imageX-ray technologists say the sturdy, practical designs of today’s mobile and portable x-ray devices allow them to transport the machines around the hospital, nursing home or around town easily, efficiently and quickly. Despite the accolades of these workhorses, manufacturers continue to push the technology further and further, tweaking their products and making the devices even lighter, more maneuverable and more durable. While getting the machines around remains important, everyone agrees that image quality and reliability remain critical components to mobile and portable x-ray units’ success.

Mobile x-ray devices are designed to travel around hospital or surgery center corridors with ease. But the 600-pound machines do not buzz around town gracefully. For that, x-ray services providers use “portable” x-ray units.

Walter Schneider, president of Del Medical Imaging Corp. (Franklin Park, Ill.), says his company’s DynaRad portable x-ray units are light enough and compact enough to be folded up and driven to patients restricted to bed. “Portable x-ray units normally break down into packages that fit into the back of a station wagon, but normally light enough that one operator can take them out and assemble them,” Schneider says. “They look something like a suitcase on wheels.”

Portable x-ray units got their start in military field hospitals during the mid-1970s. They were designed to be rugged and portable. Schneider says the military still uses nearly 1,000 DynaRad medical units and another 500 units for dental applications.

Please refer to the December 2001 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis