Carestream, Viztek showcase wireless DR detectors

December 4, 2008

Carestream Health’s new portable x-ray detector, showcased at the RSNA meeting and scheduled for routine shipments in 2009, promises the means for film-dependent radiography sites to transition to digital. Designed to fit into a standard bucky, either table- or wall-mounted, Carestream’s DRX-1 offers the flexibility of computed radiography. Its solid-state design allows immediate data acquisitions and its wireless transmitter sends the data directly to the console.

Carestream Health's new portable x-ray detector, showcased at the RSNA meeting and scheduled for routine shipments in 2009, promises the means for film-dependent radiography sites to transition to digital. Designed to fit into a standard bucky, either table- or wall-mounted, Carestream's DRX-1 offers the flexibility of computed radiography. Its solid-state design allows immediate data acquisitions and its wireless transmitter sends the data directly to the console.

And Carestream is not alone. Viztek introduced at RSNA 2008 a portable DR detector that, according to the company, requires no modification to integrate with most existing wall stands and table buckys.

A key feature of both is their light weight. The Carestream detector weighs just 8.5 pounds. The Viztek detector weighs in at 8.6 pounds. Both offer 14 x 17-inch (35 x 43-cm) coverage. Their wireless transmitters allow easy removal from a table bucky for tabletop extremity and lateral exposures or for transfer to a wall bucky.

The Viztek DR panel is enclosed in a lightweight shock- and water-resistant casing. It will complement the company's computed radiography and PACS offerings.

Carestream will position its DRX-1 as an easy way to upgrade installed film-based x-ray systems to digital. Priced around $120,000, its DRX-1 consists of a console and a wireless cassette-sized flat-panel detector. Data are postprocessed using algorithms employed on Carestream's Kodak DirectView CR and DR systems. Preview images appear on the DRX-1 console in less than five seconds, according to the company. Data can then be transmitted as DICOM files to a PACS or other storage system.

The detector is compatible with film-based x-ray products found in just about any radiographic setting, including general radiology, trauma, and orthopedics. It runs off a battery powerful enough to make up to 90 exposures. When power runs out, the battery can be swapped for another.

Alternatively, the detector can be configured with a tether that can be plugged in to a power source, but the company expects few takers for this option. Company execs believe users will be attracted to the detector's portability, made possible by its wireless technology. Tethering to a power source would defeat the purpose.