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Faster, Safer X-Ray Film Developed by Kodak

Press Release
March 11, 2005

Eastman Kodak Company announces its innovative new general-purpose medical imaging film—which can reduce patients’ radiation exposure by up to 50 percent—is available in the United States and Canada.

The new Kodak Hyper Speed G Medical Film will be manufactured in standard sizes and will be available in Europe, Latin American and Asia in May.

The Hyper Speed G medical film is the first X-ray film in a generation to offer a 50 percent or better drop in radiation dosage, according to company researchers who also say it lessens the need for retakes.

Developed over the last 18 months and tested this winter at children's hospitals in Kentucky and South Carolina, the 800-speed, general-purpose medical film is being shipped this month to hospitals, imaging centers and doctors' offices around the United States and Canada.

"The last time a change this significant was made was about 20 years ago when the marketplace converted from a 200-speed system to what has become the standard 400-speed of today," said Eileen Heizyk, manager of the film systems unit in Kodak's health group.

"There are certainly health risks with exposure to radiation," she said. "How much and what is the risk is debatable but I think there's universal agreement that less is better."

Kodak says the film's cost is similar to high-performance X-ray systems already in the marketplace. And hospitals would save money "by reducing the load on their X-ray tubes, which are quite expensive to replace" and through reduced retakes "because we're going to have a lot less patient motion" on printouts, said Phillip Bunch, a medical physicist at Kodak who co-invented the film.