Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CASE FOR A RADIOGRAPHIC PLATE, METHOD AND DEVICE FOR READING A DENTAL X-RAY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/079616
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A case (100) for a radiographic plate (10) is provided; said radiographic plate (10) defining a surface (11) exposable by X-rays and a surface non-exposable (12) by said X-rays, opposite said exposable surface (11); said case (100) comprising: a first sheet (110) suitable to superpose said exposable surface (11); a second sheet (120) suitable to superpose said non-exposable surface (12); and a joining edge (130) of said sheets (110, 120) defining an extraction direction (100a) of said radiographic plate (10) from said case (100); characterised in that it comprises an identification code (140) of said radiographic plate (10) made on one of said sheets (110, 120).

Inventors:
NICCOLUCCI, Roberto (Viale Zara 14, I - Milan, I - 20124, IT)
Application Number:
IB2015/057928
Publication Date:
May 26, 2016
Filing Date:
October 15, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
NICAL S.P.A. (Via Soffredini 43, I-i - Milan, I-i - 20125, IT)
International Classes:
A61B6/00; G03B42/04
Foreign References:
US20050247898A12005-11-10
US20090028299A12009-01-29
US5077778A1991-12-31
US20050205813A12005-09-22
US20080078940A12008-04-03
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LUNATI & MAZZONI S.R.L. (Via Carlo Pisacane, 36Milano, Mi MILANO, I-20129, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAI MS

1. Case (100) for a radiographic plate (10); said radiographic plate (10) defining a surface (1 1 ) exposable by X-rays and a surface non- exposable (12) by said X-rays, opposite said exposable surface (1 1 ); said case (100) comprising: a first sheet (1 10) suitable to superpose said exposable surface (1 1 ); a second sheet (120) suitable to superpose said non-exposable surface (12); and a joining edge (130) of said sheets (1 10, 120) defining an extraction direction (100a) of said radiographic plate (10) from said case (100); characterised in that it comprises an identification code (140) of said radiographic plate (10) borne on one of said sheets (1 10, 120).

2. Case (100) according to claim 1 wherein said identification code (140) is printable using standard printers.

3. Case (100) according to claim 1 , wherein said identification code (140) is applicable by means of a label.

4. Case (100) according to one or more of the previous claims, wherein said identification code (140) is a barcode.

5, Case (100) according to one or more of the previous claims, wherein said identification code (140) is chosen from among two-dimensional barcodes.

6, Reading device (1 ) of said radiographic plate (10) inserted in said case (100) according to one or more of the previous claims comprising: extractors (21 , 22) suitable to extract said radiographic plate (10) from said case (100); a reading member (3) suitable to perform reading of said radiographic plate (10); characterised in that it comprises an identification apparatus (7) comprising a reader (71 ) of said identification code (140).

7, Reading device (1 ) according to the previous claim, wherein said identification apparatus (7) is proximal to said extractors (21 , 22),

8. Reading device (1 ) according to one or more of the claims 6 - 7, wherein said reader (71 ) is of the optical type.

9. Reading device (1 ) according to one or more of the claims 6 - 8, where said identification database comprises a plurality of doctor's offices, each of which associated with at least one of said patients; and wherein said processor (73) is suitable to assign to said identification code (140) one of said doctor's offices.

10. Reading method of said radiographic plate (10) inserted in said case (100) according to one or more of the claims 1 -3, comprising an extraction step in which an extraction member (2) extracts said radiographic plate (10) from said case (100); a scanning step in which a reading member (3) detects the image exposed on said radiographic plate (10); characterised in that it comprises an identification database showing a plurality of said identification codes (140) and of patients and associating with one of said patients at least one of said identification codes (140); an identification step in which said identification code (140) is read and, on the basis of said identification database, one of said patients is associated with said radiographic plate (10); an assignment step in which that patient is associated with said exposed image.

Description:
DESC RI PTION

CASE FOR A RADIOGRAPHIC PLATE, METHOD AND DEVICE FOR

READING A DENTAL X-RAY

The present invention relates to a case for a radiographic plate, a device and a method for reading a dental x-ray of the type specified in the preamble of the independent claims.

