Traditional x-ray is an effective tool for spotting broken bones and other simple problem in the human body. We at Creative Electron us it for quality control and part inspection, and it works because electromagnetic radiation has a shorter wavelength than visible light. This way it can easily pass through soft tissue, but it has more trouble passing through harder materials. On the other side is a sensor, or film, produces an image based on the intensity of the x-rays that make it through, thus revealing what’s inside. The same principle has been used for over 120 years. Other processes have come along that help with diagnosis, but something new is on the horizon.
X-ray imaging finally is moving into the modern era with 3D, full-color images that reveal far more than just your bones. This new technology will take the guesswork out of diagnostics in all medical procedures. In fact, this process will allow a doctor to diagnose a patient without cutting them open at all.
We are very intrigued about this new advancement, so we looked into how it works. This new medical imaging scanner works in a similar way to the sensor in your digital camera, by detecting and counting the particles hitting each pixel when a shutter opens. This allows the scanner to differentiate bone, muscle, fat, liquids, and all the other material in the human body, while additional software uses that data to produce stunning full-color images that allow a three-dimensional view of the inside of the body.
It will be years before the new scanner receives all the clearances and approvals it needs so that it can be used in hospitals and clinics. In the meantime, we can get a look at how it works and marvel at the possibilities. Though we do not do medical applications, this new imaging process will, eventually, translate into our applied field and that will be an exciting day.
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