotlighted its newest DR systems — the Canon CXDI-50C Portable DR System and the Canon CXDI-40EC Premium DR System. The CXDI-50C features LANMIT 7 (Large Area New-MIS Sensor and TFT) detector technology and delivers high-quality diagnostic images efficiently with minimal x-ray exposure to patients. The CXDI-40EC is equipped with a large 17 inch x 17 inch imaging area for capturing x-ray images large and small with no need to adjust detector orientation.

Canon also displayed a full line of DR sensors integrated to a wide range of x-ray systems. With more than 40 percent of its business retrofitting, the Canon range of sensors allows for retrofitting of almost all current and older systems.

CMT Medical Technologies showcased its work-in-progress, the FlexiRAD, featuring a CR reader and dedicated software that enables full integration of the CR reader with the SmartRAD DR's working environment. Another work-in-progress was the SmartSPOT PrimaX FPD, a premium digital R/F and angiography imaging solutions, based on state-of-the-art Pixium 4700 Flat Panel Detector by Trixell. Another new feature for the SmartSPOT PrimaX product line is LFH (Last Fluoro Hold) which enables dynamic storage of the last fluoroscopy sequence.

Eastman Kodak Company debuted the KODAK DIRECTVIEW DR 9500, a new multipurpose DR system that features three operator interfaces to minimize the need for technologists to move during imaging exams. The ceiling-mounted U-arm tube and detector, combined with multiple operator interfaces, equips this single-detector system to perform exams that normally require dual detectors.

Fuji Velocity-UfpFuji Medical Systems USA introduced an entirely new DR product line, including a new DR detector, new DR table, and new U-Arm device for general imaging applications. Fuji's new solid state DR detector provides imaging performance with the highest spatial resolution and superb DQE. This detector is being introduced in Fuji's Velocity-Ufp and the Velocity-Tfp