Early Technical History of Medical X-ray CT.
As we recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first computed tomography (CT) scan of a live patient, we take this opportunity to revisit the history of early CT development
As we recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first computed tomography (CT) scan of a live patient, we take this opportunity to revisit the history of early CT development. It is not an exaggeration to say that the invention of CT may represent the greatest revolution in medical imaging since the discovery of x-rays. This talk covers events over a period of about two decades that started with the realization that accurate cross-sectional imaging of soft-tissue detail is possible and could be a significant advance. It will describe in some detail the development of the first CT system and then the rapid technical advances during the following years that included the entry of many companies into the field and the circumstances that led many of those entrants to exit the field. Rather than focusing on the specific technical details (which can be found elsewhere), it will include stories and events in the hope that broader lessons can be learned. As the first x-ray-based digital imaging modality, CT brought into common use an exceptional tool that benefits countless patients every day. It also introduced dramatic changes to biomedical imaging as a field that continues to influence progress to this day.