There was no birthday cake, no candles, no toasts with champagne, but none-the-less it was a big day on November 8th. That's the birth of the X-ray back in 1895. Medicine would not be what it is today without it.
The era of modern radiology is dated from the matching of the Coolidge tube with the Snook transformer. I don't know what any of that means but Keith Miller does. He's Avera McKennan's Director of Imaging Services does and he tells me few developments since that time have had such a major influence on diagnostic imaging. Miller showed us some "heirlooms" that he found in the basement of the hospital when he started here.
Miller says, "This tube here looks just like the original Crooks tube used when William Conrad Roentgen invented X-rays. It evolved to this tube made by Coolidge from GE. This dates back to the 1920's."
From the X-ray, the radiology department as a whole saw huge advancements with the development of CT scans, MRI's, ultra sound and even 3-dimensional imaging. Being able to see inside the body without ever cutting it open is pretty significant.
Diagnostic Radiologist Dr. Brad Paulson with MedXray says, "It's a big part of medicine. There are 2 branches of radiology; diagnostic, which I'm in and the therapeutic part which is used to treat cancers. It's a useful tool to help physicians diagnose disease to find out what's wrong with the patient and find the best way to treat it and heal the patients."
To show you an example of how x-ray images have changed, they used to have to cut the corners off because they were so sharp then they went to smoothed corners, but it's all obsolete because everything is digital now.
Miller says, "We moved to a digital world in 1985/1990 and when we did we saw all kinds of changes. We are no longer on film. Everything is digitalized and we simply look on a computer screen. It's a fascinating field to me. Everyday there is something new. Everyday we continue to push medicine to make it better and better for the patients."
Digital mammography has already improved the detection of breast cancer by 23 % and Miller says what they know now will hopefully improve by 10 or 20 times in the future. Something to look forward to. Happy 115th X-ray!
This is also National Radiological Technologist week so to all the folks in radiology we say thank you!