Milestone-Proposal:Digital Radiography

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Docket #:2023-12

This is a draft proposal, that has not yet been submitted. To submit this proposal, click on the edit button in toolbar above, indicated by an icon displaying a pencil on paper. At the bottom of the form, check the box that says "Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. Only check this when the proposal is finished" and save the page.

To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has the IEEE Section(s) in which the plaque(s) will be located agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

Title of the proposed milestone:

Digital Radiography

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

Digital Radiography Sensors marked a transformation in medical imaging in 1980s. Replacing traditional film X-rays, these sensors enabled immediate, high-resolution imaging and digital data storage. A breakthrough in healthcare technology, it enhanced diagnostic capabilities, patient experience, and enabled global collaboration in medical practice.

200-250 word abstract describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review.

IEEE technical societies and technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Rochester Section

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Sreeram Dhurjaty
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates in decimal form of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need.

Are the original buildings extant?

Details of the plaque mounting:

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? If personal names are included in citation, include justification here. (see section 6 of Milestone Guidelines)

Digital Radiography Sensors have had profound technological, scientific, and social impact since their development in the 1980s.

Technological Significance:

The introduction of Digital Radiography (DR) marked a significant advancement in the technology of medical imaging. By replacing traditional film-based systems, DR sensors facilitated a shift to a more efficient, digital workflow in radiology departments. The immediate availability of high-resolution digital images eliminated the need for film processing, significantly reducing waiting times and allowing for quicker diagnoses.

Scientific Significance:

Scientifically, the invention of DR sensors enabled new capabilities in the field of radiology. The ability to adjust the contrast and brightness of digital X-ray images, and to zoom in on specific areas, allowed healthcare professionals to detect diseases and injuries more accurately. Furthermore, the ability to store and share digital images improved research, teaching, and collaboration among professionals in the medical field.

Social Significance:

From a social perspective, DR has had a considerable impact on healthcare delivery. The speed and efficiency of DR have led to improved patient care by reducing the time to diagnosis and beginning of treatment. Also, the ability to share digital X-ray images electronically has facilitated telemedicine, allowing patients in remote areas to access high-quality diagnostic services.

In summary, the development of Digital Radiography Sensors marked a major milestone in the digitization of healthcare and has contributed significantly to improving the quality and efficiency of medical services worldwide.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

Technical Obstacles:

   Introduction of the Scintillation Layer: The incorporation of a scintillation layer in the design of digital radiography sensors was a significant technical challenge. This innovative layer was necessary to convert X-rays into light, which could then be detected by existing sensor technology. The development and optimization of this layer—ensuring it could efficiently and accurately convert X-rays into light without degrading image quality—was a critical aspect of creating viable digital radiography sensors.
   Sensor Adaptation: Adapting existing sensors to accurately detect and interpret the light signals produced by the scintillation layer was another hurdle. These sensors had to be sensitive and accurate enough to translate these signals into high-resolution images suitable for medical diagnostics.
   Integration with Existing Systems: Even with the development of the scintillation layer and adaptation of sensors, new digital radiography technology still needed to be integrated with existing healthcare systems. This required new infrastructure for storing, retrieving, and transmitting digital images.

Political and Regulatory Obstacles:

   Approval from Regulatory Bodies: As with any new medical technology, demonstrating the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of digital radiography systems utilizing a scintillation layer was essential for securing approval from regulatory bodies such as the FDA.
   Adoption by Healthcare Providers: The significant shift in technology—from traditional film X-rays to digital radiography—demanded convincing healthcare providers of the benefits of the new technology. Proving the superior capabilities of digital systems, particularly the improved imaging quality afforded by the introduction of the scintillation layer, was crucial for gaining acceptance within the medical community.

Geographic Obstacles:

The geographic challenges remained the same; ensuring that the innovative technology of digital radiography, with its novel scintillation layer, could reach and be adopted in remote or economically disadvantaged regions. This demanded efforts to reduce costs, improve internet access for image transmission, and provide necessary training to healthcare providers.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

The introduction of Digital Radiography (DR) sensors featuring a scintillation layer to convert X-rays into detectable light signals represented a significant leap in medical imaging technology. This work set itself apart from similar achievements in several key ways:

   Innovation in Sensor Design: The incorporation of a scintillation layer was a critical innovation. This component enabled the efficient conversion of X-rays into light, which could then be captured by existing sensor technology to produce a digital image. This design allowed the use of established light detection technology within a new context, broadening its utility and setting a precedent for later developments in medical imaging.
   Improved Image Quality: The use of a scintillation layer in DR sensors significantly improved the quality of X-ray images. The ability to precisely control the conversion of X-rays into light signals meant that digital images could be captured with higher resolution and contrast than was possible with traditional film X-rays. This increased clarity has provided healthcare professionals with better tools for diagnosing a wide range of medical conditions.
   Efficiency and Flexibility: DR sensors with a scintillation layer allowed for the immediate capture and display of digital images, eliminating the need for film processing. This greatly improved the efficiency of medical imaging processes, reducing patient wait times and enabling quicker diagnoses. Furthermore, digital images could be easily adjusted and manipulated for better visibility, providing doctors with a more versatile diagnostic tool.
   Digital Storage and Sharing: The transition to digital imaging enabled by DR sensors allowed for the easy storage and sharing of X-ray images. This facilitated collaboration between healthcare professionals, enabled telemedicine, and improved the ability to track patients' medical histories, setting this work apart from earlier, analog-based imaging techniques.
   Broad Impact on Healthcare: The introduction of DR sensors equipped with a scintillation layer had a far-reaching impact on the field of healthcare, beyond just medical imaging. The shift towards digital technology in this area mirrored and contributed to a broader shift towards digitization in healthcare, influencing areas such as electronic health records, telemedicine, and data-driven diagnostics.

These distinctive features and their broad impact set this work apart from similar achievements in the field of medical imaging and beyond.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).

Please recommend reviewers by emailing their names and email addresses to Please include the docket number and brief title of your proposal in the subject line of all emails.