One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “What’s the best digital upgrade for me?” Not unlike many questions in medicine and technology, this question does not have a one size fits all answer. Rather, we believe it’s best to get a better understanding of a practice or clinic’s needs and their anticipated applications of digital x-ray technology.
If you’ve done some research on digital radiography (DR) or digital x-ray, you’ve likely come across some material about Flat Panel Detectors. These DR panels function through the conversion of x-rays striking their surface into light, and then turning that light into electronic data, which is processed and then displayed digitally as high-quality images on computer viewing stations. ExamVue offers such flat panel detectors in several sizes and configurations.
One panel configuration is a 10” x 12” wireless, which is ideal for use as a portable unit in mobile and field applications. ExamVue’s lightweight, slim design with a rubber insulated frame and high strength aluminum-allow case ensures safe and convenient operation and moves. Some specialists, such as equine veterinarians, sports medicine doctors, or podiatrists, who greatly value having a light, easy-to-handle flat panel detector in one hand, view a wireless 10” x 12” as ideal.
A larger panel, such as a 17” x 17”, can be best utilized in an imaging environment where the panel will be stationary—never moved or rotated. ExamVue recommends a 17” x 17” panel over a 14” by 17” because the latter panel often has to be re-positioned in order to capture certain shots.
Another configuration is a 14” x 17” tethered panel. This panel can be used in the same manner as the 17” x 17” but shows its benefit in differing size so the practitioner can occasionally take the flat panel detector out of the table or wall stand. A 14” x 17” tethered cassette-size detector easily fits into standard bucky tray cabinets, making an upgrade from film x-ray or Computed Radiography (CR) easier.
While several other panel configurations exist, there are many occurrences in which a wireless 14” x 17” may be best suited for a clinic. An instance in which the practitioner wants to be able to move the panel around the office or radiography room is one example. This type of panel would also be beneficial when the practitioner anticipates using the flat panel detector as part of a mobile x-ray resource. In our experience, we have found that this is common with portable x-ray providers on the road or veterinarians wanting to use x-ray out in the field.