As is known, the method of performing and reading a dental X-ray provides for the use, by a radiologist, of a dental x-ray imaging device and of its reading by means of the following method. Initially, the radiologist inserts the x-ray plate entirely in a case transparent to X- rays and opaque to light. Said assembly is placed in a sterile casing and the whole is inserted in the radiological dental device.

After exposing the plate, the radiologist eliminates the sterile casing and puts the plate-case assembly in a reading device which extracts the plate from the case and then reads it.

The prior art mentioned above has several significant drawbacks.

A first important drawback is the high cost of buying and managing devices causing doctors to join group practices and thus share the use thereof.

This aspect, while allowing a reduction of costs, complicates the radiologist's work in that after obtaining the radiographic image, he/she must associate it with a specific patient and supply it to the doctor requesting the analysis. Another drawback is that the radiologist, it being almost impossible to distinguish between the plates especially if placed in a case, risks mismatching the X-rays between patients/doctors. This event is especially dangerous because it can cause the doctor to make an incorrect assessment and administer/implement erroneous treatment.

In addition, this incorrect association of the X-rays makes the X-ray impossible to locate thus requiring the patient to undergo a second X-ray with all the dangers arising from X-ray exposure.

To try to solve this problem some group practices do not perform such analyses, requiring the patient to resort to other external laboratories.

This solution however merely shifts the aforementioned problems from the doctor to third-party figures, without resolving the problem.

It should also be noted how this solution is especially tiresome and time- consum ing for the patient.

In fact, the patient must make an appointment at one of these facilities, go to it, perform the analysis, return to pick up the analysis and make a new appointment with the doctor to show him/her the analysis.

It is to be noted how said third parties, handling a large number of X-ray plates are highly susceptible to the aforementioned risks of erroneously assigning the X-rays. In this situation the technical task according to the present invention is to provide a case for radiographic plates, a device and a method for reading a dental x-ray able to substantially overcome the drawbacks mentioned.

Within the sphere of said technical purpose one important aim of the invention is to have a case and a reading method making it possible to simplify the radiologist's work.

In particular, one important purpose of the invention is to avoid mismatching X- rays between patients/doctors.

Therefore, other purposes of the invention are to avoid unnecessarily subjecting patients to X-rays and to prevent doctors from making an incorrect assessment. The technical task and the specified aims are achieved by a case for radiographic plates, a device and a method for reading a dental x-ray as claimed in the appended independent Claims.

Preferred embodiments are evident from the dependent claims.

The characteristics and advantages of the invention are clearly evident from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 shows a case according to the invention and a radiographic plate;

Fig. 2 shows a radiographic plate inserted in the case in Fig. 1 ;

Fig. 3 is another view of the plate inserted in the case in Fig. 1 ;

Fig. 4 shows an overhead view of the reading device of the dental x-ray according to the invention in a first configuration;

Fig. 5 shows an overhead view of the reading device of the dental x-ray according to the invention in a second configuration;

Fig. 6 shows an overhead view of the reading device of the dental x-ray according to the invention in a third configuration;

Fig. 7 shows a side view of a portion of the reading device of the dental x-ray according to the invention in a first configuration;

Fig. 8 shows in schematic form a side view of a portion of the reading device of the dental x-ray according to the invention in a second configuration;

Fig. 9 shows a cross-section view of a further portion of the reading device of the dental x-ray according to the invention.

Herein, the measures, values, shapes and geometric references (such as perpendicularity and parallelism), when used with words like "about" or other similar terms such as "approximately" or "substantially", are to be understood as except for measurement errors or inaccuracies due to production and/or manufacturing errors and, above all, except for a slight divergence from the value, measure, shape or geometric reference which it is associated with. For example, said terms, if associated with a value, preferably indicate a divergence of not more than 10% of said value.

In addition, where used terms such as "first", "second", "upper", "lower", "main" and "secondary" do not necessarily refer to an order, a priority relationship or relative position, but may simply be used to more clearly distinguish different components from each other.

Except where specified otherwise, as evidenced by the discussions below, it should be noted that in the course of specific discussions using terms such as "processing", "computer", "computing", "evaluation", or the like, reference is made to the action and/or a processes of a computer or calculation system, or similar electronic calculation device, which handle and/or process data represented as physical, electronic, sizes of logs of computer system and/or memories in other data similarly represented as physical quantities inside the records of the computer system, logs or other information storage, transmission or display devices.

