Low-cost x-ray imaging systems

Year 2004
Project team Richard Lanza

Inexpensive scanners

Given today’s costs, two-thirds of the world population will never be able to have an x-ray to diagnose life-threatening illnesses such as tuberculosis and prenatal internal hemorrhaging. This project will develop low-cost x-ray imaging systems, primarily for use in developing countries. In these countries, simple x-ray systems based on traditional film methods are not practical for two main reasons: the absence of a minimal support structure for processing film, and the cost of film and storage facilities. A practical solution is an x-ray imaging system using off-the-shelf consumer digital imaging equipment, such as scanners and small personal computers. Among the next generation of inexpensive scanners are those capable of operating both horizontally and vertically, making them suitable for this application. Such scanners should be capable of resolution comparable to film and would enable digital storage and enhancement. In addition to providing x-ray imaging technology to developing countries, this apparatus could be a cheaper alternative to the sophisticated, costly electronic x-ray imaging systems used in developed countries.