Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Sim Hoffman - The History of CT Imaging

As someone who often had to rely on Computed Axial Tomography or as most people know it, CT, Sim Hoffman appreciates the technology behind it. Being a compound word and a Greek one at that, Tomography comes from the words “tomos” and “graphia”. The former means a “slice”, a portion of something, whereas the latter translates to “describing something”. Put the two together and you get something that is capable of describing something by only seeing a small part (or really more like a lot of small parts) of it.

Sim Hoffman

It all Started with Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack

Godfrey Hounsfield was a British engineer working at EMI Laboratories, who worked together with Allan Cormack, a South-African physicist from Tufts University, a prestigious institution in the state of Massachusetts. They invented the technology in 1972, for which they later received a Nobel Peace Prize.

The First CT Scanners

The first machines were put in practice between 1972 and 1974 and they were only used for head examinations. The first ones that were capable of examining a patient’s whole body were installed in 1976. By 1980 CT machines were available on a wide scale with almost 6,000 machines installed in the US alone, and more than 30,000 around the world.

The Evolution of CT

Since their implementation in the 1970’s, CTs have come a long way, with the newest models being able to provide not only superior speed, but also a vastly improved resolution. Sim Hoffman has relied on these machines in the last four decades.