The History Of The X-ray Screen: The Past, Present And The Future!

With the innovation in x-ray technology comes new opportunities in medical facilities.  Over the past 20 years alone for example, we have seen x-rays move from film to digital detectors. Over time new, modern, innovative technology have changed the whole look, feel, and procedures undergone in x-ray departments, however even with these developments the radiation-shielding screen has stayed the same for most suppliers.

The radiation-shielding screen not only provides protection from harmful radiation, it also provides a workspace for radiographers to carry out their work efficiently and with complete confidence that they are protected.  Therefore, it is important that x-ray screens not only protect but also enable a comfortable and efficient workspace for staff.

Another point to highlight with x-ray screens to keep in the forefront of radiation screen design is the patient’s experience.  For many people, having an x-ray scan is not a common event in their lives.  It can be an uncomfortable and daunting situation for patients, especially those who are not familiar with medical environments.  Just imagine what it must be like for a child or an elderly patient to enter a room full of high tech machinery, then to be left alone as the medical professional disappears behind an old, world war II type x-ray screen, or even a completely different room.

With this in mind, it is important that the screen is designed with practicality and experience in mind.  A screen today should be modern, durable, up-to date with hospital infection control, and of course, aesthetically pleasing, for not only staff, but patients too.  A happy, shared experience is a win for everybody, just a small comment about how pleasurable the room looked and felt could go a long way in this day and age, especially with the growth of social media.

So lets look at how screens have changed for Raybloc over the years, and why these changes have made such a difference

The Past: Model 1 “The Chunky Box Screen” – 1990s to early 2000s

Xrayscreen Raybloc Xray Hospital Xrayglass Lead Lined Glass Doctor Dentist Radiology Radiation protection

This screen was Raybloc’s first screen.  It’s design, although ahead of the time during its creation, was constructed of brushed aluminum trim with its structure held in its large outer rectangular box section.  Within the company this was commonly known as the “Chunky Box Section” screen.  Although the screen was sturdy and offered maximum radiation protection, it still followed the normal design that was common in x-ray screens around the world (still used even in 2017 by many companies around the world).

The Present: Model 2 The “Smooth & Sleek” Modern Screen – 2000s until Today

Xrayscreen Raybloc Xray Hospital Xrayglass Lead Lined Glass Doctor Vets Dentist Radiology Radiation protection

After hundreds of shielding screen installs, Sean Haydon, Raybloc Managing Director decided it was time the industry waved good-bye to the old-fashioned screens and made way for a new design.  After listening to RPA professionals, customers, end users and their patients, Sean and the Raybloc team came up with the new screen design.  It introduced for the first time a new solid channel system that allowed the perimeter of the screen to be half the width.  This channel was not only more stylish and pleasing to the eye, but also had a new ‘U’ shape, finished in satin.  The new shape provides an anti bump protection so that the screen is more resistant to chips, hence safer, longer lasting, durable, and due to the less edges, better hygiene control.

The Future: Model 3 The “Next Generation” Screen – 2017

Xrayscreen Xray Hospital Xrayglass Lead Lined Glass Doctor Dentist Radiology Radiation protection Vets Raybloc

So what does the future of x-ray protection screens look like?  Well, these past few years have been busy for Raybloc and its research and development department.  Raybloc is always looking for more effective methods to suit the needs of medical facilities and their patients. The next generation screen now introduces a modular system that can be installed anywhere in the world and with less installation down time.  And to top it off, well… it is exactly that, it has no top!  Due to the new structure with steel workings within the screen, the aluminum trim has been removed so the top of the screen is completely lead x-ray glass, leaving a futuristic look. With feedback from radiographers saying it no longer feels “claustrophobic” behind the screen.

The next generation x-ray screen had its grand reveal at the UKRC 2017 event in June with orders already being placed on the week of reveal.  The screen is set to be shipped world wide, due its modular design it can be installed anywhere with ease.  The perimeter of the screen utilizes soft beveled edges; even the glass is smooth and beveled too across the top edge.  This new screen is set to be the world’s game changer in x-ray protective shielding.

Xrayscreen Xray Hospital Xrayglass Lead Lined Glass Doctor Dentist Radiology Radiation protection Raybloc Vet  Xrayscreen Xray Hospital Xrayglass Lead Lined Glass Doctor Dentist Radiology Radiation protection Raybloc vet practice Xray Screen

In conclusion, it is clear that the x-ray machine is not the only piece of equipment that needs to stay ahead of the game.  The shielding screen plays a grand part in not only the safety of the medical personnel, but the overall functionality, practicality and staff and patient experience, which in today’s world has never been more important.  The screen design is critical to ensure that your new x-ray installation is up-to date with the same innovation as the x-ray machine, be sure to be up-to date with the latest design and don’t get left behind with an old fashioned workplace screen, your staff and patients will thank you later.

Author: Lewis Haydon, Raybloc X-ray Protection Ltd.