History of Medical Imaging

Medical imaging technology has become an integral component of healthcare sector nowadays. In this post, we are going to explore the brief history of how the modern-day medical imaging developed.

20th Century

Historians believe the history of medical imaging is not too old. It was the beginning of the 20th century when the medical imaging came into being. It was the development of X-Ray which prompted the scientists and medical researchers to work on a system for medical imaging. However, they could make no progress until the Second World War.

However, various other reports believe it was the end or the last decade of the 19th century when the concept of medical imaging emerged. It was 1895 when Professor Wilhelm Röntgen discovered he could look into the human body inside the skin and can take photos. Cathode rays were being used in that experiment that generated all of sudden an image of the body inside the skin. 

X-Ray Was Complicated Back Then

It is also reported that the initial X-Ray system was very complex. Nowadays, patients undergo the X-Ray process for a few minutes. But at that time, the patients were exposed to radiation for more than an hour. The X-Ray penetrated the human body to produce an inside image. During the second half of the 20th century, more progress was made and then came into being ultrasound technology.


In the early 1960s, with the development and innovation of ultrasound, it became easier for the doctors to capture more quality and clearer body images. The radiation at that time were a bit safer as compared to the rays used in the start of the 20th century. Patients were not exposed to harmful radiation.

These rays would penetrate the human body and target the specific organ. Then the rays bounced back to the detector where the image was created and developed. This technique was mostly used for medical imaging of the pregnant women. It helped generate images of the body and organs inside the human skin.


Then comes the 1970s and the healthcare sector finally gets digital form heading towards the future of medical imaging technology. It was a computed tomography scanner commonly known as CT Scanner. It was a great development in the profession of medical sciences and helped a great deal in producing relevant and accurate body images. It had a number of advantages.

In 1972, as report the studies, the first scanning machine or device was developed. The medical practitioners were convinced with the benefits of CT scanning had and the private sector focused on producing devices which could help in this regard. Various radiations were used in this method which were then combined to create a single image.

Contemporary Systems

Nowadays, we have most of the most advanced medical imaging technology, tools, and a number of other devices which help in taking more qualitative body images. In fact, treatment has become easier and more targeted due to the development and innovation in medical imaging. Various diseases which could not be treated in the past are now cured because medical imaging provides correct details. Cancer is just one example.

  • September 21, 2019