Types of X-Ray Systems

Jul 4, 2022 11:39:26 PM / by Chad Hutchison

There have been great improvements in imaging solutions in recent years, and there are now a variety of alternatives available to cater for the demands of varying types of clinics.

When it comes to purchasing a system, many business owners are wary about which one would best fit their company's unique specifications and want to assess the long-term economic impacts of their purchase.

Let's look at the most crucial aspects to consider when choosing which imaging technology is appropriate for your clinic. Whether you're in the field of Chiropractic, Urgent Care, Orthopedics, Podiatry, Radiology or Veterinary Medicine, we'll go through the major factors to consider when selecting your system.

Advantages of digital x-ray over film

When it comes to diagnosing patients, speed is of the essence. Every minute that a health care provider has to wait for test results is a minute that the patient does not receive the therapy they require. Fortunately, digital x-rays are far superior to film-based x-ray systems in terms of speed.
The process is not only faster, but there are also no hazardous chemicals used. Instead, the x-ray image is transmitted directly from the digital x-ray machine to a computer, where it may be seen almost immediately. The digital picture may then be easily shared among health care providers for collaborative purposes.

You may send images to any number of individuals or companies with ease using this software. You can also quickly and easily share documents with patients by making use of secure web-based viewers.

Cost benefits of digital x-ray vs film?

When it comes to going digital, there's a widespread misconception that the initial purchase will be too expensive. However, if you finance a digital x-ray system for 72 months, it is nearly the same price as what you would spend on film and chemicals each month.

When it comes to the expense of converting to a digital x-ray system, keep in mind the long-term advantages. There is an upfront expenditure for the equipment, but you will save money on consumables such as film and chemicals over time. Furthermore, because digital x-rays are more effective, you will save time and money on personnel costs.

If you're still using film-based x-ray technology, you've probably noticed that the expense of film and chemicals, as well as maintenance costs for your film processor, are continuing to rise. This is due to a reduction in use of film-based x-ray systems.

Digital x-ray is a more efficient technology that generates less radiation and is thus safer for patients and personnel. It also eliminates the use of darkrooms and chemicals, saving money in the long term. Furthermore, digital x-ray saves time by being more efficient, allowing you to treat far more patients in a shorter amount of time.

Take a look at our blog for more information on the cost advantages of digital X-Ray vs Film.

Purchasing x-ray systems: what not to do

When purchasing x-ray machines, there are many different models on the market, and it's essential to get the one that best meets your needs. When deciding which x-ray system to purchase, you should consider factors such as cost, features, and the terms of the warranty. Here are some frequent blunders that might cost you time and money:

Making shortsighted decisions

When purchasing x-ray equipment, it's crucial to consider what your future requirements will be. Many clinics begin with a few employees and a modest number of patients, but as the practice expands, you'll almost certainly need additional capabilities from your x-ray system.

Purchasing a used x-ray system

A used x-ray machine may look like a good bargain, especially if you're on a tight budget. However, keep in mind that a used x-ray system may not perform as well or be as dependable as a new system. Older technologies may not be compatible with newer technology, which might limit your ability to take full advantage of technological improvements.

We usually advise purchasing a new x-ray system. However, we realize that financial constraints may make this impossible. If you opt to purchase a used system, we recommend working with a reputable vendor who can provide you with an inspection and warranty or service contract if necessary.

Purchasing x-ray technology that is outdated

When it comes to purchasing x-ray systems, outdated x-ray technology may be a great trap. The oldest system for taking digital x-rays is CR technology, and while it is still in use, it isn't as accurate as more recent technologies. CCD is newer but is still considered out-of-date. There's also GadOx and cesium, which are both flat-panel DR technologies that are relatively new. At Patient Image, we always recommend using cesium technology.

Not working with a technology-driven x-ray company

Customers who have previously purchased x-ray systems from firms with limited technical prowess often seek our services. They may have been using analog systems for years and are used to film and chemical processing. We always advise working with someone who has a strong technical support staff at hand. You will discover that it is quite beneficial throughout the life of your x-ray system.

Forgetting to back up your data

Backing up your x-ray data on a regular basis is one of the most effective methods to safeguard it. This will rely on your precise requirements, and there are a variety of options available. An external hard drive or a cloud-based PAC system are two examples of how you may back up your data.

Choosing price over quality

Many consumers pick the cheapest option for their x-ray equipment. However, going with the most inexpensive system isn't always the best alternative. You could lose important elements such as product quality and customer service and support. It's critical to think about all variables before making a selection.

Forgetting to check the warranty

Customers might be surprised to learn that x-ray equipment generally comes with a limited warranty (which is frequently 1-5 years). Without an extended warranty, the consumer may have to pay for repairs in a few years. To avoid this, inquire about warranties before buying and consider purchasing an extended warranty. You'll be insulated from any future issues if you approach it this way.

