KLAS Report: Wireless Imaging Is a Reality

Feb. 25, 2010

OREM, Utah – Feb. 24, 2010 – Digital x-ray detectors are finally untethered – and, in some cases, surprisingly easy to implement, according to a new report from KLAS.

For the new report, Digital X-ray: Contrasting the Options, KLAS interviewed nearly 200 healthcare providers about the digital radiography (DR) solutions from nine leading vendors. Among several findings, the report highlights the development and steady adoption of wireless x-ray detectors, which simplify the acquisition of images. Carestream and Siemens are the early leaders in this arena, though the vendors have taken different approaches to implementing the technology.

“The Carestream DRX-1 wireless detector has created a lot of buzz in the industry because it is the only wireless option that allows providers to retrofit existing analog equipment,” said Kirk Ising, KLAS research director and author of the new DR report. “Customers expect big cost savings from preserving their still-functional analog x-ray equipment without substantial changes to their hardware. That’s an attractive option in a sluggish economy.”

For its part, Siemens has a handful of clients using the new Ysio wireless DR system. The Ysio is a complete radiography room and thus carries a full-system price tag. However, initial client feedback is very positive, suggesting that image quality is excellent with the wireless detector, though image acquisition times are a little slower than a fixed plate.

The new KLAS report also notes that economic pressures are opening doors for less-expensive, radiography-specific vendors to increase their market share.

“GE, Philips and Siemens are generally considered the makers of more advanced, more expensive digital x-ray equipment,” Ising said. “However, several digital x-ray offerings are targeted at providers looking for reliable equipment at an economical cost.”

Carestream, FUJIFILM and Shimadzu all market lower-priced, yet functionally solid, solutions for this type of buyer. Carestream clients extol the quality of the vendor’s DR equipment, reporting first-rate image quality and reliability. FUJIFILM’s digital x-ray line shares a common interface with its popular computed radiography (CR) product group, which providers describe as easy to navigate. And Shimadzu has a growing reputation for reliability, advancing functionality and excellent field service.

The top-rated DR solution in Digital X-ray: Contrasting the Options was Shimadzu RADspeed, with a performance score of 92.8 out of 100. It was followed by Siemens Multix M (90.6) and FUJIFILM SpeedSuite (89.1). Other vendors highlighted in the KLAS report were Carestream, GE, IDC, Philips, Quantum and Toshiba.