Liquid-crystal displays for medical imaging: A discussion of monochrome versus color
A common view is that color displays cannot match the performance of monochrome displays, normally used for diagnostic x-ray imaging. This view is based largely on historical experience with cathode-ray tube (CRT) displays, and does not apply in the same way to liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). Recent advances in color LCD technology have considerably narrowed performance differences with monochrome LCDs for medical applications. The most significant performance advantage of monochrome LCDs is higher luminance, a concern for use under bright ambient conditions. LCD luminance is limited primarily by backlight design, yet to be optimized for color LCDs for medical applications. Monochrome LCDs have inherently higher contrast than color LCDs, but this is not a major advantage under most conditions. There is no practical difference in luminance precision between color and monochrome LCDs, with a slight theoretical advantage for color. Color LCDs can provide visualization and productivity enhancement for medical applications, using digital drive from standard commercial graphics cards. The desktop computer market for color LCDs far exceeds the medical monitor market, with an economy of scale. The performance-to-price ratio for color LCDs is much higher than monochrome, and warrants re-evaluation for medical applications.
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