These tools are the unsung heroes responsible for the detection and diagnosis of medical conditions. What better example to give than the stethoscope? Have you seen any doctor, ever? The thing they always have around their neck, that’s it—the stethoscope. It is used to listen to internal body sounds, especially how we breathe. Diagnostic medical equipment can be as simple as a stethoscope or as complex as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.
Types of Diagnostic Medical Equipment
In a hospital or diagnostic company, you are likely to find different equipment that can be further divided into a couple of subcategories:
Clinical diagnostic medical equipment is used to detect health and disease based on lab reports or test results. The tests may be guided by a personal examination of the patient.
A standard diagnosis will involve stages like a review of the symptoms, lab tests and pathogen characteristics.
Disease state predictors will include metabolic markers like glucose and potassium levels. Here are some of the examples of diagnostic equipment in this category:
Physicians use it to listen to internal sounds like the heart, lungs, and even blood flow in blood vessels. Stethoscopes can help diagnose ailments like pneumonia and bronchitis.
There are electronic stethoscopes that improve sound quality when listening to the low-pitched heart sounds and the high-pitched pulmonary sounds. They can be connected to distributors to allow joint listening in adjoining stethoscopes.
They measure blood pressure, which is very important in determining the overall health of a person. It can help diagnose diabetes, high and low blood pressure, and hypertension, among other diseases.
Tissue Diagnostic Equipment
Analysis of tissues like biopsies, coupled with immunoassay analyzers, can be used to make diagnoses as well. Analysis of tissue can be macroscopic, microscopic, or molecular. It is this tissue analysis that is used to diagnose cancer.
Examples of these equipment include tissue processing systems and slide staining system scanners.
Radiology Diagnostic Medical Equipment
Radiology is all about medical imaging and using the results to make diagnoses. Devices in this category allow medical practitioners to view what’s in your body. Examinations like mammography and thyroid scans are beneficiaries of radiology diagnostic medical equipment. Examples of equipment in this category include:
X-rays travel through the body and are absorbed in different amounts by different tissues depending on the radiological density of the tissue. Radiological density is determined by both density and atomic number of the material under scan.
Bones, for instance, have high radiological density so they readily absorb X-rays, producing a higher contrast than other tissues, which is why they appear whiter than tissue in the background.
Beams of waves are sent into the body and the sound waves are reflected back to the transducer by boundaries between tissues in the path of the beam. Upon reception of the reflected echoes, electric signals are generated and sent to the ultrasound scanner.
The ultrasound does some math with the speed of sound and time of each echo’s return to calculate the distance from the transducer to tissue boundary. These distances are then used to generate 2D images of both tissue and organ.
Self-Diagnostic Medical Equipment
This category includes diagnostic tools for identifying medical issues in our own bodies. As a self-appointed doctor, you can diagnose simple ailments like headaches, common colds and menstrual cramps.
Some aspects of immunoassay analyzer tests are involved in self diagnosis, in particular, self-pregnancy tests. COVID 19 rapid self-test kit and express HIV self-test kits also fall under this diagnostic medical equipment category.
Diagnostic medical equipment can be found in any hospital, any diagnostic company, and in some homes for the case of self-diagnostic medical equipment. It determines the cause of injury and provides medical practitioners with all or some of the information they need to make accurate diagnoses.