With reference to said drawings, reference numeral 1 globally denotes the reading device of a dental X-ray according to the invention 1.

It is suitable to be used to read an intra-oral or endo-oral X-ray imprinted on a radiographic plate 10 and, appropriately, a photostimulable phosphor plate 10, commonly called an "imaging plate", !t is also appropriately devoid of magnetic elements for transportation.

The radiographic plate 10 has a surface 11 exposable by X-rays, preferably presenting the photosensitive phosphors to said X-rays; a surface 12 non- exposable by the X-rays, opposite the exposabie surface 1 1 ; and a side surface surrounding the surfaces 1 1 and 12.

!t is also preferably a substantially rectangular shape, so that the surfaces 1 1 and 12 have a short side and a long side.

The reading device of the dental X-ray 1 is suitable to be used for reading a radiographic plate 10 contained in an innovative case 100 for the plate 10. The case 100 and the plate 10 together delimit a protected radiographic plate.

The case 100 advantageously is the same size as the radiographic plate 10 and, more precisely has a width substantially equal to that of the short side of the radiographic plate 10. Consequently, various cases 100 may be provided having a different size and, in particular, different widths so as to have specific cases for each type of plate 10.

It (see Figs. 1 -2) includes, advantageously exclusively, a first sheet 110 suitable to superpose practically the entire exposabie surface 1 1 ; a second sheet 120 suitable to superpose only a part of non-exposabie surface 12 so as to leave a bare, and therefore visible portion; and a joining edge 130 of the sheets 1 1 and 12 suitable to define an extraction direction 100a of the plate 10 from the case 100 substantially rectilinear and, preferably substantially parallel to the long side of the plate 10.

The term substantially means that the first sheet 1 10 covers the entire surface 1 1 leaving possibly bare edges or other surface portions of negligible size.

The joining edge 130 is suitable to come into contact with part of the side surface of the plate 10 defining, for the plate 10 when inserted in the case 100, a contact profile 13 with the joining edge 130 and a free profile 14, namely a portion of the side surface not adjacent to the edge 130, advantageously opposite the contact profile 13. Preferably the contact profile 13 and the free profile 14 are substantially perpendicular to the extraction axis 100a.

The first sheet 1 10 is almost fiat and is made of material transparent to X-rays so that the exposable surface 1 1 can be exposed by the X-rays. In addition, it is scratch proof and, specifically, has a coating suitable to come into contact with the surface 1 1 and made from polytetrafiuoroethylene (PTFE) known by the brand name Teflon ® .

The second sheet 120 is almost flat and made of material opaque to visible light. Preferably, the second sheet 120 is suitable to superpose a part of non-exposabie surface 12 proximal to the contact profile of the plate 10 so that the visible portion of the surface 12 is adjacent to the free profile part of said plate 10.

In addition, the case 100 advantageously comprises an identification code 140 of the radiographic plate 10 shown on at least one sheet 1 10 or 120 and, in detail, on the second sheet 120 (Fig. 3).

Preferably, the identification code 140 is shown on the outer surface of the sheet 1 10 or 120 opposite that adjacent to the plate 10 so as to always be visible.

It is suitable to associate, as described further below, the plate 10 inserted in the case 100 with a patient and/or doctor requesting the analysis.

The identification code 140 may consist of graphic elements, such as an alphanumeric code and, in particular, a barcode formed of graphic elements contrasting strongly with the sheet 1 10 and/or 120. In particular, it is chosen from a linear bar code (i.e. consisting of parallel lines at variable distance and of variable thickness) or two-dimensional code, e.g. the well-known QR code.

It is preferably of the printable type, with standard use printers. Alternatively the identification code 140 may be affixed by means of a label.

The identification code 140 may contain a reference, preferably unique, to an external database or finite information, such as proper names and the like.

The reading device 1 comprises, in brief, an extraction member 2 suitable to extract the plate 10 from the case 100; a radiological unit suitable to read the radiographic plate 10; and a power supply system, such as a battery and/or connector to an external grid suitable to power the radiological unit and the extraction member 2.

