Why Digital Imaging in Diagnostic Imaging?

Diagnostic Imaging presents a specialized niche in the field of healthcare services. It refers to all the technologies that are used by physicians for getting a real-life view of various body organs. Diagnostic Imaging methods use a simple principle for achieving this objective, i.e. they create images that are accurate representations of the structural or functional aspects of a body organ. Diagnostic Imaging is often separated from Medical Imaging since the word ‘diagnostic’ refers to identifying a disease. Medical Imaging is used for monitoring the progress of a disease or as a method of viewing the insides of the patient when performing a medical procedure. However, this distinction is more technical than being practical and the niches of Diagnostic & Medical Imaging often blend into each other. This explains why Diagnostic Imaging is referred to as a diagnostic, therapeutic and health management tool. Diagnostic Imaging is often referred to as a part of the Medical Information Technology since it is based on using various machines and techniques for creating accurate medical images. Diagnostic Imaging is a vast field today, providing physicians a range of options when it comes to choosing a typical kind of imaging study. This choice is based upon evaluation of the patient symptoms and the degree of imaging accuracy that is deemed fit by the healthcare practitioner.
Features of Diagnostic Imaging
Most people who have ever visited a hospital are most likely to have undergone basic Diagnostic Imaging in some form where getting an x-ray is regarded as the common example. An x-ray is the perfect example of an imaging technology that is used for decoding the extent of an injury, i.e. first step of correctly diagnosing a condition. Diagnostic Imaging can be used for creating images of an entire body system or only a specific tissue. Most Diagnostic Imaging methods are safe and painless. These are non-invasive technologies that are most undemanding from a patient’s perspective. However, they do put forth a significant cost parameter for the healthcare setting since it requires the presence of qualified technicians for handling highly expensive Diagnostic Imaging machines.
Even those tests that require radiation or injection of radioactive substances don’t carry a significant health risk. The dosage of such radioactive agents is rather limited and the patient is under no risk to suffer from radiation-exposure. Most of the modern Diagnostic Imaging tests use progressive cameras or image-capturing lenses that can be easily inserted within the patient’s body without inducing any pain. These are referred to as Diagnostic Imaging tests via a ‘scope’. The most commonly used mediums of Diagnostic Imaging testing today include:

  • Radiation that is used in X-rays, CT scans and Radionuclide Scanning
  • Sound waves that are used in Ultrasonography/li>
  • Magnetic fields that are used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Why Digital Imaging in Diagnostic Imaging?
Digital Imaging is considered an integral part of Diagnostic Imaging. This is because using digitalized images provides many advantages that the conventional format of creating and storing medical images (as films) couldn't. For instance, digitalized images can be easily stored and quickly communicated over vast distances. This is because exchange or sharing of digital images doesn't require a physical medium, i.e. they can be communicated via emails or shared using medical software. This means quicker availability and sharing/collaboration of medical test results and faster rate at which the treatment is initiated. There is minimal fear of having misplaced images since Digitalized Images can be electronically saved and retrieved without any limitations. The quality of Digitalized Images is much superior to film-based images. Further, these images can be manipulated to a greater extent for making the diagnostic procedure easier. For example, Digitalized Images can be re-worked in terms of contrast or brightness levels apart from re-tuning their size or removing any clouding effect. This means cost reduction since repeated imaging studies don’t have to be ordered and the physician can better analyze the health condition using images that have been manipulated as per his preferences.