Edge Medical introduces low-cost flat-panel detector

October 11, 2000

Edge Medical Devices plans to introduce a new, lower-cost flat-panel detector for digital radiography (DR) at the RSNA meeting. The company’s selenium-based SMART (Scanned Matrix Array Readout Technology) detectors use a proprietary sensor technique

Edge Medical Devices plans to introduce a new, lower-cost flat-panel detector for digital radiography (DR) at the RSNA meeting.

The company’s selenium-based SMART (Scanned Matrix Array Readout Technology) detectors use a proprietary sensor technique to replace the active matrix array technology on competing flat panels, with the goal being to bring the price of DR within reach for smaller institutions.

Eliminating the active matrix array elements simplifies the manufacturing process and means Edge does not have to invest in a large-scale semiconductor fabrication facility. Edge expects to keep its flat-panel price at about half that of competing technology—closer to the cost of CR.

“Flat-panel digital acquisition involves conversion of x-rays to electrical charges,” said A. Robert Sohval, Edge president. “Then charges are read out to form a digital image, typically using active matrix array technology.”

Manufacturing arrays with several million individually addressable elements is difficult and costly, according to Sohval.

“Yields are often low because of problems with dead pixels. With its new technology, Edge has eliminated the most complex phase of DR manufacturing,” he said.

Another benefit is that Edge uses an amorphous selenium sensor to directly convert incident x-rays in a single step, while some manufacturers use a two-step, indirect process, according to Sohval.

Edge claims the detector’s thin profile will allow it to replace the film-screen bucky in a standard chest stand or radiographic table with only minor modifications. The company plans to offer retrofit kits to end users through a dealer network and to supply detectors to OEMs for use in new DR systems.

“We believe our new technology will be attractive even to OEMs already in DR, in part because of the streamlined production process. Additionally, its price point opens up a whole new category of potential customers,” Sohval said.

The company plans to submit its technology for FDA clearance in the first quarter of 2001 and to commence deliveries in the second quarter.

Edge was founded in Israel. Its U.S. headquarters are in Hackensack, NJ.