The first clinically useful computed-tomography (CT) system was pioneered by Godfrey Hounsfield of EMI Ltd. in England. This system was installed in 1971 in the Atkinson Morley Hospital near London . In fact, Hounsfield shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1979 with Alan Cormack from Tufts University. This introduction of computed tomography (CT) into the commercial market for radiological imaging in the mid 1970s had profound effects on the subsequent developments in medical imaging. Both the "computer" (C) attribute and the "Tomography" (T) attribute became firmly established in the radiological armamentarium.
Until the advent of CT, computer and digital imaging had only minimal success in penetrating the medical-imaging department. With the possible exception of nuclear medicine, most computer-based systems were met with apprehension because of aspects of cost, reliability, and siting complexity. The EMI scanner arrived on the scene with an impact not unlike that of x-ray systems following Roentgen's discovery in 1895. In fact, the dissemination was so rapid that CT brought with it a less distinguished legacy of Certificate of Need and other regulatory review processes. These processes were designed, in part, to limit the dissemination and perceived cost of CT scanners and related CT procedures.
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