Coming: Real-Time Digital X-ray Video

Scientists at Varian Associates Inc., Palo Alto, Calif., have demonstrated direct-digital fluoroscopic X-ray images with a large flat-panel sensor. They say the technology that produced the real-time, 30-frame-per-second video images will make possible a new generation of smaller, lighter, and more cost-effective medical, industrial, and analytical imaging systems. By replacing the large 100 lb image intensifier and the TV camera connected to it with 15 lb amorphous silicon imagers, manufacturers can produce systems that are up to 90% smaller and 70% lighter than current offerings, the company says. The flat-panel sensor measures 7.5 in. by 9.5 in. and has a resolution of two line pairs per millimeter. Varian is currently working with 10 medical and industrial equipment suppliers that are incorporating the technology into their product lines.

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