12 Fun Facts about Medical Imaging

Do you what medical imaging is? There are many facts related to it. 

Today, radiography and medical imaging have become a part of medical facilities and treatments. As technology is advancing, new techniques and machines are coming to light. 

However, the foundation of these discoveries was laid down years ago. Did you know that medical imaging rates increase by around 1 to 5% annually?  

What is Medical Imaging?

It is a non-invasive medical procedure that allows doctors to assess the internal structure of the body. Imaging allows doctors to diagnose and monitor injuries, bones and structures, injuries, and any abnormalities of organs. 

Some of the imaging methods include the use of radiation. The benefits of imaging outweigh the potential risks. 

About 120 years ago, the concept of radiology emerged. Since then, radiology has played a significant role in the improvement of the healthcare system. It allows diagnosing and treating patients. 

It happens rarely that a patient goes to a doctor without needing at least one imaging test. It can be an X-ray, a CT scan, or any other imaging service. 

We have seen that people have different perceptions about radiology. Most of them stem from early history. I hope people realize that the history of radiology has changed much with time. 

Fun Facts about Medical Imaging 

Imaging is used for screening and examining organs and structures in the body. 

Accidental Discovery of X-rays

Did you know that x-rays were discovered by accident?

William Roentgen was a German physicist who was studying the pathways of electricity in 1985. His wife put her hand on the photographic plate in the pathway of then-unknown x-rays. The first x-ray of her hand was achieved. 

Upon seeing the image, his wife stated that she had seen her death. 

It is believed that a long exposure time means exposure to a high radiation dose. It leads to loss of hair and radiation burns. 

It was a sheer accident that led to the discovery of mysterious rays. However, this became the basis of many other discoveries. He won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. 

He didn’t patent his discoveries. He wanted all of mankind to benefit from them. 

The Tesla Unit

Nikola Tesla was known as the Badass of the Week. He was given this title for his discoveries and inventions. He helped in inventing the radio, electrical generators, remote controls, and more. 

His invention of Tesla Units grabbed attention. It is used to measure magnetic images. In the field of medical imaging, Tesla units are essential. 

After Roentgen, Nikola Tesla produced the first x-ray in the United States. He took his friend’s x-ray using a vacuum tube. With time, he perfected his images of the human body and called them shadowgraphs. 

Brain Surgery was Science Fiction 

Not long ago, brain surgery was considered the stuff of science fiction. Once x-rays were discovered, technology was discovered for diagnostic clinical x-rays. 

In 1902, Dr. Harvey Cushing of Harvard began performing pioneering work in surgery. The use of x-ray technology aided in carrying out brain surgery. It helped in locating and removing tumors. 

The discoveries kept on improving with time.

Did I forget to mention that in 1927, nuns played the role of radiologic technologists? Around 37% of them. Today, we have more than 330,000 registered professional radiologic technologists. 

Thomas Edison Got Scared of X-rays

When I say, Edison was afraid, I mean it. History shows that Edison stopped working on the light bulb. He also avoided talking about x-rays. When William Roentgen showed off the first-ever x-ray of his wife’s hand., Edison got confused. 

Many of Edison’s colleagues developed symptoms from the massive doses of radiation. One died during the experiment. Edison also almost lost his eyesight due to radiation. He claimed he didn’t want to know more about x-rays. 

X-Ray and DNA

X-rays have aided in unlocking the secrets of DNA. In the early 1950s, X-rays allowed scientists to see the double-helix structure of DNA. 

The man who originally got this idea of detecting the structure of DNA using X-ray died before he could win a Nobel Prize. However, the discovery laid the foundation of many inventions. Also, helped in learning so much about DNA. 

It led to unlocking amazing information that benefited diagnostic testing. Also, facilitated understanding the human body. 

All this contributed to the advancements to enhance the health and wellbeing of people. It brought them closer to optimal health. 

Types of Medical Imaging 

When talking about medical imaging, it is important to learn about the different types of imaging. These are listed below:




Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Magnetic Resonance


Cardiac-Interventional Radiography

Half a Century in CT Scans

In 1964, radiation therapy became a specialized field. While in 1971, a CT scan was performed to scan the brain of a patient. Today, more than 78 million CT scans are performed in a year. 

Looking back at the decade of your life, you can see how things have changed. Do you ever recall how different things were just 10 years ago? 

The difference is starting. Just see how the advancements have emerged in the medical technology community. An Italian radiologist discovered CT scans in the early 1900s. Alessandro Vallebona used a radiographic film to see a slice of the body. 

Fast forward to 2010, FDA launched its initiatives to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure. It affected medical imaging and brought attention to reducing the radiation dose. 

The advanced CT scans are carried out in less than 1 to 2 seconds. The invention of 3D CT imaging has become a vital tool in targeting the sensitive organs and structures of the body. 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Radio Waves and Strong Magnetic Field

MRI scans use a strong magnetic field and radio waves to gather images. During the MRI scan, metal devices are not allowed anywhere near. 

A magnet in the MRI creates a magnetic field that is four thousand times stronger than the earth’s magnetic field. 

In 1977, an MRI scan of the human body was performed for the first time. If we see, today, more than 37 million MR scans are performed per year. 

Unlike x-ray and CT scans, the MRI does not use ionizing radiation. Currently, Japan has the highest number of MRI units per capita. It is recorded as 43.1 units per million people. The United States has second place with 25.9 MRI units per million population. 

The Need for Mammography 

Mammography is relatively new. It is used to examine the patient for signs of breast cancer. The first 3D mammography was performed in 2011. This was carried out in the United States. 

Many people as the need for mammography when other medical imaging modalities were available. However, it was much needed. 

Mammogram screenings accurately detect breast cancer. As the number of breast cancer patients is increasing rapidly, the need for a specific screening test was necessary. 

Affordable imaging through mammograms has increased the survival rate of breast cancer patients around the world. 

Affordable Imaging 

Today, medical imaging has become an essential part of healthcare services. The New Jersey Imaging Network is providing people with affordable medical imaging services in the city. 

The constantly increasing healthcare costs have made it difficult for Americans to gain access to high-end medical care. The prices for the treatments and tests are increasing rapidly. 

AQMDI offers high-quality diagnostic imaging services. The affordable imaging has made it easier for Americans to get better treatments. 

Radiologists are Making Medical Imaging Comfortable for Patients

The radiologists are responsible for managing the medical imaging of patients. If you have ever gone through any scan or imaging, you must know that patients face a variety of emotions at this time. 

The radiologists are using different ways to reduce the nervousness of patients. They make them feel comfortable. 

They share information about the procedure to make patients feel relaxed and comfortable. Effective communication is beneficial in this process. 

Interventional Radiologists

The inventions in the medical field have gained tremendous attention in these years. 

The intervention radiologists are responsible for most of the medical innovation. They pioneered modern medicine with inventions. 

Did you know that the first face transplant was performed in 2005? A surgical team used medical imaging to evaluate the face structure of the patient. CT imaging located blood vessels and bony structures in the face. 

The surgery was highly successful. 

Final Thoughts 

Medical imaging is a vital part of healthcare. It contributes to the accurate diagnosis and treatment of diseases. With time, new inventions, and discoveries, medical imaging has evolved rapidly. 

However, excessive exposure to radiation can harm patients. Along with this, patients also face anxiety before, during, and after the imaging procedures. All this turns harmful for them.

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