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Published on 08 November 2016 by Alison Westley, updated on 02 May 2017
One Stop Doctors is a state-of-the-art diagnostics centre with all the latest imaging technology under one roof. From MRI to mammography and X-ray to CBCT we are able to diagnose and then treat, effectively and efficiently.
However where did all this fantastic radiology kit come from? Who discovered that we could take pictures of the inside of our bodies and how did we get to where we are today?
Let’s start with X-ray. Discovered in 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, Professor at Wuerzburg University in Germany established the ability to take X-rays. Using a cathode-ray tube in his laboratory, Roentgen observed a fluorescent glow of crystals on a table near his tube. The tube was a glass envelope (bulb) with positive and negative electrodes encapsulated in it. The air in the tube was evacuated, and when a high voltage was applied, the tube produced a fluorescent glow. Roentgen shielded the tube with heavy black paper, and discovered a green coloured fluorescent light generated by a material located a few feet away from the tube. He found that this new ray could pass through most substances, casting shadows of solid objects. Roentgen also discovered that the ray could pass through the tissue of humans by experimenting with his wife’s hand! And so the X-ray was born!
MRI scanning however was discovered when Dr Raymond Damadian was using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to scan bacteria! Damadian realised that the technique could be used to scan the body for disease and in 1970 he documented a major difference in MR signals between cancerous tissues and normal tissues. The breakthrough came though when he also noticed big differences between normal tissues – making a critical discovery that made MRI scans possible today!
CT on the other hand took a little longer to develop and was invented in 1972 by a British Engineer and a South Africian Physicist. Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack had the first clinical CT scanners installed in 1974 but these were only able to scan your head. It wasn’t till later in 1976 that a scanner was built that had an opening big enough to scan a whole body. The first CT scanner took several hours to acquire the raw data to scan a single slice and then took days to reconstruct the image.
Today a CT scan takes around 10 minutes and the images and results in some cases can be back with you the same day!
Advances in science and technology are endless but the real development is in patient experience. Combining the latest scientific break throughs of the last 25 years, as well as the expert knowledge and care of our Radiologists and mixing that with a beautiful environment, means that One Stop Doctors can provide diagnostic imaging confidence and excellent service.
By Alison Westley, Assistant Practitioner in Radiology