Medical Imaging Equipment: Types and Uses

Modern-day medicine revolves around technology. Almost every medical procedure or diagnostic tool uses some form of electrical device or piece of machinery.

Without the sophisticated medical technologies and devices that are now available in hospitals and health centers, healthcare professionals would struggle to make an accurate diagnosis. Treatments would be harder to administer or almost impossible to provide.

Medical imaging equipment is one of the most well-developed areas of technology in medicine. A variety of complex tools are used on a daily basis by doctors, radiologists, and specialist nurses to take a closer look inside patients’ bodies.

Using medical imaging equipment, staff can identify and diagnose different injuries and diseases. They can visualize organs, tissues, and structures inside the body in great detail to spot any concerning or problematic areas.

Here is a list of the most commonly used medical imaging equipment used in healthcare and their main uses.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that is used to visualize the organs and tissues inside the body. It uses radio waves to interact with water inside the body, producing signals that are received by a computer.

In total, MRI scans can take anywhere from 15-90 minutes to complete. The end result is a detailed image that can be interpreted by healthcare professionals.

During an MRI, the patient lies on a motorized table that enters a large hollow tube. MRIs use Step Linear Actuators to function and rotate around the patient to produce the correct images.


X-rays are one of the most common types of scans that are performed in healthcare facilities. They use ionizing radiation to produce black and white images of internal structures, such as bones.

If somebody has a suspected fracture, they will most likely have an x-ray to confirm this diagnosis. X-ray scans are quick and simple to perform. Despite using high-energy radiation, having just one or two x-rays a year won’t cause any negative side effects.


Computed Tomography (CT) scans are used to produce images of the inside of the body, including organs, bones, and blood vessels.

CT scans use ionizing radiation to interact with the molecules in the body. During a single scan, the CT machine will take lots of images that get pieces together into a final image.

As with MRI machines, CT scanners contain specialized motors that enable the machine to rotate by a specified degree to take several images in quick succession.


During an ultrasound scan, a sonographer will cover a handheld scanner with a thick gel. The scanner gets placed on the area of interest and uses high-energy sound waves to create images of the inside of the body.

Two of the most common uses of ultrasound scans are identifying the presence or gender of a growing fetus in the womb of a pregnant lady and measuring the amount of fluid in the bladder.