Fujifilm?s FCR Prima T digital tabletop CR reader features a small footprint without sacrificing speed at an affordable price.

Despite the increase in the cost of materials of traditional analog x-ray film processing and the development of and benefits from digital imaging technologies, many small radiology practices are still utilizing analog film for x-ray image viewing. Fujifilm Corp intends to change that trend with the introduction of its FCR Prima T digital tabletop CR reader. The compact system is intended for use in low-volume practices and was designed as a way to ease the transition from analog to digital imaging.

“We made it faster versus the initial Prima that we released to the market a few years ago,” said Eddie Massetti, manager, distributor sales at Fujifilm. “It’s now only 86 pounds and can be installed easily by only one service technician. Sometimes in the past, the unit weighed a little more than double that and required two people to transport it. We’ve made it smaller and easier to install. It’s also a lot faster for these smaller accounts, so they don’t necessarily have to sacrifice on speed anymore based on their volume, whereas in the past, units that were slower to process plates were designed for low-volume accounts because they didn’t need that throughput. Now we pretty much broke that barrier. They can have the same throughput as higher-end units.”

The Prima T has a compact footprint—22 x 21.5 x 15 inches—suited for smaller practices that may not have room for a traditional floor-mounted system. The system allows it to fit on any standard tabletop. However, the size of the system is not its only benefit to smaller practices. The system also offers cost savings over analog film due to increases in material costs.

“Another thing, too, that’s affecting the move of this unit and other digital units in these markets is the price of x-ray film has gone up dramatically because the price of silver has gone up,” said Massetti. “A lot of these guys who are using film are seeing an increase in their cost. The price of film itself, the chemicals, and everything associated with processing x-ray film have gone up quite a bit in the last couple of years. If they take only one x-ray a day, it probably won’t make sense. But if a guy is doing more than five studies a day, they’re probably better off buying a CR system because they can get a lease for 5 years, for example, at a lower price than what they’re paying right now on a monthly basis for keeping their dark room going.”

Traditional x-ray film also produces a number of hazardous chemicals that the Prima T and other digital systems avoid. The price of the Prima T becomes increasingly lower in comparison when you factor in the proper disposal of film-processing materials via the proper channels.

But the Prima T isn’t solely focused on the upgrade market. Massetti notes that many of the early adopters of digital technology—approximately 10 years ago—are due for an update to their equipment. The Fuji system presents an affordable upgrade to those looking to change out their out-of-date equipment.

“We still see a large volume of accounts that haven’t converted to digital, and we’re also starting to tap into the replacement market as well,” said Massetti. “The early adopters of digital who bought systems over 10 years ago, particularly in orthopedics and veterinary too, for that matter, are due for an upgrade. There is still a market out there for those early adopters for replacement, as well as the other practices that we see that are still using film.”

Ultimately, the benefits of the Prima T come down to image quality, speed, footprint, and cost. Using Fuji’s patented Image Intelligence, the reader ensures quality first-up displays of the images. And the system is able to offer a uniquely small footprint without sacrificing any of the speed of larger systems. In addition, the connectivity of the system to two of Fuji’s different workstations offers a variety of options for a facility to view, store, and share images.

“The Prima was initially released approximately 2 years ago when Fujifilm decided to create a CR unit specifically designed for lower-volume accounts,” said Massetti. “As technology progressed, so did the unit itself, hence why we released the T. We made it smaller, less expensive, and faster.”