The extraction member 2 comprises a first extractor 21 defining a first contact surface 21a for the first sheet 1 10 and the exposable surface 1 1 ; a second extractor 22 defining a second contact surface 22a for the non-exposabie surface 12; a motor, appropriately electric, suitable to reciprocally move the extractors 21 and 22; a controller 23 suitable to control the extractors 21 and 22 so as to move the plate and/or the case along a sliding axis 2a; and a housing 24 suitable to enclose within it the extractors 21 and 22 and defining an insertion slot 24a in the member 2 for the case 100 and the plate 10.

The extractors 21 and 22 are mutually spaced so as to enclose the case 100 and the plate 10 between them. In detail, they have contact surfaces 21a and 22a at a mutual distance almost equal to the thickness of the plate 10 so as to come simultaneously into contact with the first sheet 1 10 and the non-exposable surface 12. The distance between the rollers is further preferably variable by means of an elastic support of the rollers and/or the intrinsic elasticity of the rollers themselves. Each extractor 21 and 22 comprises a roller, preferably in elastomeric material, suitable to rotate around an almost transversal axis and, in particular, almost perpendicular to the direction 100a and the side surface of which constitutes the contact surface 21 a and 22a,

The controller 23, as described further below, is suitable to control the extractors 21 and 22 so as to define an extraction movement in which the plate 10 comes out of the case through a relative motion between the contact surfaces 21 a and 22a and, in particular, thanks to several speeds of the contact surfaces 21 a and 22a respectively with the first sheet 1 10 and with the non-exposable surface 12 so that the case 100 is extracted from the plate 10; and an advancement movement in which it controls the advancement of the plate 10 along the sliding axis 2a moving the contact surfaces 21 a and 22a so that the contact surfaces 21 a and 22a have a contact speed, respectively with the exposable surface 1 1 and with the non- exposable surface 12, substantially equal to each other, i.e. with the speeds having the same direction and modulus except for negligible differences.

Contact speed is understood to mean the speed and direction of rotation (given that the speed as specified comprises a modulus and a direction) of the contact surfaces 21 a and 22a in the point of contact with the plate 10 and/or the case 100. In particular, in the case of extractors 21 and 22 identifiable in rollers, the controller 23 moves the extractors with a rotation speed having an opposite direction and substantially the same modulus, so that said contact speeds are substantially equal to each other.

The radiological unit comprises a reading member 3 suitable to read the radiographic plate 10; a movement member 4 suitable to move the plate 10 between the extraction member 2 and the reading member 3; a control circuit suitable to command the functioning of the radiological unit; and a box-shaped body δ, preferably a straight parallelepiped, suitable to contain the movement 4 and reading members 3. The movement member 4 (Figs. 7, 8) comprises a carriage 41 suitable to support the plate 10; at least one guide 42 defining a movement axis substantially parallel to the sliding axis 2a substantially parallel to the extraction direction 100a, and a translation mechanism 43 suitable to move the carriage 41 along the guide 42. In detail, the movement member 4 comprises two guides arranged in a specular manner to the translation mechanism 43.

The translation mechanism 43 comprises a worm 431 engaged to the carriage 41 and an axis substantially parallel to the sliding axis 2a; and a motor 432 appropriately electric, suitable to control the worm 431 and thus the carriage 41 . The carriage 41 , as shown in Figs. 7-8, comprises a sliding group 411 idly engaged to the guides 42; a constraint apparatus 412 associated to the group 41 1 and suitable to constrain the radiographic plate 10 to the sliding group 41 1 ; and a slider 413 engaged to the worm 431 and suitable to control the sliding group 41 1 and the constraint apparatus 412.

The slider 413 controls the translation of the group 41 1 along the sliding axis 2a. To such purpose, the sliding group has a pressure surface 411a on which the slider 413 presses when it moves the carriage 41 next to the extraction member 2; and a prominence 411 b against which the slider 413, moving in a direction opposite to the previous, pushes the carriage 41 away from the extraction member.