Not getting a professional opinion when moving

If you're signing a long-term lease, it's critical to contact an equipment provider and double-check that your new location can accommodate your x-ray system. Otherwise, you may have to make expensive modifications or even move if you don't plan ahead. By doing your homework up front, you may save yourself a lot of time and money.

Computed Radiography (CR) vs. Digital Radiography (DR): which is right for you?

CR stands for computed radiography, which is a cassette-based technology that uses a reader. The cassette has a Phosphor plate positioned within it, which is used to produce the x-ray. A CR reader has several disadvantages, including the fact that it is time-consuming. It's not as quick as a DR, which may see the photograph in a matter of minutes. Another disadvantage is that its potential for overexposing patients is significant. The advantage with DRs is that we can determine right away if we need to do another take, such as if the patient was moving.
The CR system generally costs less. However, fewer and fewer companies sell CR systems these days. As a result, the ongoing maintenance costs of a CR are more costly than those on non-CR systems.

The CR system, on the other hand, suffers from no damage if the cassettes are dropped. If you drop the plate of a DR system, there is a chance it will be damaged, which can be quite costly to repair.

The most crucial factor is time, and that's where a DR system really outperforms. CR and DR have both produced good image quality in the past, but they're both digital. Some of the new technology with DR, however, improves image quality. And in many cases, a lower dose of radiation is used.

CDR Straight-Arm X-Ray: A Low Profile Solution

The CDP straight-arm x-ray setup is a cutting-edge technology that was released in 2021 and is exclusively built for chiropractic treatment. This system is smaller and more compact than the traditional straight-arm, making it perfect for chiropractors with little room to spare. The CDR has a lot of features and a few drawbacks, so it may be the answer for you if you are searching for an easy-to-use system that will work in virtually any environment.

Benefits of CDRs

There are several benefits to the CDR that make it an excellent tool to have in your clinic. The CDR is smaller and more compact than a conventional straight arm, making it ideal for small spaces.

CDRs provide head-to-toe positioning, allowing you to raise and lower the CDR to fit all standing exams from skull to toes. Additionally, x-ray settings are conveniently preselected based on the anatomical region of the test, ensuring that your x-rays produce consistent results.
Lastly, because compact digital radiography systems are easier to install, they save time. This x-ray equipment can be installed in small x-ray rooms, which reduces installation time significantly. A conventional system installation may take 1 to 1.5 days, but a CDR might be set up in as little as hours.

Disadvantages of CDRs

There are a couple of minor drawbacks to a CDR, which are important considerations if you're considering this investment. The first is that the CDR is restricted to shooting just 40 SID x-rays, whereas a normal straight arm can shoot both 72 SID and 40 SID images. Also, CDRs cannot, unlike traditional straight-arm x-ray equipment, take table views.

See our blog for further information on comparing the conventional straight arm with the CDR X-Ray system.

Mobile x-ray systems

When compared to wall-mounted units that require standard power, mobile x-ray machines are a fantastic alternative. Mobile x-ray systems are typically battery powered, making them lightweight and portable. This allows you to perform imaging in places where a regular x-ray machine would be unrealistic.

Benefits of using mobile x-rays

When it comes to mobile x-rays, two primary advantages stand out; portability and space savings. This system's mobility makes it ideal for healthcare practitioners. Mobile x-ray systems are smaller in size than their stationary counterparts, therefore they can be readily stored when not in use, saving room in your clinic or workplace.

Downsides of mobile x-rays

There are drawbacks to mobile x-ray systems. One of the most significant being that they do not produce images as good as those produced by traditional x-ray systems when used on larger patients. This is due to the fact that mobile x-rays generally emit a lower amount of radiation than a traditional system and this compromises the quality of the image.


Because X-ray systems are expensive, it's essential to conduct your homework and prepare for the future before making a purchase. It's also vital to become familiar with the most frequent blunders consumers make when purchasing their system so you can avoid costly mistakes.
There are a number of things to consider before choosing whether or not to convert from film to digital x-ray, such as whether the digital x-ray will save money, if it will improve diagnostic capabilities, and if it will cut down on time. You should also think about whether you would prefer a mobile system.

We're here to help you. If you're looking for an x-ray system, please contact us. We have a variety of x-ray systems to choose from, so you'll surely be able to find one that fits your needs. We also provide warranties and service plans so you can be confident in your purchase.

Tags: Digital X-ray System

Chad Hutchison
Written by Chad Hutchison

Founder and CEO of Maven Imaging, Chad Hutchison has been in the medical imaging equipment market since 2003. As his business grew, he pioneered buying and selling medical equipment online and eventually began offering leasing and financing to meet market demands and help customers. His market expertise goes beyond traditional medical imaging and finance support, as he’s spearheading cloud-based lending solutions for vendors across the sector.