Product Announcement from Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies
IDC Dreamt... ELCAN Created IT!
Imagine an x-ray is taken and within 6 seconds the technician will know if the picture quality is accurate. IDC (Imaging Dynamics Company, Ltd.) had this vision and ELCAN brought this vision to life.
The benefits of Digital Radiography were obvious to IDC: not only the speed of the process, but the ability to adjust from high efficiency to high resolution and view body tissues of different densities simultaneously therefore reducing the discomfort of the patient, not to mention the reduced exposure to x-rays; the digital sharing and storage of information to increase productivity in less space and with less staff; and the affordability of the technology which could open up more isolated areas, including the Third World, to digital imaging.
Imagine the potential of portable DR units! Healthcare would be transformed. X-rays could be taken at the scene or in the back of an ambulance and sent to a hospital in advance of patient arrival; athletes could have injuries assessed on the field; triage of wounded soldiers could begin on the battlefield, thereby speeding treatment and increasing the chances of survival.
DR is a smarter way of taking x-rays because of speed, storage, and information sharing capabilities, x-ray exposure reduction and its low-cost. But the benefits to using DR do not end there. Traditional x-ray processes inherently create a lot of environmental waste. Xplorer DR uses no films, no chemicals, no packaging and therefore eliminates x-ray chemicals accumulating in landfill sites.
The journey to bring IDC's vision to fruition began in 2000 when IDC approached ELCAN with 5 prototype lenses that didn't meet their demanding requirements. ELCAN designed a very precise, very fast objective lens assembly that contained 14 lens elements. ELCAN redesigned the lenses to meet IDC's exacting standards so that they could bring their product to market - on time and on budget.
ELCAN was confident that its contribution to the development of digital radiography did not need to be limited to the design of the high-precision optic assembly. By 2004 ELCAN was producing the Detector Head (DH) subassembly for IDC's premier DR unit, the Xplorer. (The Xplorer DH subassembly is comprised of three main features: the Objective Lens assembly that ELCAN designed for the project, the camera, containing a Kodak CCD, was designed by IDC and built by ELCAN, and the Detector Head that houses the scintillator. The technology in the DH subassembly uses technology similar to that used by the Hubble Space Telescope to capture images from space.) ELCAN went on to redesign the entire assembly and subsequently reduced the manufacturing costs while simultaneously advancing the performance of the unit.
More uses for DR Technology: It was a conversation about the difficulties of animal x-rays which provided the inspiration for the innovation of DR technology. The speed of process would be an incredible advantage in the treatment of animals, which are often difficult to x-ray because of size and a lack of comprehension on the animal's part. With DR technology veterinarians could obtain a lot of information with little time spent taking xrays. There is also a potential for racetracks to install DR systems to aid in the prevention and treatment of million-dollar racehorses.
DR also has a huge potential consumer base in nondestructive testing. Aircraft, aerospace technology, car parts, manufacturing, construction sites, pipelines, welds, amusement park rides and even forensics all stand to benefit from use of DR technology in their nondestructive testing in the future. Within seconds an image could be produced and diagnostics could begin immediately upon detection of a problem.