Digital XRay and Software - Part 1: Quality


Raw X-rays Are All the Same!

We’ve heard it a million times: "My rep told me that if I purchase THEIR software, my x-rays will look better." Many companies claim their software renders superior digital x-rays. What does The Bridge Network say on this topic and about our ChairSide Imaging (CSI) software? Well, we think you will find our answer is different from everybody else’s. The answer is that software has almost no impact on your digital x-ray quality! Here’s why:

The x-ray is acquired by the software directly from the x-ray device. The software is then used to store and organize the x-rays. The raw x-ray quality acquired from the sensor depends upon several factors like positioning, appropriate radiation exposure, the x-ray equipment drivers and more. The drivers are provided by the x-ray equipment manufacturer. This means that whichever software you use, the drivers are the same. The drivers do the bulk of the work. Many of the drivers have built into them the capability to enhance x-rays. So, the bottom line is the raw x-ray has not been affected AT ALL by the acquiring software, like CSI.

Okay, How About 'Enhancing' the X-rays?

Once the x-ray is acquired, the software can then 'enhance' or 'filter' it. Most software uses a third party tool called 'Lead Tools Medical Imaging' to do this. In other words, we did not write our own tools for doing this - we simply purchased these tools from the leader in medical imaging. This is such an effective way of doing things that almost everybody has done it. Again, we are neck-and-neck in terms of how the different imaging software solutions enhance x-rays.

So, Software Doesn't Determine Image Quality? Prove It!

Image Management Software is certainly important, but not when it comes to x-ray quality. On the occasion where we’ve met with x-ray vendors at client’s sites and done x-ray shoot outs, each time we’ve proven the x-ray looks exactly the same in both software and, as well, the enhancements were identical (albeit, each software providers have different names for these enhancements!). It’s also widely accepted that these enhancements beyond the driver level should be used sparingly. If your x-ray looks awful and needs a lot of improvement to correct it, chances are you used the wrong exposure setting or have an incorrect driver setting.

Continue to Part 2: Quality Control


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