This is a really interesting breakthrough, and I would say it's about time. With all the advances in medicine and medical devices it feels like X-Ray machines haven't really evolved all that much over the years in terms of making things easier for patients. This shows great potential for that to change.
The image included with the article makes it look like the units are not sealed. Is there any problem with friction pad particle contamination in a hospital setting? Food factories are loath to use an unsealed brake or clutch for that reason; do hospitals care about it?
I agree, Elizabeth. The technician might consider putting a fuzzy bunny on top when they X-ray children. I think I recall a story about a doctor who tells stories of a space ship adventure to explain to children about all those noises they hear while they are getting an MRI.
It sounds like Fuji Film reinvented itself. I wonder why Kodak let itself run into the ground, insisting that its own invention of a digital camera should be suppressed because the technology would hurt its film business. That's a story for the business schools.
That's a great idea, 78RPM. You point out something quite astute--how terrifying medical procedures that adults merely find annoying can be for children. This certainly may ease that fear a little bit when taking scans of kids.
Historically, X-ray machines have sometimes been mobile, but not this mobile, and not with this kind of resolution. I can still recall shoe stores that used "shoe-fitting fluoroscopes" in the 1960s. Before people understood the exposure hazards, shoe storoes would use these things to x-ray a customers' feet and see how well their shoes fit. They called them "pedoscopes," and they weren't nearly as mobile as this system.
Luckily, I haven't had enough XRays in my life (meaning, I am lucky I haven't needed a lot) to know about the mobility of this technology, Chuck. I have only ever visited a big room for an XRay and put on that heavy lead vest. But interesting to know a bit about the historical perspective!
Ahan , thats great having a portable X Ray machine is really very usefull and a very good technology as well. It is helpfull for national sprts team players who if god forbids faces any injury can carry these X Ray machines and get the necessary treatment immediately , for millitary people , for vet doctors as well and so on . It drops down high cost of ambulances .
That would certainly be a 'leg up' over what MASH hospitals had back in the 50's Charles. I would imagine a great number of lives would be saved being able to find shrapnel at FOB hospitals rather than shuttling patients back to the larger bases. Time is definitely a factor.
As a contractor working in a testing lab a couple years back, we tested a similar product for GE Medical. In fact, if this article hadn't mentioned the manufacturer, I would have bet money that they were disussing the GE product, all they way down to the Wifi communication and digital x-rays.
The GE model had a drive system a lot like the new push lawn mowers, that allowed the drive speed to be controlled by the amount of pressure the user put on the handle, powered boom, to allow precise positioning, and USB or Wifi comm, to save and transfer the photos. I didn't get into programming that much, but it included a 17" monitor.
The best part about the testing was actually taking x-rays while under test. Hot and cold simulations in an enviro chamber - x-raying our smart phones :)
There have been portable/mobile xray machines for at least 50 years. Computed Radiograhy has been in use for at least 10 years so this is an incremental design improvement not a breakthrough. I notice the latest generation of all the mobile xray machines have devoted increased attention to the tube column's function and the ease of use for the radiology technician.
Lately, I've heard talk of portable MRI systems. One medical engineer told me that the vision is to keep a portable MRI on the sidelines of football games, where they could be used on site to decide whether a player has a serious head iinjury or concussion.
I am surprised this technology isn't already readily available in hospitals. As a horse owner, I have long been familiar with x-rays taken "in the field." Here is a brochure from one manufacturer of equine vet equipment:
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