Outer diameter of the distal end (mm)
Working length, mm
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Printers that use heat to produce hard copy (paper or film) from diagnostic imaging procedures (CT, MRI, US, digital radiography, and others) They can be linked to hospital's computer network, and interfaced with most imaging modalities.
1. Thermal printers can be grouped in four categories: small color ultrasound and multimedia units, large color ultrasound and multimedia units, grayscale ultrasound and multimedia units, and radiography units.
2. Color and grayscale are the two basic types of thermal printers that are available. These can be further broken down into a range of sizes, including small and large.
3. Radiography printers benefit from higher bit depths, ranging from 10 to 12, for increased image quality.
4. Facilities should make sure that the memory and throughput of the thermal printer they are about to purchase can handle the number of imaging devices that will be connected to it. They should also ensure that the thermal printer is able to accommodate their patient loads.
5. Departments that handle a heavy volume of images may consider purchasing a laser imager, which often has higher throughput than video thermal printers.
6. For all printer categories, ECRI recommends a throughput capability of 100 films/hour and 99 multiple originals.
7. Automatic calibration is also recommended for all units, to ensure higher image quality and to reduce human error.
8. Small color and grayscale ultrasound and multimedia thermal printers require an average of 2 gigabytes (GB) of hard-drive storage.
9. To accommodate increased throughput, large ultrasound, large multimedia, and radiography printers require an average of 4 GB.
10. Spatial resolution (the number of pixels) should be at least 300 dots per inch or 12.2 pixels/mm.
11. A thermal printer's contrast resolution, the number of gray or color levels, should generally display 8 bits, corresponding to 256 gray levels or 16 million colors.
12. To ensure higher image quality and to reduce human error, automatic calibration for all thermal printer categories is recommended.
13. Thermal printers have several advantages over wet-processing systems. First, they eliminate concerns about pollution and the need for processing chemicals. They also reduce some maintenance costs, such as: darkroom ventilation, chemical storage; and additional plumbing, electricity, and drainage. Thermal printers can be strategically placed almost anywhere in a facility.
14. Facilities should look into the thermal printer's interface options to ensure compatibility among the printer, the scanning devices, and the hospital computer network.
Questions for the Seller
Before you purchase your Printer, Thermal, we recommend you ask the seller the following questions: