8 Fun Facts About Medical Imaging

Did you know that Marie Curie designed vehicles to transport x-ray equipment to battlefields during World War I? Did you know that in the 1930s a large portion of radiological technologists were nuns? Do you even know what medical imaging is? Learn more about the history of imaging!

What is medical imaging?

Medical imaging is a non-invasive procedure that allows doctors to examine the internal structure of the body. Through imaging, doctors can diagnose and monitor diseases, injuries, and abnormalities of organs, bones, and structures. Some, but not all, imaging procedures use radiation, but the benefits typically outweigh the potential risks.

Types of imaging include:

  • Computed Tomography
  • Ultrasound
  • Mammography
  • Cardiac-Interventional Radiography
  • Vascular-Interventional Radiography
  • Magnetic Resonance
  • Sonography
  • Angiograhpy

Dates and events in the history of medical imaging.

  1. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the x-ray on November 8th, 1895. This is a big milestone in medical history. Röntgen captured the first ever x-ray picture using his wife’s hand, but the first clinical use of x-rays by physicians took place the following year. Röntgen later earned a Nobel Prize in Physics for this discovery. Today, there are nearly 150 million x-ray procedures performed in the U.S. each year!
  2. During World War I, Marie Curie established the “petites Curies”, mobile radiography units to assist battlefield surgeons on the front lines.
  3. In 1927, 37% of radiologic technologists were nuns. Today, there are over 330,000 registered radiologic technologists.
  4. Ultrasound was first used for clinical purposes in 1956. Ultrasound is a type of imaging that uses high frequency sounds waves rather than radiation.
  5. Radiation therapy became a specialized field in 1964.
  6. The first patient brain-scan done through CT (Computed Tomography) scanning was performed in 1971. Today, there are over 78 million CT procedures performed each year.
  7. The first MR scan of the human body was performed in 1977. Today, there are over 37 million MR procedures performed each year.
  8. The first ever 3D mammography exam was performed in the U.S. in 2011.

Ways imaging can help you

Medical imaging is a noninvasive and painless way to monitor, diagnose, and treat injuries and diseases.

Imaging can be used for cancer screenings. It can be used to examine organs and structures in the body. Imaging is used for bone density tests, which includes diagnosing osteoporosis, determine fracture risks, etc. It is also used to detect foreign objects, find masses, or infections, and help make sure that everything in the body is as it should be.

Imaging and MANA MRI are both clinics in the MANA network that offer imaging services. Contact one of these clinics today!