How a Mobile X-Ray Works: A Step by Step Guide

How to Use a mobile x-ray machine

Getting the right technology in place for your mobile x-ray business can mean the difference between having a good business and a really successful business. You can take advantage of what’s available and the substantially lower costs to give your business an advantage over the competition. The scenario below goes step-by-step on how a mobile x-ray works and the process.

1. Dispatch

A technologist is dispatched to a client for mobile x-ray services.

2. Arrival

The technologist arrives at the client’s facility and removes the portable x-ray machine from the vehicle and wheels it inside the facility. The technologist also brings the digital cassettes taking the x-ray.

3. Exposure

At this point the technologist has unfolded the mobile x-ray machine and placed the cassette and the patient and then takes the x-ray. This is repeated for as many cassettes are available and for as many views as are needed.

4. Acquisition

Now the technologist takes the cassettes back to the vehicle for acquisition. After inserting and scanning the cassettes with the CR reader, the technologist can determine if any additional x-rays are needed. This process can take about 1-2 minutes per cassette. Knowing how a mobile x-ray works and having the right equipment makes things easier.

5. Sending

When the technologist is satisfied by quality of the images they can now send them to PACS. In this example they will use a cellular broadband network with a VPN client to securely send the images PACS. Once the technologist has initiated the send they can drive to the next client’s facility.

6. Distribution

In this scenario, the images are sent from the CR laptop to PACS at the main office. When the images are received they are then routed to the correct radiologist for reading. If we assume that there are separate radiologists for day time studies and night studies, this transition can happen automatically. Also at this point, the images are available to the referring physician for viewing from the PACS web viewer. The referring physician has been limited to viewing only his or her own patients.

7. Reports

Once the radiologist has completed the report for the study it can be digitally attached to the study in PACS for the referring physician to review via the PACS web viewer. The PACS makes all of the physicians’ current and prior patients’ images and reports available to them online. 


Understanding how a mobile x-ray works will help you prolong the life of your medical imaging equipment. If you are looking to purchase or upgrade a mobile or portable x-ray, check out our x-ray inventory.

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