Prompted by recent studies* that reported a two- to four-fold increase in cancer risk from adolescent and paediatric x-ray imaging exposure, Roger Davis, Managing Director Australia-based Prolotus Technologies, began to seek out an imaging solution that would enable orthopaedic x-ray studies to be acquired with significantly less dose while maintaining the highest image quality and geometric accuracy of the anatomy.
The most efficient way to do this is to reduce both the number of exposures and the dosage per exposure – and the easiest way to achieve both of these objectives is with a full-spine panel equipped with the most advanced imaging materials available.
The primary challenge to the development of a single-plane DR panel was identifying a manufacturer who could and would develop and produce the glass panel in the necessary size. Once identified, it was a matter of extensive trial and error, testing and experimentation before the Longtail was fully developed and ready to bring to market, becoming the world’s first monolithic DR panel ever made.
The Longtail is manufactured and distributed by Prolotus Technologies, an x-ray technology development company located in Western Australia. Prolotus specializes in innovative solutions for the medical, chiropractic, veterinary, dental, and industrial verticals with rare and niche industry applications. Currently, they serve the Oceanic region primarily but are rapidly expanding due to worldwide demand for their unique products.
About Full Spine Imaging
Full spine and long bone imaging is an essential application of a variety of medical practices such as orthopedics, chiropractic, and even veterinary. The advent of digital x-ray images saw a decline in full spine and large area imaging as digital systems have been unable to adequately capture these areas in a single image. Instead, a series of typical 14 × 17 inch images taken in succession and stitched together have been used extensively to provide one contiguous image.
While this has served the purposes of the marketplace in this digital age to date, the consecutive exposures and increased patient radiation dose also introduced geometric errors as a result of stitching mismatches and the patient movements between exposure times. Additionally, the gross workflow inefficiencies of this method have made the acquisition of full-spine sized studies tedious, rare, and often ineffective.
While CR technology enables a single exposure to a phosphor plate on a long cassette, typically read with two scans and the resulting images stitched together, this method still does not address patient discomfort and movement, long exposure dosages, and geometric errors as a result of stitching.
This is why the introduction of the Longtail is so momentous. It is the world’s first single-exposure digital panel detector that requires no stitching as each study is produced as one contiguous image that requires no image correction as a result of overlapping plates. Further, the large active image area allows not only for a wide array of long-bone and full spine studies, but it can also be used for everyday localized imaging as well, which means in many cases, the Longtail could be the only panel necessary for a fully-equipped state of the art, modern imaging suite.