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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
New online x-rays for hospital
x-ray of patient
The technology will revolutionise the way x-rays are viewed
A South Yorkshire hospital has installed technology which allows x-rays to be viewed online.

Doctors and other hospital staff will be able to look at patient x-rays and medical imaging scans online instead of under a light box.

The cutting-edge equipment will end the use of x-ray film at the hospital.

The new system was put in place in partnership with consultant group Accenture as part of the NHS National Programme for Information Technology.

Digital x-rays

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is to spend 1m on the system, including new technology to take digital x-rays of patients. The system also allows patient information to be transferred to other hospitals in the country.

Director of information, communication and technology at Barnsley Hospital, Ian Atkinson, said the new system was "transformational" for doctors, nurses and patients.

He said: "It means that for the first time all images from patient x-rays and scans will be digital - so we can look at them on computer screens and they'll be easily accessible for healthcare professionals.

"For a start, x-rays and scan results will be instantly available on a ward or in a clinic, dramatically cutting down waiting times. But that's just the tip of the iceberg."

Reduced exposure

The move signals the end of the well-known image of doctors looking at x-rays in front of a light box.

Hospital chiefs say the system will end the risk of images being misplaced.

Other benefits include reduced exposure for patients, greater image manipulation, faster retrieval of images and simultaneous access of x-rays.

The new system is already being used in some parts of Barnsley Hospital and it is hoped the technology will be up and running in all areas of the trust by the end of the year.


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