Monday, April 1, 2013

Digital Radiology Choices Pt.2

Picking up where we left off last week...

Is a CCD type DR system the right choice for your practice?
DR flat panel and CCD digital systems have the feel of a digital camera. As soon as you take the shot, the image appears on the screen after a short processing time.

The main benefit of DR is the speed of image generation and the potential for increased throughput through the radiology room. There are two competing types of DR systems in the veterinary market: [CCD] type camera systems and selenium or silicon flat-panel detectors [FPD].

CCD type DR systems are the most economical of any veterinary digital system when combined with a new x-ray machine.The image quality of these systems is good but requires an increase in dose over CR and flat panel Dr systems.

Many veterinarians in the market for a new digital system are buying CCD type digital radiography systems if they need a new X-ray machine. These veterinarians find CCD attractive because most CCD cameras are sold as a detector/CCD camera combination that is just a bit more expensive than a CR machine plus a new X-ray machine.

CCD systems are sold through local X-ray distributors, national distributors and national veterinary equipment distributors. The long-term costs of a CCD system is less than a flat-panel DR because these CCD systems are sold with attractively priced service contracts.

As with all digital systems, who you purchase your system from is just as important as the system your purchase. Be sure you are buying from a company with a proven track record of performance. Companies selling CCD systems seem to come and go these days.

Is a DR Flat Panel system the right choice for your practice?
Flat panel DR is the type of DR system most commonly found in human hospitals and large veterinary institutions. The image quality from flat panel DR systems varies between vendors but is generally considered to be of high quality throughout this class of detector.

Flat-panel detectors are easily retrofit to existing x-ray tables and are often the DR system of choice for veterinarians who do not need a new x-ray table. Flat-panel detectors have been out of the price range of most veterinarians. Recently, however, we have seen an influx of new panels on the market and the price likely will soon rival many CCD-based systems. 

Veterinarians considering flat panel DR should consider the long-term costs of ownership. Many of these panels have a five year decreasing quality life span and require expensive service contracts. The service contract is strongly recommended with FPD DR systems which can fail and need replacement or rebuilding. Without a service contract you will be out of luck and may need to purchasing a new system.

Flat panel DR systems are sold by many different types of suppliers, national veterinary distributors, Catalog houses and local x-ray dealers. As I have recommended previously my experience and the experience of many of our Veterinarian friends are, when purchasing a any digital system the support provided by the equipment provider and the knowledge they have obtained from many years of veterinary imaging expertise (DIS 30 years) is just as important as the digital system that is purchased. 

There is not enough room here to explain in detail the features and benefits of each digital system so please call DIS and we will answer all your questions in greater detail. The choice is yours, the bottom line as I see it is that in some situations there is more than one appropriate choice. 

Most veterinary facilities who want and need versatility like performing intraoral dental and do not need an x-ray machine will find that our CR is a great choice. 

Veterinarians who need and x-ray machine along with the digital system will find our CCD type system can be a good value plus some systems can be ordered with our intraoral dental option. 

DIS Flat panel detectors use a proven technology that is used in teaching hospitals and large veterinary institutions. Flat panels cost more to purchase and extended warranties cost more than CR or CCD systems.  DR flat panel systems provide the most consistent quality imaging results with the lowest dosages and fastest image viewing times. Some flat panel suppliers recommend replacement because of deteriorating image quality after just five years but we have never experienced this with our systems.

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