Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What Portable X-Ray machine is right for my practice?

This is a question often asked by Veterinarians when looking to make a new purchase and it’s a fairly easy question to answer. You just need to ask a few simple questions…
1.       What type of practice do I have?
2.       What is the quality of the Portable X-Ray unit?
3.       What type of warranty does it have?
4.       What is the service after the sale?
5.       What type of company am I buying from?
6.       What is the cost?

1.       What type of practice do I have?
This is an easy question for you to answer, but it is the first question that needs to be asked.  The type of practice you have will determine the size of the Portable X-Ray unit you need. If you are a small animal practice or a mixed-animal practice, you should have a 100kV or 120kV unit. If you are a large animal/equine practice, an 80kV or even better a 90kV unit is ideal. It may sound backwards, but large animal practices need a portable that is lightweight to be taken in the field. Also, most x-rays on large animals are taken on the limbs at 70kV stifles at 80 or 90kv and so don’t require the higher kVp unit. For small animal practices, you need a high kV for examining the largest of dogs, and you don’t generally have to worry about the weight of the unit because you are in-office. However, mixed animal practices need the best of both worlds (high kV and light weight). That’s why the Diagnostic Imaging Systems’ ULTRA high frequency 120kV/40mA unit only weights 25lbs.

2.       What is the quality of the Portable X-Ray unit?
Buying a new piece of equipment is an investment and you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on something that may only last a couple of years. So, ask around. Find out who else has bought the type of portable you are interested in and ask them how it has stood up to the wear and tear of being used every day in a Veterinary practice.  If you don’t know anyone, ask the company that is trying to sell it to you for references.

3.       What type of warranty does it have?
No matter what type of equipment it is, no matter how much it cost, sometimes things break and you need to know what the warranty covers and for how long. Most portables on the market come with a 2-year warranty. There are a few that come with a 3-year and one company that used to boast a 5-year warranty (although, at the time this article was being written, I can no longer find any information on a 5-year warranty from that particular company).  Diagnostic Imaging Systems’ line of ULTRA Hf portables all come standard with a 3-year Hot Swap Warranty- if your machine needs to be fixed we drop-ship a loaner or new unit to you so you are never down-and are upgradeable to a 5-year Hot Swap Warranty at a minimal cost.

4.       What is the service after the sale?
It’s easy to sell someone a product, but it’s what is done after the money has been received that really tells a lot about a company.  You want to know that even after money has exchanged hands you won’t be forgotten and if you need someone, they will be there. That’s why DIS offers Free lifetime toll-free support.  No matter what the problem is, even if your warranty has run out, just give DIS a call and the in-house service department will be happy to help for the entire life of the product (10-15 years).

5.       What type of company am I buying from? ( After the sale accountability)
It’s important to know what type of company is trying to earn your business. How long have they been in business? Do they have a service department? There are a lot of companies out there that are just distributors. They have been in business for a couple of years, selling a lot of products from a lot of different companies, and they have no expertise in what they are selling. All they are doing is middle-manning the buying process. DIS prides itself in its expertise in Radiology including digital x-ray equipment. The company was founded in 1983 by President Joe Hecker. DIS is the exclusive North American Distributer of the ULTRA Hf line of Ultra-light Ultra-powerful portables and Versa-View line of radiology accessory equipment and Mr. Hecker owns the patent on the dual-laser pointers that are on the portable x-ray units so many people are now using.

6.       What is the cost? (under $10,000)
You’ve been waiting for it and here it is. You’ve learned what type of portable x-ray unit you want/need and about the company you are looking to buy it from. Now, the big question…how much does it cost?  Well  when it comes down to it, you can find the best company in the world, with the absolute best portable ever made, with a lifetime warranty, but if it costs you an arms and a leg, who cares if you can’t afford to buy it!  Now, like I talked about earlier you need a quality machine at an affordable price. Don’t think I mean for you to throw all of that out and buy the cheapest unit out there, you do get what you pay for, but over paying is not necessary because there are companies out there selling their products at reasonable price and you don’t need to over pay for the Name.  DIS portables aren’t the least expensive, but they certainly are one of the best values out there.  They are very reasonably priced and considering the warranty and service after the sale, you can’t beat it.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Veterinary CR: Is the need/want going away?

Last weekend we went to The CVC San Diego conference and showcased just some of our Veterinary Radiology equipment, including PortableX-Ray units, Ultrasounds, DR Flat Panels and CR Scanners.  By the way, thank you to The CVC and all of the attendees for a great conference.

While I was there, something struck me about what Veterinarians were looking for. There was a large amount of Veterinarians who came by our booth that still use film in their practice and wanted information on digital, but they didn’t even want to talk about CR.

For those that don’t know the difference in CR and DR:
CR,  Computed Radiography, is a digital x-ray system that uses CR plates in a cassette that are run through a scanner, scanned to a computer and erased for the next x-ray.
DR, Digital Radiography, uses panels that once the x-ray is taken, the image automatically appears on the computer screen.

In the past DR has been extremely expensive, making it difficult for Veterinary practices-especially small ones-to purchase, leaving CR as the only choice in order to join the digital realm. However, like all technology, as time goes on prices come down. Now, DR Flat Panels are much more affordable. DR Flat Panels still run $10,000-$20,000 more than their CR counterparts, but what you get is a crystal clear image instantly, without having to bother with scanning any plates. It should also be noted that CR plates don’t last forever.  After about 5 years of use, a Veterinary practice will have to start replacing CR plates, which run anywhere from $500 to $1,500 a piece.

Though the price gap between DR and CR is closing, for many small practices the extra money still isn’t in the budget. That’s why DIS will continue to offer a solid line of CR products at a reasonable price. But like the film processor, it will soon become a thing of the past. Just how soon? Maybe sooner than we think.

