Once you have taken the x-ray, the next question is how you will view them. Most chiropractic offices will have a designated Report of Findings (ROF) room, where they will have a dedicated computer and monitor to show the images to their patients. The monitor can be a traditional computer monitor, or some of our customers will use a TV connected to a computer to display the images in large format. In order to view images in multiple rooms, you want to ensure that the system that you purchase will have either a cloud or web-based viewer or a desktop application viewer that can be installed in other rooms to be able to view the images in multiple rooms, as some packages do not include this.
A viewer is just one part of the puzzle. We discussed previously that a PACS system is what you will need to store the images. In most cases, it is this PACS system that is used as the central database for your viewer in other rooms to access and view those images. We are going to now discuss some of the key elements in how to view digital x-rays:
- How can I view images in multiple rooms?
- What tools are available for Chiropractic measurements?
- How full-spine stitching works
Most systems will come with a certain number of viewing licenses in the package. These licenses can be either concurrent, meaning the number is based on the number of users logged in at the same time, or a per seat license, which is how many computers the viewer is actually installed on. There is also the option for web-based PACS or cloud-based PACS which will provide you with the added option of viewing x-rays outside of your clinic.
Regardless of which license configuration comes with your digital x-ray system, you will need to make sure it has the number of concurrent licenses or seat licenses to meet your needs. You will also want to make sure that it has a PACS system included with it so that you will see the same images and any saved changes when you go from room to room.
We discussed a desktop computer as an option for a viewer, but many customers opt for a laptop or touchscreen tablet PC to view the images in rooms. It is a great option if you want to have just one single computer and go from room to room. With a laptop or tablet, you can also connect to a TV using an HDMI connection.
The viewer will come with a number of different chiropractic tools, which will allow you to manipulate the image, take measurements and change the brightness and contrast of an image. Unlike film, you have the ability to make an over or underexposed x-ray look much better by using filters and other tools to get a better image.
There are a number of different chiropractic tools available across multiple vendors and you will want to take into consideration which tools are important to you as you evaluate the products. For the most part, most digital x-ray systems available in the market come with some type of Chiropractic measurement tool.
They typically cover what 80% of most chiropractors will utilize. There are other more specific Chiropractic techniques that are supported by various additional software such as NUCCA, Upper Cervical, Blair, Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), and more.
When making a chiropractic measurement, our software will allow you to save and then view in multiple rooms. There are also options to show or hide these measurements while reviewing the image with a patient.
If you have a specific chiropractic toolset need, please reach out to us to discuss and we would be happy to make recommendations as to the best software for your needs.
Prior to digital x-ray, if you wanted to shoot a full-spine x-ray you would need a long-length film cassette and take one image. The challenge with this has been that the technique you might use on a cervical vs thoracic vs a lateral can and should be different. With digital x-ray, you can now take individual segmented x-rays of each region and then the software will stitch them together into one full spine image. This will produce a much better image than traditional film.
Once you have taken each sectional image, the stitching software will allow you to choose two images and stitch them together. Some software options will have auto stitching, where it will align the two images as best as it can to look like a full-spine image. Other software will require you to drag and drop or move the two images into place to get the full spine image.