So you're considering upgrading your X-ray system to DR (digital radiography)? That's great! There will be image quality, workflow, and throughput advantages in your future. All you have to do is make a digital detector/panel/plate at home in your wall or table bucky. BUT (There's always a but, isn't there?) there are a variety of ways to make this upgrade happen and, while all of them stand to improve your system's performance, not all of them will strike the ideal balance between your site's patient care needs and budget scenario.
Since that BUT is such a heavy one, we've put together three questions that will help you narrow down the options for DR upgrades to analog X-ray machines.
Question 1: CsI or Gadox?
CsI (Cesium Iodide) and Gadox (Gadolinium Oxysulfide) are both used as "scintillators" in DR detectors. There's a relatively complicated scientific explanation for how each of these compounds gets the job done, but we'll cut to the chase for time's sake: CsI will give you better image resolution. Gadox will cost you less. Both are improvements over film-based imaging. The detector styles mentioned below are all available with CsI or Gadox, so the choice is yours.
Question 2: One Detector or Two?
If you want the most efficient rad room in town, you'll want to get two detectors. The efficiency comes from the time saved by not having to move a single detector from the table to the wall on a case-by-case basis. Having two detectors also reduces the risk of damage to a detector via mishandling or (gasp!) droppage.
If your site has tighter budget constraints, a single detector with drop coverage is a more economical way to go.
Question 3: Tethered, Wireless, or Fixed?
A "tethered" DR detector has a wire going from the plate to either the table or the wall. A wireless detector is... well, you guessed it. Fixed detectors are bolted to the bucky. This last option is ideal for wall stands in a 2-detector setup, but should be paired with a wireless or tethered detector as they limit the patient positions available on the table. Pricing for these detectors, in ascending order, is as follows: Fixed, tethered, wireless.
Note: There are 2 caveats to consider relative to wireless detectors- battery life (your techs will need to charge your detectors consistently) and network connectivity (even well-maintained networks experience trouble from time to time).
Now that the basics are in the open, here are the combinations that are available.
- One wireless panel, shared between table and wall
- One wireless panel for the table, one wireless panel for the wall
- One wireless panel for the table, one tethered panel for the wall
- One wireless panel for the table, one fixed panel for the wall
- One tethered panel, shared between the table and the wall
- One tethered panel for the table, one tethered panel for the wall
- One tethered panel for the table, one fixed panel for the wall
Choosing which of these combinations is the best for your site will depend upon your specific situation. If you need additional information along the way, we can help with that. Contact our team below to learn more.