Digital alternative to X-ray film

Digital alternative to X-ray film

The Queensland Government has signed a $20 million contract with global technology firm Agfa-Geveart Limited to install state of the art radiology imaging and communications technology in Brisbane tertiary hospitals over the next three years.

Queensland Health Minister Wendy Edmond said the world's most advanced radiology imaging technology would be introduced to Princess Alexandra Hospital and Herston hospitals to speed up the communication of diagnostic images and reports to doctors.

The technology will also be introduced to the Royal Children's Hospital by the end of 2000 and to the Royal Brisbane and Royal Women's Hospital by mid 2001.

The technology, known as PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System), will enable doctors to review radiology images a few minutes after they have been taken.


PACS electronically stores and distributes patient's images and reports, saving the need for staff to find and carry images from the radiology department to other areas of the hospital - a time consuming task and one that often demands heavy loads.

The progressive installation of electronic imaging systems aims to virtually eliminate the use of x-ray film, saving on chemical hazards and processing costs. It will also reduce the likelihood of images or records being lost.

"The introductions of PACS puts Queensland Health's provision of hospital radiological services ahead of any in Australia," Ms Edmond claimed. "There will be a much quicker turnaround of radiology information to critical care areas, such as Emergency, Operating Theatres and Intensive Care.

"X-rays, CT scans, magnetic resonance images, ultrasound, and other diagnostic images will all be stored on a computer network and accessed directly by doctors from their desktop PC."

The PACS computer network will also enable doctors at different locations within the hospital to view the same image concurrently and discuss patient diagnosis and treatment.