There is a time when CR could make an even greater economical sense for a practice. DR doesn't offer a good way to integrate dental. If you want digital dental and your practice is using DR, you have to buy a separate dental sensor with software. The DIS CR4000, can scan plates up to a 14"x17" and also with our adapter can scan dental CR plates. Your entire practice, including dental, can move from film to digital very economically.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Radiation Protection Explained

The universe is full of radiation. Since ancient times, life on Earth would be exposed to background radiation in the natural environment. Although background radiation may not cause any real physical damage to cells and tissues and the health effects will be negligible unless exposed to higher dosages. However in today's society, the growing popularity of the use of radiation because of its diagnostic and therapeutic benefits needs to be taken note of, this man-made radiation exposure can be harmful to our health when we do not find ways to reduce the unwanted radiation exposure.

Radiation Protection: also known as the physical health or safety of radiation, Ionizing radiation to prevent harmful effects on people's science and technology. Application of Radiation Protection Department of disciplines, as the basic subjects are: radiation dosimeter, radiation biology, ecology radiation, radiation shielding and radiation detection and so on; also involved in nuclear engineering, meteorology, geology hydrology, industrial safety, legal , Education and practical psychology. Radiation Protection includes: radiation protection principles and objectives; radiation protection: radiation monitoring technology; evaluation of radiation protection and nuclear contingency. Radiation protection principles and objectives of the radiation protection is the basis and starting point; protection methods in order to achieve the goal of protection and implementation of the principle of the protection measures must be taken; monitoring techniques to test whether the planned method of protection means to an end; protection is a comprehensive evaluation and analysis Research facilities and protective method is in line with the optimization of radiation protection principles and to further improve the protection situation.

Radiation (External) of the basic radiation protection measures
1 by exposure to radiation, the shorter the time, the body less effective dose.
2 the distance: the farther away from radiation sources, the fewer doses.
3shielding: stereotype, or the concrete wall of water can stop or reduce the radiation intensity of radiation.

Basic radiation protection measures
To reduce the intake of radioactive material caused by the dose (irradiation) can take the following basic radiation protection measures:
    1, to reduce exposure times;
    2, to prevent contamination on the surface;
    3, to prevent inhalation of radioactive material with the air;
4, to prevent radioactive material consumption of contaminated food and drinking contaminated water.

Radiation protection principles
For any activity, and an increase of individuals or groups of radiation exposure, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) in its 1990 proposal (No. 60 publications), set out three basic principles of radiation protection:
     1, the legitimate practice of radiation  any action must be well-founded, that the action by the exposure of personal or social advantages outweighed the disadvantages;
     2, protection of personal  optimal dose exposure to radiation and the number should be reasonably practicable and take into account the economic and social factors to a minimum; and
     3, the individual dose limit  suffered personal exposure dose limit in line with the need to ensure that no one need suffer unacceptable radiation hazards.
As a result of the nuclear accident and to increase the level of natural radiation, the International Commission on Radiological Protection in its 1990 proposal (No. 60 publications) and the 1991 Recommendation (No. 63 publications), are To be proposed to intervene (that is, through the activities of certain pre-existing causes of exposure, thereby reducing the total amount of exposure) to protect the affected people's health, protection of its principles:
Justify justified in the lower dose and harm reduction at the same time, the harmful effects of the intervention itself with the price, including the social cost is worth it necessary.

Optimization  intervention in the form, scale and duration should seek to optimize and reduce the radiation hazards to get the benefits of deducting the harmful effects of the intervention, the greatest net benefits.

The purpose of radiation protection
Radiation Protection is to reduce radiation hazards to human health. In the formulation of appropriate protective measures, we have to understand radiation on human health effects.
The main effect of the radiation effects of uncertainty and randomness into effect two broad categories. The former existence of threshold dose, when the absorbed dose greater than the threshold, the radiation on human health caused by a certain degree of hazard. The latter is no threshold dose, but the effect of the opportunities and the rate of dose-related.
According to the characteristics of the radiation effects, radiation protection, the main purpose is to:
    1, to prevent the harmful effects of uncertainty;
    2, the incidence of random effects to an acceptable level.

Monday, October 14, 2013

iCR3600 and Chrome Automated CR Scanners Now Available

Diagnostic Imaging Systems just finished another Veterinary conference, this time in Reno, NV at the WWVC. This year we brought a product, new to DIS but not the world, the iCR3600 automated CR scanner.

The iCR3600 is the flagship system for U.S. manufacturer iCRco. It's a rugged, dependable, single-plate scanner designed to go where other digital systems cannot. A proven solution, the 3600 has earned global acclaim from clinics, hospitals, emergency response services, the military, mobile facilities, and non-destructive testing users for its image quality and reliability. Physicians that require a dependable imaging system can now achieve amazing workflow at a much lower cost than comparable computed radiography solutions.

The iCR3600 will join the highly advanced lineup of digital Veterinary radiology equipment from DIS, along with another automated CR scanner, Chrome.

Chrome is a lightweight, compact, tabletop scanner designed specifically for the modern practice. This affordable, single-plate reader produces amazing image quality and is backed by powerful optics, sensors, and a solid-state, mechanical drive system

Both the iCR3600 and Chrome utilize iCRco’s trademarked True Flat Scan Path (TFSP) Technology. The screens never have to leave the cassette, thus preserving image quality and preventing damage. TFSP promises over 300,000 images per phosphor screen. No one else in the market comes close to this level of quality.

iCRco, the manufacturer of these two systems, is located in the United States and has a reputation for producing extremely high-quality equipment. We at DIS are very pleased to be able to add these two automated CR scanners to our already great line of Veterinary digital radiology products.

For more information on the iCR3600 or Chrome, contact DIS at 605-341-2433 or visit us online at