Whereas conventional mammography captures images of breast tissue on x-ray film, digital mammography uses computer imaging. This is being implemented across the NHS Breast Screening Programme and as at July 2011, 85 per cent of breast screening units have at least one digital mammography set.
Adoption of digital mammography systems into breast screening
On the 26th May 2010 the Department of Health Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening decided that direct digital technology (DR) was the preferred option for the introduction of digital mammography into the NHS Breast Screening Programme.
Any new mammography systems introduced by NHS Trusts providing breast screening within the NHSBSP should now be direct digital technology (DR) rather than computerised radiography (CR).
Services commissioned from private providers should use direct digital technology (DR) or film-screen systems but not computerised radiography (CR).
New equipment is evaluated for both technical effectiveness and user acceptability. For progress please see evaluation and clinical assessment of equipment.