Analog X-Ray vs. Automated Digital X-Ray: What is the difference?

Jan 21, 2022 12:01:18 PM / by Melissa Schwab

If you have made it this far on our site, you know that we specialize in digital x-ray systems. The purpose of this article is to explain some of the differences between a standard, analog x-ray machine, and a fully automated digital x-ray machine and to help you get a better understanding of why an analog x-ray machine, paired with a digital DR panel is a great and cost-effective way to implement digital x-ray into your practice. 

Analog x-ray systems are typically what we sell at Maven Imaging. The analog x-ray machine is very durable and requires minimal maintenance, while still providing high-quality digital images when paired with a digital DR panel. Both analog and automated digital systems provide direct digital imaging. X-ray images can be seen within a matter of seconds. Both types of systems can have a dual-panel configuration with a panel in both a table and wall stand. This configuration can be helpful when an office is using both a table and wall stand frequently for images and not wanting to have to move the panel back and forth. 

Automated digital x-ray systems are expensive and generally cost-prohibitive for most of our customers. But if your budget allows, they do offer some integrated technological advances over an analog plus digital DR panel system that can improve efficiency.  For example, an automated digital machine comes with integrated automation for moving the machine between shots or some can detect the patient’s size to adjust the kv, mass and MA (technique) for the patient without having to manually input information. This can save the x-ray tech time and can be a big advantage for a clinic or facility that takes a high volume of x-rays. However, it should be noted that many generators for the analog systems now have anatomical programming that allows users to input the body part being x-rayed and will calculate the technique for the user.     

Where does the analog with digital DR panel win? Price and value. An analog x-ray machine, when paired with a digital DR panel, can provide high-quality digital x-ray images at a much more affordable price point than a fully automated system. Some customers can even utilize their existing film-based x-ray system and convert it to a digital system with the addition of a digital DR panel and not have to invest in a completely new x-ray machine. This is typically referred to as retrofitting an x-ray system. 

Tags: Digital X-ray System

Melissa Schwab

Written by Melissa Schwab