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Palo Alto, CA, United States, 2007/08/15 - Frost & Sullivan, Diagnostic Digital Imaging, finds that the front-end digital capture using flat panel detectors, with concentration on the post processing sector, would offer a platform forward in the years to come.
The migration of radiography toward a film-free digital environment is in full swing, with both computed radiography (CR) and digital radiography (DR) making significant inroads over the years. One of the key factors driving this adoption spurt is the ability of CR and DR systems to deliver higher throughput, thereby allowing hospitals to increase revenues through additional patient examinations. The high resolution of images obtained from these systems and the low radiation exposure risk for patients are also driving the future growth of these diagnostic digital imaging technologies.
Frost & Sullivan (ti.frost.com), Diagnostic Digital Imaging, finds that the front-end digital capture using flat panel detectors, with concentration on the post processing sector, would offer a platform forward in the years to come.
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“The recent introduction of portable devices flat panel detector systems is a notable development in the diagnostic digital imaging field,” notes Frost and Sullivan Research Analyst Pramodh Ishwarakrishnan. “However, although these systems offer enhanced levels of flexibility and could possibly replace CR systems, their image quality needs to be examined and compared to that of the low-cost storage phosphor system. Some of the notable developments in this area will include dual side CR readout, line-stimulation CR readout, and line scan CR systems.”
A promising area of application for these dynamic flat panel systems is fluoroscopy. Studies employing these systems have shown that there is an improvement in the quality of the image obtained and reduction in the patient exposure level. Improvement in both detective quantum efficiency (DQE) and signal to noise ratio of detectors by manufacturers will help further reduction of the exposure level and offer improvements in the quality of the image. Manufacturers have gone a step further in designing a new architecture of the read out arrays that could be optimized by reducing the size of the circuit and pixels.
Not withstanding such developments, there remain significant challenges restraining the greater adoption of CR as well as DR systems. In the case of DR systems, though their prices are declining steadily, a fall in the average price is not expected soon, due to certain concomitant issues such as high R&D costs. These increasing costs may be attributed to the development and manufacture of the detector plates, which combine the lowest radiation dose with the highest image resolution solution.
“Moreover, though the productivity gains and long-term value of both CR and DR are well defined, the benefits take a nose dive if medical facilities lack the basic infrastructure and electronic management systems,” says Ishwara Krishnan. “This is particularly evident in underdeveloped countries, warranting manufacturers of CR and DR equipment to encourage the installation of picture archiving system (PACS) or some other form of electronic management system to promote electronic exchange of data.”
Going forward, one can expect considerable developments on the image processing side of radiology. The trend is toward improving image-processing capabilities, with a need to suppress the noise level, simultaneously lowering the dose. Although computed-aided detection (CAD) software may continue to contribute to the clinician's performance, the development of complex software algorithms to support image processing and image reconstruction is fundamental to the new diagnostic digital imaging techniques.
Diagnostic Digital Imaging is part of the Technical Insights Growth partnership Services. It concentrates on the front-end digital capture part of imaging--in other words, the detector technology. This research service is an update on a Frost & Sullivan initiated research service done in the past titled --Advances in X-ray technologies. Interviews with the press are available.
Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and research services.
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