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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

“CR is still a very good alternative because of its digital image and lower cost,” Titus says. “CR is still growing when we are talking about a global market. For the U.S. market, CR is declining since there is a higher conversion to DR.” Spaulding of Dartmouth-Hitchcock says his facility still uses CR for some portable Xray work, and some individual images that are hard to get with fixed DR rooms like shoulders and views of the patella. Fabrizio believes that CR is going away fast. “For the most part, customers are not looking for CR. They only buy CR to complement their DR purchases,” he says.


Viola Fernandes

On the other side of the debate, Viola Fernandes, radiography product manager at Siemens Healthcare, sees CR technology slowly declining. “If a CR system does the job, then there’s no reason to spend to improve it,” she notes. Her company isn’t in the business of selling CR or DR upgrade kits. However, Siemens partners with Konica Minolta to provide digital upgrades for Siemens’ systems, if that’s what a customer wants. The Konica Minolta partnership also enables Siemens to be a player in large transactions where the client wants both new, full DR systems together with upgrades to some of their existing analog systems.
Going mobile…
With the price tag of a DR detector alone in the neighborhood of $80,000 to $100,000, DR for many people stands for “Don’t Rest.” To optimize an investment in DR, providers want to keep the wireless detector working throughout the day. The key to doing that cost-effectively is having a system with a detector and a mobile wireless access point so the DR detector can be used in any rad room, or with mobile X-ray equipment.
For example, Canon, through its Virtual Imaging division, offers the RadPRO Delinia digital X-ray acquisition cart. “It’s a mobile cart that comes with a wireless DR detector that works with any existing fixed or mobile X-ray generator, so you can use it in multiple areas of a facility,” says Mark Anderson, product manager for Virtual Imaging.
Tom Spees, vice president of sales for Richardson Electronics, says his company offers the EZ2GO, a DR system with three components: a detector, an operating tablet that is a wireless access point, and software for the workstation. “This makes it easy to take the detector and tablet anywhere in a facility where the system is needed,” he observes. Fuji makes a DR system with a laptop as the access point, and Spees says, “Expect to see more fully mobile DR systems like these at this year’s RSNA.”

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