General Advice – May 2020


Radiographic Imaging – Hard Copy Films or Digital Representations?

There has been great momentum in the radiology sphere to recording radiographically obtained images in a digital format. The reasons are obvious. Costs can be curbed, storage space is minimised and transmissibility through the ether is vastly easier.

Hard copy films are expensive to produce, heavy, space-occupying and not easy to dispose of.

Despite the relative benefits of the digital format and the constraints associated with hard copy films, the latter definitely still have a place. That place is probably more easily recognised by my older colleagues, since the younger colleagues are so tech-savvy. All would agree however that it can be very time consuming to load and unload compact discs into a laptop, search the internet for relevant files or even compare images directly.

Hard copy films, properly labelled and packaged, can make all of these processes very easy. Having a hard copy on an x-ray screen in an operating theatre can also be invaluable.

I realise that as technology advances and old fellows like me drop off the perch, hard copy films will eventually disappear. Not all advances are without losses. This could be one.