A new computerised mobile X-ray vehicle launched in Woodstock recently is set to improve patient care, according to the City of Cape Town.The City’s Health Department says that with this service, it is taking more services to more communities. “The City’s X-ray service has come a long way from its one fixed room at the Chapel Street Clinic and four mobile vans at a time when X-rays were used as a screening tool for tuberculosis (TB),” says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services, in a statement.The new mobile X-ray unit is fully computerised and hard copies of images can be printed if required. The computerised X-ray machines are loaded with high-tech features that produce high-quality images in a short time.The mobile X-ray service consists of a truck fitted with an X-ray unit/machine, image processor and a computer. “Clients are seen at our TB clinics and referred for X-rays if needed. Often in our townships there are no facilities nearby where the service can be rendered. This is where the truck proves its worth as we can take the service to where it’s needed,” Smith says.The truck does weekly rounds at various clinics and only chest X-rays are done on the truck due to limited space and the weight of the equipment involved. The benefits for clients include: less distance to walk or travel; no need for clients to take hard copies to consultants/referring hospitals; quick reporting as the clients do not need to come for follow-up visits as reporting will take place on the same day, and fewer repeats of images due to lost X-rays.The benefits for the City include: No more harmful chemicals in use in darkrooms; there will be financial benefits as fewer repeats are done, and there are no chemicals and no processor maintenance involved.