Differences Between Analog and Digital Mammography Systems
So, what is the difference between analog and digital mammography?
Analog mammography uses low dose radiation that produces X-rays to detect tissue changes.
It captures the X-ray beams on film cassettes, and the outcome is a film showing the breast from different angles, which can be examined on film or translated by a CR to a digital image.
On the other hand, digital mammography captures X-ray beams on a digital detector. This detector then converts the X-ray beams into electronic signals, which are transferred to a computer.
In the end, the computerized images are available for review on a specialized high-resolution monitor.
Furthermore, the digital images can be analyzed by radiologists using the options and tools of the console/workstation.
For instance – magnifying, masking of light, inverting (negative of the image), and comparing them to previously obtained mammograms.
Do you want to know more about advantages and disadvantages of analog mammography machines?
Just keep scrolling.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Analog Mammography
Analog mammography is seen less and less on the market as the new standards for breast imaging is increasingly digital and 3D mammography.
But then, what are the advantages of analog mammography?
One of their few advantages is that they are cheaper than the digital systems. However, as digital has become the most common machine, their prices has goes down slightly, and now the price difference between analog and digital is smaller.
Maintenance costs are also generally cheaper than for digital. But you need an extra piece of equipment – a CR, if you want to convert to digital images.
Furthermore, there is a reason that digital has taken over – the image quality is better. And handling, analyzing, and archiving images is much easier.
For the above reasons, unless your budget does not allow it, we recommend a digital mammography. We list more reasons below.
Check out these Digital mammos
Fuji Amulet S
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Fuji Amulet One
Areliable systems that provides highly accurate detection of small tumors – while producing impeccable images.
GE Senographe Essential TOMO
This mammo with tomo lets you perform a variety of breast procedures.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Mammography Machines
Why is digital mammography better?
There are many advantages to the digital mammography machine, and here we’ll go over a few of them.
More efficient workflow as the images are available immediately on the computer
A monitor in the room instantly displays the image, which allows for repositioning of patients if necessary and therefore leads to fewer retakes
The digital detector provides crisp images, even of larger breasts
You can easily transfer images electronically to a central location for diagnosis (utilizing Picture Archiving and Communications System – PACS)
Easy analysis of images
Radiation doses are 30-40% lower than for analog systems
Earlier detection of cancer, also in those with denser breasts
Finally, it works very well with Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) devices
One of the disadvantages of digital mammography machines is that they are a bit more expensive. However, as covered above, that is a less and less relevant concern.
Sum Up – Analog vs Digital Mammography Machines
When choosing which type of mammography machine you want, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages and weigh them up against your needs. The main takeaway, however, is that if you have a decent budget, you should aim for a digital mammography machine.
Even though analog might be slightly cheaper both in purchasing and maintenance cost, you cannot deny the added benefits of a digital system.
Furthermore, with analog you will probably need a CR as well, which is an extra piece of equipment to purchase and maintain.
What is the difference between analog and digital mammography?
One of the main differences is that analog mammography uses low dose radiation that produces X-rays to detect tissue changes. The images will be analyzed on film, or you can use a CR to digitally translate the images.
However, the digital mammography captures X-ray beams on a digital detector. The detector then helps you convert the X-ray beams into electronic signals, and these are transferred to a computer.
What are the advantages of analog mammography?
Analog mammography systems are usually cheaper than digital mammography machines- both when it comes to the purchasing price and the cost of maintenance.
So, buying an analog system will save you some money.
Why is digital mammography better?
Some of the reasons why digital mammography is preferred, is due to its more efficient workflow as it offers the images immediately. Also, the detector helps provide crisp images, even of the largest breasts.
Of course, it is also highly convenient that you can transfer images electronically to a central location for diagnostics, using the PACS system.
If you would like to prepare yourself even better for your next mammography purchase, we recommend our complete guide on how to pick a system, that will cover the most important considerations.
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