The Need for Digital Imaging

Analog image intensifiers and digital flat plate detectors have their pros and cons. However, in today’s medical imaging field, digital imaging is the efficient way to go if hospitals, outpatient facilities, and private practices want to stay competitive. Digital images are easily transferred throughout the hospital and other health care facilities. They can be stored in patients’ electronic health care records to be reviewed later without the need for patients to request copies of their images.

The choice is pretty straightforward given that hospitals and imaging centers have to go digital.  C-Arm Flat Plate Detectors are the most cost-effective choice for upgrading an analog C-Arm to digital.

Why are Image Intensifiers Still So Common?

One of the reasons Image Intensifiers are still so common is that most facilities are comfortable with using analog technology. The Bio med team can easily repair and find parts for Image Intensifiers or can remove parts from older C-Arms no longer in use. Naturally, people are avert to change especially when something has been working for them over time.

When purchasing newer C-Arms equipped with FPD, there is training involved plus testing the equipment. Most imaging departments do not want to deal with the downtime until the staff is trained and the equipment is tested for quality assurance.

C-Arm Image Intensifiers:


  • Lower acquisition cost.
  • May be easier to repair and get parts for analog C-arm


  • Larger size.
  • Image intensifiers use higher radiation dose. This can result in loss of anatomical detail because of saturation or thresholding. Higher doses are required to accurately image the body part.

C-Arm Flat Panel Detectors:

digtal imaging

                    Digital imaging


  • Smaller profile: able to fit in tight spaces.
  • Better image quality, there’s no distortions around the edges of the image.
  • Last longer than Analog II. Flat plate detectors udo not have any filaments that can burn out which makes them last longer.
  • Lower radiation dose. With digital imaging there is more exposure latitude, allowing smaller doses to image the same body part.
  • FPD’s produce less heat, doesn’t need to cool down during long procedures.


  • Costs more, but longer life will  make up for the higher price.
  • Some FPD’s can break if bumped or roughly handled.

Consider upgrading your old C-Arm for a fraction of the cost.   See C-Arm Upgrade.

Contact us at Pacific Healthcare Imaging and let us help with solutions to meet you budgetary and patient service needs.