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The Development of Technology and Its Influence on Nuclear Medicine

by Tess Hughes

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Evolution of man cartoon


      In 1991, NSF allowed the first commercial use of the Internet that became self-supporting by 1995.25

      In November 1992, Berners Lee designed a free World Wide Web browser that could take you to 26 Web servers in the world and could easily link from one page to another with a click of the mouse. In 1993, Marc Andreesen created Mosaic, a more "user-friendly" web browser at the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications. Mosaic allowed users to see pictures and graphics, and use of the web began to take off. (See Table 1 and Chart 1). In July of 1993, there were almost 2 million web sites. By July of 1996, there were almost 13 million. 26

Table showing web server numbers in WWW over years
Table 1: Number of World Wide Web Servers27

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Chart showing web server numbers
Chart 1: Number of World Wide Web Servers27

Square PMT arrangement- click to enlarge
Figure 18: Diagram illustrating the traditional hexagonal and the new square PMT configurations manufactured by General Electric.32

      Meanwhile, collimation and PMTs were continually being improved, therefore reducing scatter radiation and the dead-space within detector heads. This greatly improved the sensitivity, photon positioning and target to background ratio of the system.

      The speed of the Internet has increased substantially with optical cabling and now satellite technology.

In February 1999, Intel launched the Pentium III, containing 9.5 million individual transistors on a silicon wafer around 6cm2. The chip cost between $500US and $700US, which is not much more than what the first chips sold for in the 1960s - with only ten transistors on a slice. Without this increase in speed and capacity, the audio, video, and graphic software of today would not be possible.28

Photo of chip next to postage stamp
Figure 1933:"The new PentiumŪ III processor for mobile PCs - so small it's the size of a postage stamp."33

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      Darkrooms are being replaced with sophisticated printers that print high-resolution images onto paper or transparencies.

Fusion of CT and SPECT images - click to enlarge
Figure 2034:"An example of image fusion between SPECT AND CT of the pelvic region."34

      SPECT images can be merged with the anatomical images obtained from Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) using computer software. The application of mathematical algorithms to data is complex and continually changing.

      Telemedicine has become a reality. The physician may interview and study the patient and their scan, using Internet links and modern equipment.

Front cover of Radio News Magazine - click to enlarge
Figure 2135: The front cover of Radio News Magazine in April 1924, depicted telemedicine five years before the invention of television."

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