Patient being x-rayed


Advances in Medical Imaging Technology


Medical Imaging plays an important role in the early diagnosis and prevention of disease.

While medical imaging is now part and parcel of the healthcare experience, in 1948 this was not necessarily the case.

X-ray was relatively well used to screen for bone fractures but it was not until the late 1950s that ultrasound was introduced.



Woman getting an ultrasound

Glasgow produced the first practical ultrasound scanners which in modern forms continue to save countless lives across the world.

The Glasgow ultrasound machine carried no radiation risk and, unlike other experimental ultrasound models, did not involve the patient getting into a bath. It was safe, simple to use and cheap enough to be affordable.

Its initial success was unlocking the secrets of the womb – showing how babies grow and develop. Refined over the years, it now helps diagnose a vast range of diseases and gives images in 3-D, colour, and, with portable models, can be carried out virtually anywhere.




In 1972 Computerised tomography (CT) scans, which convert data from x-rays or the inside of a human body into pictures on a monitor, came into use.

By 1980 technology had evolved even further with the launch of the world’s first clinical service for MRI at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where an elderly Fraserburgh man became the first patient in the world to have a whole body scan.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) then also known as NMR, was revolutionary, and is now used for everyday clinical needs.


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