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.

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