The pressure surface 41 1 a and the prominence 41 1 b are spaced along the sliding axis 2a so as to enclose the slider 413 between them and allow said slider 413 to be exclusively in contact with the surface 41 1 a or with the prominence 41 1 b. Preferably, the distance measured along the sliding axis 2a, between the prominence 41 1 b and the pressure surface 41 1 a is greater than the length of the slider 413 calculated along the axis 2a,

The constraint apparatus 412 comprises a support plate 412a for the non- exposable surface 12 integral with the group 41 1 and made of anti-scratch material such as Teflon ® ; an abutment 412b for a face of the side surface integral with the sliding group 41 1 and almost parallel to the axis 2a; a lever 412c, a hinge 412d suitable to constrain the lever 412c to the group 41 1 ; an engagement tooth 412e integral with the lever 412c and suitable to press the plate 10 against the abutment 412b; and elastic means 412f, preferably a compression spring, suitable to turn the lever 412c so as to bring the tooth 412e next to the abutment 412b and thus tighten the plate 10 between the tooth 412e and abutment 412b,

The engagement tooth 412d and the elastic means 412f are associated with the lever 412c, defining, with respect to the hinge 412d, a lever 412c of the second class.

In order to allow the slider 413 to control the constraint apparatus 412 the hinge 412d is proximal to the pressure surface 41 1 a and away from the ends of the lever 412c so that the end of the lever 412c distal from the engagement tooth 412e protrudes from the surface 41 1 a allowing the slider 413 to press the lever 412c when it comes into contact with said surface 41 1 a.

The reading member 3 comprises an emitter group 31 suitable to emit a laser 31 a or other luminous beam which, by imprinting the exposable surface 1 1 allows the plate 10 to produce blue photons; at least one collector 32 defining an interception surface 321 for said photons and a release surface 322 of almost equal extension to the surface 321 and through which the photons leave the collector 32; a reading unit 33 proximal to the release surface 322 so as to receive and analyse the photons; a LED 34 or other similar element suitable to erase the image previously impressed on the radiographic plate 10 by the X rays allowing said plate 10 to be reutilised.

In particular, the reading member 3 comprises a single collector body 32 defining an interception surface 321 substantially parallel to the sliding axis 2a and thus to the exposable surfacel 1 .

Alternatively, the reading member 3 has two collectors 32 with interception surfaces 321 preferably substantially perpendicular to each other inclined at about 45° with respect to the sliding axis 2a and thus the exposable surfaces 1 1 . Preferably, the two collectors 32 have interception surfaces 321 appropriately spaced so as to allow the laser 31 a emitted by the laser group 31 to pass between them, and thus imprint the exposable surface 1 1 .

The emitter group 31 comprises a light source 311 suitable to emit the laser 31 a and, in particular, a red laser suitable to produce red light, i.e. red photons, imprinting the exposable surface 1 1 ; and a targeting mechanism suitable to orient the laser 31 a against the plate 10.

The source 31 1 is suitable to emit a beam of laser light 31 a defining a propagation axis substantially perpendicular to the sliding axis 2a substantially parallel to the exposable surface 1 1.

The targeting mechanism is suitable to deviate the laser 31 a against the surface 1 1 .

As shown in Fig, 9, it comprises a reflective element 312 defining a mirrored surface 312a for the laser 31 a in output from the source 31 1 ; and a motor 313 preferably, electric, suitable to turn the first element 312 by varying the angle of reflection, and thus adjusting the point of incidence of the laser 31 a on the exposable surface 1 1. The motor 313 is suitable to turn the reflective element 312 around an axis of rotation 313a substantially parallel to the sliding axis 2a by varying the output angle of the laser 31 a from the reflective surface 312a and thus varying the point of incidence of the laser 31 a on the exposable surface 1 1 in a direction substantially perpendicular to the axis 2a.

In order to minimise the overall dimensions of the device 1 , the release surface

322 is transversal and, in detail, substantially perpendicular to the interception surface 321 and the collector 32 comprises a transition block 323 suitable to transport the photons from the interception surface to the release surface 322. The transition block 323 has a particular profile which permits an angle of incidence, i.e. the angle with respect to the perpendicular with the surface, between the photons and the block walls 323 greater than the critical angle, i.e. the minimum angle necessary to have the total reflection of photons according to the known phenomenon also used in fibre optics, i.e. an angle such as to have an internal reflection of the beam.

In addition, to ensure a precise reconstruction of the images, each transition block

323 may be divided into a plurality of laminae, the bases of which identify a portion of the surfaces 321 and 322 and presenting a body suitable to be traversed by photons due to the phenomenon of total reflection.

Preferably, the collector 32 is made in a single piece and is made of polymethylmethacrylate, PMMA, or other similar material transparent to blue light and therefore suitable to be crossed by excited photons produced by the plate 10 without them suffering a loss of energy.

