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The Wonders of CT Scanners – How & Where Did it All Start

Aug 9, 2021 | Articles, CT

Computerized Tomography (CT), which is also referred to as Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT), is widely used in today’s medical field. However, do you know how it all started? You might think it is science and technology that brought it here—but the truth is, it actually came from music!

According to past records, Electric and Music Industries (EMI), the company that owned the Abbey Road Studios and launched The Beatles, funded the research that produced the EMI scan—which is now widely known as the CT scan. 

So, if you are a fan of The Beatles and you bought their albums, you are one of the many responsible for the birth of this technology!


The Inventor

The mathematical theory, the Radon transform, brought the technology to life in 1917, thanks to Johann Radon. The first CT scanner that was made available commercially was created by Godfrey Hounsfield, a British engineer of EMI Laboratories, in 1972. He worked with Dr. Allan Cormack, a physicist. Both were awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. 

Hounsfield also had a mathematical advancement based on the Algebraic Reconstruction Technique that Stefan Kaczmarz formulated in 1937. 


The Catalyst

Hounsfield stated that the idea came to him while he was on vacation. He wanted to reconstruct a 3D picture of a box, and he intended to do this by re-imagining the object as a series of slices. This inspired thought led to further research and funding—which brought to life the CT scan for commercial use, which was set up at Atkinson’s Morley Hospital in 1971!

The first patient to benefit from the brain scanner was a woman who was suffering from a brain tumor. 


The World & CT Scans

The success of the brain scanner at Atkinson Morley Hospital was publicized in 1972, and by 1973, the US-installed the first CT scanners of their own. By 1980, 3 million CT scan examinations had been recorded. 


CT Scans in the Future

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is said to be extremely helpful for people in the medical imaging industry. The latest study showed that an AI platform could detect acute neurologic occurrences in CT scan images within seconds. 

With this latest development, it can help a lot of patients significantly as the results can alert physicians immediately should there be urgent concerns to address. The whole process is 150 times faster, and will help unburden the hospital staff from lengthy processes.


Conclusion—The Wonders of CT Scanners

Indeed, a CT scan offers a load full of benefits for people with internal injuries and other kinds of trauma. Through this machine, it helps doctors visualize all parts of the body and help them diagnose diseases as accurately as possible. CT scanners also help doctors track specific parts of the body that are affected by ailments while also detecting blood clots and infections easily to be tracked and treated.

Knowing how this wonderful technology started only shows that a simple idea can turn into something big, especially if you truly work hard for it. As for Hounsfield, that idea he had while on vacation has changed the lives of humans forever!

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