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A Brief History of Medical Diagnostic Imaging

May 9, 2018


Every time you go to the radiology department at the diagnostic and imaging center in Long Island, NY, for a preventative scan, a potential broken bone, or to see your baby for the first time, you can thank a man named Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. 

Each development in diagnostic medical imaging in Long Island, NY, is possible due to his observation in 1895 that electromagnetic radiation exists in a wavelength range. Today, we call them x-rays.

Early 1900’s

The first half-decade of radiology practices set the groundwork for the major advances to come, but at great risk to the patients who were subjected to early x-ray applications.

  • Film Cassettes
    A patient often had to stand still for up to eleven-minutes of intense radiation exposure during the diagnostic medical imaging in Long Island, NY. This produced a crude, but readable image on a film cassette. The downside to this early technology was that the radiation exposure often caused more medical issues than the patient’s initial complaint.
  • Fluorescent Screens
    In 1946, doctors believed they’d created a better way to minimize patient exposure. The films were treated with fluorescence and the doctor wore special glasses, allowing them real-time access to the images. Inadvertently, the equation was simply reversed. Now, the doctor was at great risk as they were literally staring directly into the radiation!



Two major inventions created effective diagnostic imaging services in Long Island, NY, while reducing the radiation exposure risk to both the patient and the doctor.

  • Televisions
    The invention of television monitors, and their ability to move images, became a primary application for radiologists. In 1955 a device named the I.I, or the x-ray image intensifier, was developed to work with television monitors.
  • Contrast Mediums
    This pharmaceutical concoction administered orally, enhanced internal areas being scanned by the x-ray machine. 

Working together, the contrast medium and the non-radioactive ability of a television to move images via waves transcended the radiology department.


Worlds at war birthed the next major radiological application. Sonar is the travel of high-frequency sound waves. When radiologists placed a transducer on a particular area of the patient, the sonar created high-quality images. Within a brief period of time, the ultrasound was born.


This decade saw big strides in the focus of radiology.

  • The invention of Computed Tomography, commonly known as the CT scanner
  • Analog to digital conversions became common practice
  • The invention of the MRI, commonly known as the Magnetic Resonance Image

The concept of radiology grew at a staggering pace as they turned the corner to the digital age.  

  • The applications for imagery of every part of the body became possible, even vessels and tiny organs.
  • Radiation doses were reduced to minimal amounts
  • Resulting images were enhanced to see minute details
  • Images can be transferred and sent between hospitals
  • Images can be stored for long-term access

To Date

As we entered the 21st century, technological advances continued to race forward at the medical diagnostic imaging center in Long Island, NY. Each new concept and application saw the inventions of the former century become faster, clearer, and safer. As a result, the age of preventative medicine has begun, utilizing CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds to pre-diagnose an issue before it becomes life threatening.

The development of radiology and diagnostic medical imaging in Long Island, NY, is fascinating. It took over a century to create our current testing systems.