Lastly, the reading device 1 comprises a recognition member 6 suitable to identify the radiographic plate 10 and thus allow an optimal reading thereof. In particular, the recognition member 6 is suitable to identify the case 100 and, therefore, the radiographic plate 10 as a function of the width and thus of the short side of the radiographic plate 10 or, preferably, of the case 100.

It is appropriately placed at the extraction body 2, and more specifically at the extractors 21 and 22 so as to identify the plate 10 before if reaches the carriage 41 . The recognition member 6 comprises a meter 61 preferably optical, suitable to measure the width of the case 100 and an identifier 62 suitable to identify the plate 10 as a function of the measurement of the meter 61 and to communicate the type of plate 10 to the reading member 3.

In particular, the identifier 62 comprises a plate database associating given width values of the case 100 with a specific plate 10 and specifically, the size of the long side and the short side of the radiographic plate 10 being read.

In addition to said components, the device innovatively comprises an identification apparatus 7 suitable to read the identification code 140 so as to identify the radiographic plate 10 as a function thereof, and then associate the plate 10 to a patient and/or doctor.

The identification apparatus 7 is preferably proximal to the extraction member 2 and, in particular, housed inside the housing 24. It comprises a reader 71 of the ID 140 appropriately placed between the insertion slot 24a and the extractors 21 and 22, a memory 72 containing a database identifying a plurality of IDs 140 and patients, a processor 73 connected to the reader 71 and to the memory 72 so as to associate the plate 10 about to be read by the reading member 3 to a patient 3 as a function of said ID; and communication means 74 suitable to connect the processor 73 to at least one external drive, such as a PC, so as to allow an operator to update the identification database and/or to enable the processor 73 to communicate the data of the plate 10 being read to the external drive.

The identification database preferably lists within it a plurality of patients, i.e. patient data (e.g. name, address, date of birth). It also associates one or more IDs 140 with each patient allowing the plate 10 inserted in a case 100, and thus the X~ rays imprinted on it to be uniquely assigned to a patient.

In addition, the identification database may comprise a plurality of medical practices (e.g. name and location), each of which is associated with at least one ID 140 and, thus, with at least one of the patients.

The reader 71 is optica! i.e. suitable to detect the ID 140 by emitting a light /laser beam or performing photographic filming of the ID 140.

The communication means 74 may comprise an antenna or other emitter suitable to create a wireless connection with the externa! drive. Alternatively, the means 74 may comprise a connection port by means of which to make a wired connection with the external unit.

The functioning of the reading device of a dental X-ray, described above in a structural sense, is as follows.

In detail, this functioning defines an innovative reading procedure practicable, preferably, through the reading device of a dental X-ray 1 and the case 100 for a radiographic plate 10.

Before proceeding with the reading, the doctor performs a preparation of the radiographic plate 10; and an exposure step in which an X-ray, preferably intraoral, is performed.

!n detail, in the preparation step the plate 10 is inserted in the case 100 superposing the first sheet 1 10 and the second sheet 120 respectively on the exposable surface 1 1 and on a portion of the non-exposab!e surface portion 12 which remains partialiy exposed. Then the plate 10 and case 100 assembly is placed in a known sterile casing.

After completing the exposure, the plate 10 and case 100 are extracted from the sterile casing and inserted through the insertion slot 24a into the device 1 , so that the first sheet 1 10 is in contact with the first contact surface 21 a and the visible portion, proximal to the free profile 14 of the non-exposable surface 12, is in contact with the second surface 22a.

At this point the reading procedure begins and, in particular, an identification step in which the identification apparatus 7 associates the plate 10, and thus the X-ray impressed on it, with a patient and, if provided for, with a doctor and an extraction step in which the radiographic plate 10 is extracted from the case 100.

!n the identification step the reader 71 reads the ID 140, passes said data to the processor 73 which, using the identification database identifies the patient to associate with the X-rays impressed on the plate 10 and preferably the medical practice requesting the X-ray.

Optionally, in the identification step the recognition member identifies the plate 10. Specifically, the meter 61 measures the width of the case 100 and the identifier 62, depending on said measurement, recognises the type of plate 10 and communicates to the reading member 3 the size of the plate 10.

