Today’s medical scanning capabilities provide a rainbow of options for medical provides well beyond the simple days of X-rays. For decades, x-rays were the go-to tool for internal medicine. Unfortunately, while that technology could easily see the condition of body parts made of thick, hard material like bone, they were not very useful for soft tissue. That’s where invention and technology caught up and produced later tools like magnetic resonance viewing with MRI and CT scanning. The ability to see the body as a whole opened up as a result.
Ultrasound was also made possible in the same time period, allowing blurry but at least usable viewing of internal operations and organs as well. Today the same continues to be used for internal medicine and pregnancy monitoring.
The Advent Of The C-Arm
Since the 1990s, a whole new form of technology has been developing as well, especially with C-arm equipment. Providing a combination of hardware, power, lighting, camera equipment holding, and scanning, C-arm equipment has become a standard player in the medical diagnostics world. It first started being used in 2004.
What started off as one operation has migrated into multiple sizes of C-arm equipment, allowing specialized use in different forms. Large C-arms for example provide both top and bottom or side-to-side viewing of a patient, particularly in terms of soft tissue analysis, without moving the person at all. Instead, the large apparatus can be positioned around the table or moved into position through multiple axes and pivots. The same can be done with mini C-arm units (www.minicarm.com) that are proving to be very useful for extremity diagnostics on hands and feet, for example, and they have incredible flexibility for mobile, rural and field applications as well who are short on staff.
Life Imitating Art Because It’s A Good Idea In Practice
In many respects, the C-arm design is probably the closest technology that is emulating what has been imagined in movies for years. The idea that patients can be scanned without invasive procedures, and diagnostics can be determined based on computerized results is becoming a reality in modern medicine. And it’s not far off that full-body scanning will be a standard procedure within the next decade to enhance preventative medicine as well as result in health costs overall.
In the meantime, effective tools like the various sizes of C-arm equipment continue to see heavy use across multiple medical fields, ranging from internal medicine to osteopediatrics. The tool is simply powerful and effective.