Taking X-rays Digitally
Despite numerous technological advances in the health care industry, x-ray imaging (employing photographic silver halide film) from almost forty years ago still remains in widespread use. At present, x-ray imaging is about 70 percent film based, and extremely inefficient and costly. Digital radiology offers enormous cost savings and other benefits, and with calls for both more efficient health care management and preventive measures such as routine mammographic scanning of women, there is an enormous need to upgrade the technology.
Reduced cost will ensure that radiography is available outside of large, urban hospitals and clinics. Digital radiography will also introduce more flexibility into the system; instead of having to view original films, doctors will be able to process digital images with computers, adding to improved diagnosis.
Dr. Safa Kasap is one of the world's leading researchers on photoconductors. His work on chalcogenide alloy photoconductor materials has contributed to the use of these materials in the new generation of direct conversion flat-panel x-ray image detectors that are poised to revolutionize medical imaging by enabling digital radiology to become affordable and convenient. His research as Canada Research Chair in Electronic and Optoelectronic Materials and Devices will focus on the properties of various new selenium alloy-based photoconductor films and look toward developing alloys that are even more efficient detectors. Much of the work will be forward looking because commercialization of flat-panel x-ray sensors for applications like mammography has outstripped the science required to ensure that the best technology is being used.