Medical Imaging Equipment
Diagnostic Imaging and Medical Imaging basically refer to the same field of medical treatment and diagnosis, i.e. the use of imaging studies to identify any abnormality, illness or disorder within a body part. This includes a large variety of scans and image studies that are helpful for creating accurate image-based interpretations of a body organ’s structural composition or overall functioning. Medical Imaging Equipment is the term commonly used to denote the advanced machinery that is used for such clinical exams. The most common types of Medical Imaging Equipment found today include X-Ray machines, MRI scanners, Computerized Tomography or CT scanners, PET or Positron Emission Tomography scanners and Ultrasound Machines. Each of these diagnostic imaging equipment provides the same, basic function but differs in the manner method of functioning.
Conventional Medical Imaging Equipment: X-ray Machines
X-ray machines are perhaps the most commonly found form of Medical Imaging Equipment. X-ray machines work by emitting a small amount of controlled-strength radiation. The radiation beam is made up of electromagnetic waves. These waves are absorbable into the human tissue. This includes the fat, skin, bone, soft tissue and cartilage. Once the radiation has been absorbed by such tissues, the waves emanating from various body parts is captured and developed into a radiograph or an x-ray imaging record. The manner in which the electromagnetic waves were absorbed and radiated by the body tissues provides a direct interpretation of the internal composition of these tissues. Any area in the human body that shows more or less than average amount of absorption of the radiowaves indicates a problem.
Advanced Medical Imaging Equipment: CT Scanners
CT scanners are often referred to as an advanced form of X-ray machines. CT scanners constitute of a large, hollow, ring-like structure that envelopes the body part that needs to be examined. For instance, in brain imaging studies, the head of the patient should be within the realm of this structure that emits electromagnetic waves. The basic methodology of a CT scanner is similar to that of a conventional x-ray machine. However, CT scanners work exclusively via computerized functions and limit the role of human involvement. The image captured via the CT scanner is displayed onto the computer screen of the technician and he can choose various kinds of displays to ensure that the physician gets the clearest image. This includes options of cross-sectional, two-dimensional and three-dimensional views of the scanned body part. CT scanners are more evolved than x-ray machines and provide more detailed images.
Medical Imaging Equipment: MRI Scanner
Within the niche of medical imaging equipment, the MRI scanner is considered among the most progressive of imaging technologies. This is because unlike the x-ray machines or CT scanners, MRI scanner doesn't depend upon using radiation. Here, magnetic radiowaves are used. The MRI scanner consists of a large magnet, usually in the shape of a cylinder, with a cavity in the middle. This is the cavity within which the patient is slid. The MRI scanner might seem similar to the CT scanner but the CT machinery doesn't have any magnetic functions. During a typical MRI scan, a strong magnetic field is created that surrounds the scanned body part. The magnetic field is so strong that the water molecules among the body tissues are realigned. This data is mapped onto an image that is visible on the attached computer screen. Similarly, the manner in which the radiowaves are absorbed by the various organs helps to create imaging data. This data is visible in the form of various cross-sectional images on the computer and the attending technician can choose an image that is best suited for the diagnostic purposes.
Today, Medical Imaging Equipment systems combine the creation of scanned images with contemporary imaging softwares to ensure that capturing, processing, editing and saving medical images can yield a faster and more efficient treatment/diagnostic process.