Advancements in CT Scanner Technology Mean Less X-Ray Radiation for Patients

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It’s no secret that X-ray machines emit a small amount of radiation during every use, but recent technological advances in CT scans could drastically lower the amount of radiation emitted and diminish the risks associated with X-ray machines.

“The risk of developing cancer from the radiation delivered by one CT scan is low, but the large number of scans performed each year—more than 70 million—translates to a significant risk. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute estimated that the 72 million CT scans performed in the U.S. in 2007 could lead to 29,000 new cancers. On average, the organ studied in a CT scan of an adult receives around 15 millisieverts of radiation, compared with roughly 3.1 millisieverts of radiation exposure from natural sources each year,” a recent article from the MIT Technology Review website states.

The newest CT scanning system from Toshiba Medical has seen decreases in radiation production by nearly 95 percent, meaning doctors will no longer have to potentially risk their patient’s long term health for short term medical gains. The dramatic increase is thanks in part to not only an increase in the number of detectors in the machine which will require less passes of the scanner over a particular organ but also faster moving x-ray components which means the patient will be under the scanner – and exposed to X-ray radiation – for less time.

So why can’t we find these new CT scanners in every medical office in the United States?  Though great for patients, these new advancements in technology don’t come cheap.  The full CT scan system could run upwards of $2.3 million for just one scanner, while upgrades to existing systems could cost in the hundreds of thousands.

For medical offices looking to upgrade, an equipment lease might be an option worth exploring.  Financing medical equipment – like new CT scanners – could mean less out of pocket costs while offering your patients the best possible care.

If you’re in the medical field, will your office be upgrading?