Is Mobile Digital Radiography Worth The Investment?
Over the past 3 years, the price of DR equipment has dropped precipitously and the adoption of this technology has increased in a wide variety of healthcare practices. DR presents a huge advantage by offering quicker results, higher resolution x-ray images, and lower doses of radiation for the patients.
Mobile x-ray businesses have, in general, been slower to pick up on DR technology and for a variety of good reasons, but many of the issues that have held them back in the past have been addressed; making now the perfect time to reconsider a purchase.
One of the main concerns that mobile x-ray companies often express is how heavy and cumbersome the DR panels can be. By shopping around a bit, you can find panels that weigh well under ten pounds and have form factors that are only slightly larger than a standard cassette size.
Consider looking for a panel that has a slim case around it that can support the weight of a patient lying directly on it for abdominal, hip, and other shots that could put a strain on an unprotected panel. Also make sure that the cover has a good, sturdy handle for easy portability.
Inexpensive but powerful touchscreen tablets have reduced the bulk and complication of having to haul a laptop into the x-ray rooms. These tablets can be mounted directly on portable x-ray machines and can be easily removed for security when the machine is not in use. When these systems are manufactured properly all of the cables are completely hidden.
Using mobile DR has some serious advantages over using CR or film. A quality mobile DR will cut back on the amount of time required for a tech to be on-site with patients. The x-rays can be reviewed for quality just seconds after acquiring the image. Compare this with the CR where the tech has to take the cassettes out to the vehicle for scan and review. This time savings alone can mean one tech can pack more visits into a single day.