Until now, physicians have had two main choices for reading X-rays. Either hang the film on a light box or scan it into a computer workstation. Doctors prefer the latter, because they can manipulate the image's contrast and gray scale, and because the digitized versions are easier to store and transmit. To get images approaching the resolution of film, however, they need workstations that run $50,000 and up.
A tiny Newport Beach (Calif.) company thinks it has a better solution. RunTime Technologies has come up with a pair of circuit boards that slide into off-the-shelf personal computers. One gives the PC beefed-up processing power; the other, the ability to display ultrahigh-resolution images. The pair costs $7,500, bringing the price of a PC-based system to around $12,000. RunTime also sees another market--the military, which uses such systems to analyze aerial photos.