CHICAGO - After years of talking about flat-panel x-ray as an R&D project, Eastman Kodak of Rochester, NY, this week took the plunge into digital with three new commercial products on display in the company's RSNA booth. The new systems are based on amorphous selenium technology, and range from a general-purpose unit to a dedicated chest system to a digital room upgrade.
The new systems capture x-rays and convert them to digital data using a detector made with a coating of amorphous selenium over a thin-film transistor array. Kodak selected amorphous selenium because the technology offers the best image quality of any of the digital x-ray options available, according to the company. Amorphous selenium detectors convert x-rays into digital data directly, without requiring the conversion of x-ray energy into visible light. Converting x-rays into light and then into digital data can result in light scatter, which makes images less sharp, the company believes.
Kodak's general-purpose DR unit is called DR 9000, while the dedicated chest system carries the product name DR 5000. DR 7000 is the term for Kodak's digital room upgrade, which enables facilities to use their existing x-ray generators and tube hangers. Kodak expects the new digital x-ray systems to hit the market in mid-2000.
Kodak has allied itself with Analogic of Peabody, MA to develop and manufacture the detectors. Also supplying components for the products are digital x-ray firms Anrad of Saint-Laurent, Quebec (an Analogic subsidiary); Fischer Imaging of Denver; and Hologic subsidiary Direct Radiography Corp. of Newark, DE.
By going the direct digital route, Kodak will round out its digital x-ray product line, which already includes computed radiography systems. The company continues to invest in CR technology, however, and is introducing the CR 800 and CR 900 systems at this week's meeting. The latter is a single-cassette reader designed for distributed environments such as remote clinics and emergency rooms, while the former is designed for centralized environments and features an autoloader capable of handling up to eight cassettes.By AuntMinnie.com staff writers
November 28, 1999
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