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See How Far The X-Ray Machine Has Come

Something we can be thankful for this year in the medical imaging world is the invention and progression of x-rays. X-ray technology has certainly advanced in the 20th century, making it one of the most invaluable diagnostic tools in radiology.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Interesting Facts About Röntgen, the Inventor of X-Rays

X-rays were initially discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, who went on to receive the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. Since then, several important discoveries have been made that have revolutionized the development of x-rays.

Researchers recently tested first-generation x-ray machine equipment from 1896 and found that it produced radiation doses to the skin (hand x-ray) that was 1,500 times higher than the dose from a modern x-ray machine. Moreover, the exposure time needed to image the hand decreased from 90 minutes in 1896 to about 20 milliseconds in 2010. Though there was some image blurring, the century-old system surprisingly produced good images with clearly visible anatomical details. This was the first time methodical measurements on this equipment had been done, since the systems had quickly been replaced by more sophisticated ones.

It is apparent that x-rays have come a long way, improving rapidly with significantly lower radiation doses and exposure time, not to mention improved image quality, making it one of the most convenient and safest imaging modalities.

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