We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Different Types of Medical Imaging Equipment?

By Alex Terris
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

There are a number of different types of medical imaging equipment to assist in the diagnosis of illness and injury. X-ray and computed tomography (CT) scans, for example, are useful for assessing broken bones and looking for certain types of cancer. Nuclear imaging also can detect cancer, as well as infections and injury. Other common types of medical imaging equipment include ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

One of the most common types of medical imaging equipment is the X-ray scanner. X-ray imaging works by firing high-energy electromagnetic waves at the body. These are absorbed by dense structures in the body, such as bone, but pass through the less dense areas. X-ray imaging allows a doctor to assess the body's bony structures, which is particularly useful when checking for bone fractures. X-rays also can be effective at checking for certain types of cancers, such as breast cancer.

CT scans are similar to X-rays but, instead of a single image, a computer is used to take images from different angles. The patient lies on a table and the scanner moves around the body while sending out X-rays from different sides of the body. This allows the doctor to assess parts of the body that aren’t usually accessible with a regular X-ray image.

For assessing certain types of cancer and infections, nuclear scanning is often used. A radioactive substance, which can be detected by specially designed cameras, is injected into the body. The scanner then detects where the substance is, resulting in an image. This type of imaging is considered safe, because the dosage of radioactive material is very small.

Another common form of medical imaging equipment is ultrasound. Ultrasound is higher frequency than a human’s hearing range and bounces off a substance based on its density. This allows ultrasound medical imaging equipment to detect the difference between liquid and solid areas of a body, resulting in an image of internal structure. The benefits of ultrasound equipment include that the technology is small enough to carry around and ultrasound is generally harmless.

MRI works differently from X-rays, because it doesn’t use high-energy electromagnetic waves. Instead, an MRI machine can detect changes in the magnetic spin of atoms in the body. A strong magnetic field is applied to the body while a computer reads the data from the machine and forms a detailed image. MRI machines are capable of providing high-resolution images but can’t be used on people with any form of metal implant.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.