Digitizing an Analog Radiography Teaching File Under Time Constraint: Trade-Offs in Efficiency and Image Quality

Thomas W Loehfelm, Adam B. Prater, Tequam Debebe, Aarti K. Sekhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We digitized the radiography teaching file at Black Lion Hospital (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) during a recent trip, using a standard digital camera and a fluorescent light box. Our goal was to photograph every radiograph in the existing library while optimizing the final image size to the maximum resolution of a high quality tablet computer, preserving the contrast resolution of the radiographs, and minimizing total library file size. A secondary important goal was to minimize the cost and time required to take and process the images. Three workers were able to efficiently remove the radiographs from their storage folders, hang them on the light box, operate the camera, catalog the image, and repack the radiographs back to the storage folder. Zoom, focal length, and film speed were fixed, while aperture and shutter speed were manually adjusted for each image, allowing for efficiency and flexibility in image acquisition. Keeping zoom and focal length fixed, which kept the view box at the same relative position in all of the images acquired during a single photography session, allowed unused space to be batch-cropped, saving considerable time in post-processing, at the expense of final image resolution. We present an analysis of the trade-offs in workflow efficiency and final image quality, and demonstrate that a few people with minimal equipment can efficiently digitize a teaching file library.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Digital Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Efficiency
  • Electronic teaching file
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Image quality
  • Productivity
  • Radiology teaching files
  • Teaching
  • Workflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Science Applications


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