The Advantages of Digital Radiography (DR)

Digital radiography (DR) is a modern method of obtaining X-ray images that uses digital electronic sensors and a digital capturing device in place of traditional photographic film. This allows X-ray images to be obtained almost instantly.

The processing speed of DR that allows radiology technicians to produce an image for immediate review is its greatest advantage over more traditional X-ray systems. The image is captured on a receptor and subsequently transferred to software at a view station (rather than being captured on traditional film and then developed by chemical processes).

The digital image can then be distributed to the associated workstations, greatly increasing workflow efficiency.

A digital imaging plate on a table — digital radiography has many advantages over CR

Digital Radiography Advantages: Reducing Cost and Space

The benefits of upgrading from analog to digital radiography go well beyond the reduction in time required to produce the X-ray images themselves.

Additional advantages of DR images over analog X-rays include the following:

  • Reduced radiation
  • Reduced cost due to the elimination of chemical processors, processor maintenance, and filing and mailing jackets
  • Reduced space requirement — no dark room is required, and the need to dedicate space for cabinets of analog images is eliminated

These are excellent benefits, both to larger facilities with high patient volume and to smaller practices that hope to provide on-site radiography services to their patients.

Digital Radiography Advantages: Greater Image Versatility

Along with the elimination of chemical processing, the digital format allows greater imaging versatility and overall image quality, both of which greatly increase the accuracy of patient diagnosis and the quality of care that can be provided.

When using DR, the image is stored as raw data within a computer, which provides the technologist, physician, and radiologist the capability to manipulate the images as needed. It allows for:

  • Lightening or darkening
  • Zooming in or out
  • Rotating
  • Flipping
  • Inverting

A major advantage of DR is the ability to rapidly change back and forth from dark-on-light imaging to light-on-dark imaging, which increases the visibility of hard-to-see fractures and soft tissue.

Annotations can also be added to the image, including the following:

  • R/L markers
  • Measurements
  • Angles
  • Notes made on the image itself

DR also allows the radiologist the option to retake an image immediately. The patient no longer has to be moved from room to room if the original image doesn’t meet the doctor’s needs.

Sticker shock sometimes results when customers look at the price of digital radiography equipment. Rest assured that, even though DR is more expensive in the beginning, it has a great reputation for return on investment over the long term.

At Southwest X-Ray, we’re not just hoping to sell you a digital radiography machine — we’re hoping to provide you with a long-term solution that will ultimately increase your profitability, decrease operating costs, and last you for many years to come.

Converting to DR? — Southwest X-ray Can Help

Our hope is that a member of our sales team can help you find the system that’s right for you and provide answers for setting up that equipment in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

There’s no doubt that the advantages of digital radiography far outweigh the traditional options. Let’s work to find answers to your radiology and patient care needs — learn more about converting to DR here.

Shad Merchant

Shad Merchant is an industry veteran with experience in every aspect of the X-ray and imaging industry, having spent over 20 years assisting small medical practices, massive hospital systems, and everyone in between, all over the world, to find the right imaging solution for their needs. Contact him at to learn more about what equipment is right for you.

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