Creating Better Patient Outcomes Through Precision CT Scanning Technology

“Problems are not stop signs, they’re guidelines”—Robert Schuller. It’s this sentiment that forms the basis of how Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) approaches technology’s toughest challenges. There’s an unyielding passion for precision—in measuring sound waves, light beams, vibration, etc.—that runs through every ADI engineer’s mindset and helps set the stage for technical advancements that change the world, and even save lives.

A prime example of this lifesaving technology is in healthcare, specifically computerized tomography scanning (CT scan). ADI is leading advances in hardware technology, system design, and collaboration with scanning manufacturers that are having a profound effect on physicians and, of course, patients themselves.

At a Glance


Computed Tomography (CT) scanner manufacturers/healthcare industry


CT Scanning technology


Lessen CT scanner radiation; improve image quality; enhance affordability of CT machines; improve patient outcomes


Improve efficacy and efficiency of CT scanning technology to help produce better diagnoses, improved patient outcomes, lower equipment cost of ownership, and ultimately reduced healthcare costs

Better Vision, Beyond X-Rays

When CT scanning technology was first introduced in the 1970s, doctors gained a decided advantage over viewing simple x-rays to diagnose patient ailments. CT scans enabled doctors to view soft tissues and blood vessels, thus providing a window into viewing extremely small nodules and possibly cancerous tumors much earlier in the diagnosis process. Using computers and rotating x-ray machines, CT scans create cross-sectional images of the body or what are called “slices.” These images are then sent to a computer where they’re combined to produce a 3D image of a particular area of the body, helping physicians develop quicker, more precise diagnoses.

Many doctors, after seeing something amiss from an initial CT scan, often order another, to investigate further. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of radiation exposure. In fact, it is estimated that one CT scan produces up to 200 times the radiation of x-rays. So, ordering fewer CT scans—or needing to view only one scan—would undoubtedly improve “first-time-right” diagnoses and improve patient outcomes due to early detection.

CT scanning


Precision CT Scanning Technology = Better Patient Outcomes

Analog Devices has been at the forefront of CT scanning technology for the better part of 2 decades by helping enhance image quality, reduce x-ray exposure, and speed, and ultimately, improve patient outcomes.

ADI began in this industry by supplying individual components that customers assembled to translate x-ray signals into the data needed to visualize a patient’s body—a critical technology to ensure accurate scans. Over time, ADI developed deeper expertise in imaging and healthcare-specific products.

Now, we offer the complete array of technologies needed to design advanced CT scanners, from sensors to digital processors, and the expertise to optimize the packaging and performance. This holistic set of technologies make it much easier (and faster) for CT scanner manufacturers to design products and achieve better results through lower noise, fewer artifacts, and better image quality.

With ADI’s hardware capabilities, CT scanner manufacturers now have the freedom to focus on algorithm development and image reconstruction – thus differentiating themselves from their competition. This combination of advanced hardware and software technologies has helped increase slice counts from the standard 8 – 16 to 64, with the most advanced scanners reaching 256 slices and beyond.


CT scanning


Standard CT Scan

Fewer slices reveal less detail in the scan, which can increase the need for rescans.


CT scanning


Precision CT Scan

4x to 16x increase in slices can improve “first-time-right” diagnoses and improves patient outcomes due to early detection.

What’s more, because ADI’s advanced technology enables a reduction in the size of the components, the manufacturing costs of the scanning hardware could also be decreased. This cost savings has had a ripple effect across the supply chain, enabling greater access to 16-slice CT scanning machines, previously inaccessible to cost-sensitive markets.

Facing Engineer’s Toughest Challenges Head On

While Analog Devices leveraged our expertise in precision scanning technology to drastically improve the future of CT scanning, there’s another reason for ADI’s success in this industry: we dare to ask the tough questions and face engineering’s toughest challenges head-on.

Typically, component manufacturers for medical devices, such as CT scanners, produce amplifiers, converters, and other individual components, maximize their performance, and leave it for the customers to put the system together.

But this method falls far short of the ADI approach. Instead of merely supplying components and have the manufacturer figure it out, ADI works hand-in-hand with manufacturers and immerse ourselves in the customer’s business in order to fully understand their goals and strategy. In the case of CT scanner manufacturers, key performance metrics were to enhance image quality, lower radiation, lower cost, and improve patient outcomes. These were the level of challenges Analog Devices welcomes, wholeheartedly.

Thanks to engineers at Analog Devices, treating stop signs as guidelines—asking the tough questions, adhering to a passion for precision—CT scanning technology has demonstrably improved in several key areas, which has ultimately helped save more lives.