CR vs. DR detectors – and the inexorable march of progress

by Lee Nelson, Contributing Reporter | November 05, 2015
From the November 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

“We still do a decent volume in the U.S. with analog among end users outside of the hospital setting,” says Chris Scotto DiVetta, fixed radiography segment leader, X-Ray, at GE Healthcare. “Our Proteus XR/a is a tried and true system, and it does sell in the United States. These low workflow customers start with analog and know they can upgrade to digital if the need arises. The machine also does quite well in the global markets in India, China, Asia Pacific and Africa.”
GE is not in the DR upgrade kit business, but is very big in full DR systems. Konica Minolta is one of the manufacturers that continue to provide film to meet the needs of the analog market, and Fujifilm does as well. Rob Fabrizio, director of marketing and product development for Fujifilm, estimates the company has about 15 to 20 percent of the film market in the U.S., but that, as part of their total sales, “is barely a blip on our radar screen.”


Helen Titus

The ability to upgrade quickly from CR to DR happened for many end users when Carestream launched its first DRX-1 wireless portable detector in 2009, says Helen Titus, worldwide X-ray and ultrasound solutions director for Carestream. “Our detector was the same form-size, the same shape as the CR cassette, and that made upgrading very easy, you could do it in half a day. Today, cassette-size wireless DR detectors that fit in the CR slot are pretty much a standard product,” she says.


Stefan Mintert

Stefan Mintert, marketing and portfolio manager at Philips Healthcare in Amsterdam, was able to speak to the preferences of end users in Europe. And he says going with a CR or DR upgrade depends on the country you’re looking at. “If you look at northern Europe, such as Scandinavian countries, with the most sophisticated health care systems, you won’t find many hospitals that don’t have DR already,” he says. “The look is similar in the Netherlands and a big part of Germany.”
Other parts of Europe are using CR. “Developing countries such as those in Africa still use film. Some areas of the world have never offered X-rays to their patients. Some do not have the training, money, clinics or staff. But as they progress, the medical offerings will grow,” he adds.

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