All to often, practitioner’s are mislead by subpar products. These products are advertised as digital or DR but they are not. The companies behind this misleading information sometimes refer to DR as Digital Radiography. However, DR is actually short for Direct Radiography. This means that once a patient is exposed, the image is sent direct to the operators workstation without need for processing, switching CR plates, or developing film. As digital imaging advanced from analog to CR, many started to call it digital because a computer or workstation was involved.
Soon after came the original gadolinium DR panel that is still used today in many clinics worldwide. These were and are true Direct Radiography but then a panel called the CCD panel was introduced and marketed using the same gray area of information and being sold as DR. Many clinics have these CCD panels that they acquired from cheap online or mailout fliers, but are they DR panels? While there is room for argument here, the official answer is NO! Not because the images don’t go direct to the workstation but instead because CCD stands for Charged Couple Detector.
CCD array panels are made up of 192 little camera lenses they refer to as Sensors. Upon exposure, they all snap the shot at once and rely on the software to scale it from there. Aside from relying on 1 of many software’s that come with these panels, the lenses or sensors can go out at different times leaving artificial artifacts on the image. Artifacts are easily mistaken for problem areas which could result in treatment of an area that doesn’t need treatment. Many radiologists will also not sign off on studies if they know a CCD panel captured the image due to liability.
A good imaging provider such as Tru Digital Imaging Solutions never withholds educating a customer on exactly what they’re buying. That however is not the case with most dealers and therefore buyers should not only ask for the panel specs but should also want to educate themselves on what they are buying.