Medical X-Ray: Applications, Types, Merits and Demerits
X-ray is known for its multifold uses in different industries such as aviation, security, and healthcare. There are many merits and demerits of the X-ray. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has also been discussed in the article.
Modern medicine stepped into a new era with the epoch-making discovery of X-ray in 1901. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the esteemed German physicist, was honored with a Nobel Prize for his momentous discovery of the electromagnetic radiation.
It’s an interesting fact that x-rays can’t be felt or seen by human. These rays effortlessly and even magically pass through anything opaque like bone, skin or metal and produce images of what’s inside.
X-ray is known for its multifold uses in different industries such as aviation, security, and healthcare. In recent years, the global x-ray detectors industry is experiencing an exponential growth because of its extensive application in healthcare industry.
Types of X-Ray Imaging
Radiography: Radiography is the type of X-ray imaging we are most accustomed to. This type of imaging takes image of fractured bones, teeth, and the chest. Radiography is done with the smallest amount of radiation.
Fluoroscopy: This type of x-ray imaging helps the radiologist by enabling to watch the X-ray of the real-time movement of the patient and take pictures. Compared to the standard X-ray, more radiation is used in Fluoroscopy. However, the amount of the radiation is still extremely small.
Computed tomography (CT): In this type of scan, the patient enters into a ring-shaped scanner, lying on a table. A fan-shaped beam of X-rays passes through the patient onto a number of detectors. As numerous photos are taken in one run, this process uses the highest dose of radiation.
Reasons to Perform an X-Ray:
A physician recommends an X-Ray to assess an area where the patient is feeling ache or discomfort; observe the development of an already identified disease, such as osteoporosis; and check the status of an ongoing treatment is working on the patient’s body.
Health situations that may need an X-ray comprise:
- breast tumors
- enlarged heart
- digestive problems
- tooth decay
- bone cancer
- blocked blood vessels
- conditions affecting your lungs
- needing to retrieve swallowed items
Merits of an X-Ray
There are many advantages or merits of an X-Ray:
- X-Ray is a simple and cost-effective procedure.
- Compared to CT scan, X-ray emits lesser radiation.
- X-rays don’t get absorbed in the air, and therefore the specimen doesn’t require to be kept in an expatriate space.
- X-ray can diagnose tumors without surgery.
- One of the merit of an X-ray is that any alien objects inside or around bones can be detected by X-ray imaging.
Demerits of X-Ray
X-ray also has some disadvantages too. They are as followed:
- X-ray imaging does not provide 3 dimensional images.
- During the process of imaging, bones can block substantial diagnostic data absorbing the radiation.
- With lighter elements, X-rays are not very effective.
- X-ray sometimes mutates cells because of its radiation which causes ionisation. It can cause cancer.
- The quality of X-ray imaging is not very good. Instead, it can be considered as medium quality.
Impact Analysis of Covid-19 on the Market
The coronavirus pandemic has affected and still affecting different industries in a negative way. Global economy has confronted a massive hit because of the shutdowns of supply chain and restrictions in movement. However, the X-ray detectors market has experienced an exponential growth during the period. This is because of its indispensable role in the diagnostic imaging facilities. With the rising cases of Covid-19, the X-rays imaging is in high demand across the healthcare industry.
Various studies are being conducted by the healthcare specialists to offer the best health facility to the effected population.
In September 2020, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, conducted a study on approximately 400 people to know the effectiveness of X-ray imaging on the patients suffering from COVID-19. They evaluated the RT-PCR and chest x-rays of the patients. They discovered that chest x-rays are proved to be 96.6% accurate in detecting SARS-CoV-2. These are the reasons behind the growth of the market during the pandemic. The leading market players or companies in the industry are developing newer strategies to elevate and enhance the medical imaging experience, which is expected to definitely propel the market growth in years to come.
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