The extraction step is performed immediately after the identification step or, preferably, at least partly simultaneously with the identification step.

In the extraction step the controller 23 orders an extraction movement by the extractors 21 and 22 and, in particular, keeps the second extractor 22 almost stationary and rotates the first extractor 21 , defining different speeds of contact of the surfaces 21 a and 22a respectively with the first sheet 1 10 and with the non- exposable surface 12. These different contact speeds determine a movement along the sliding axis 2a of the case 100 only, so that is separated from the plate 10 and ejected from the device 1 through the slot 24a.

!t is to be noted how at the end of the extraction step the first contact surface 21 a is in contact with the exposable surface 1 1 and the second contact surface 22a is adjacent to the non-exposable surface 12.

When the extraction, the identification of at least the patient associated with the X- ray, and preferably of the type of plate 10 is complete, the reading method comprises a movement step of the radiographic plate 10.

In this step, Fig. 5, the controller 23 orders a forward movement of the extractors 21 and 22 determining a contact speed of the surfaces 21 a and 22a with the surfaces 1 1 and 12, substantially equal to each other so as to control the advancement of the plate 10 along the axis 2a until the non-exposable surface 12 rests on the support plate 412a.

At this point, the translation mechanism 43 moves the slider 413 away from the pressure surface 41 1 a engaging it with the prominence 41 1 b so as to move the carriage 41 along the sliding axis 2a and move the plate 10 to the reading member 3 (Fig. 8).

Moreover, the slider 413, moving away from the surface 41 1 a, detaches itself from the lever 41 c which, pushed by the elastic means 412f, rotates, clamping the radiographic plate 10 against the abutment 412b.

When the plate 10 reaches the collector 32, the movement step is completed and a scanning step begins in which the reading member 3 detects the image imprinted on the radiographic plate 10 as a function of the data collected by the recognition member 6. !n this step, while the carriage 41 advances, the light beam emitted by the emitter group 31 , appropriately diverted by the targeting mechanism, imprints the exposabie surface 1 1 exciting the plate 10 which, as a result, emits photons. The interception surfaces 321 being proximal to the exposabie surface 1 1 , the photons are intercepted and collected by the collector body 32 which transports them to the reading unit 33.

In particular, the laser 31 a in output from the source 312 imprints the reflecting surface 312a, is reflected by it and directed against the surface 1 1 .

In addition, the motor 313 rotates the reflective element 312 by varying the angle of the mirror surface 312a. This variation changes the output direction of the laser 31 a from it and, therefore, the incidence of the laser on the surface 1 1 in a direction substantially perpendicular to the sliding axis 2a.

Moreover, the simultaneous advancement of the carriage 41 along the axis 2a varies, substantially along the sliding axis 2a, the incidence of the laser 31 a on the exposabie surface 1 1 which is thus imprinted on its entire extension by the laser 31 a.

When the scanning step is completed, the ejection step of the radiographic plate 10 from the reading device 1 takes place.

In this step, the slider 413, moving along the axis 2a in an opposite direction to the movement step, goes to press on the pressure surface 41 1 a and, thus orders the approach of the carriage 41 towards the extraction member 2.

Moreover, the slider 413, coming into contact with the pressure surface 41 1 a presses on the lever 412c which thus rotates, moving the abutment tooth 412e away from the abutment 412b and thereby loosening the constraint of the radiographic plate 10 to the carriage 41 (fig. 7). When the carriage 41 reaches the extractors 21 and 22, the contact surfaces 21 a and 22a engage with the surfaces 1 1 and 12 and are moved in the same direction and simultaneously, causing the exit of the plate 10 from the device 1 through the insertion slot 24a.

Preferably simultaneously with the ejection phase, the reading method comprises an assignment step in which the processor 71 , based on the ID140 read in the identification step and on the identification database, associates the image imprinted on the radiographic plate 10 and read by the reading unit 33 with the patient 33 associated with the !D 140.

Lastly, the method may provide for a forwarding step in which the communication means 74 send the image imprinted on the radiographic plate 10 and the patient data associated with the image to an external drive.

In particular, if a medical practice is identified in the extraction step, the processor 71 links the data of the medical practice with said collected data and, via the communication means 74, sends it ail to an external drive and/or directly to the medical practice.

The invention achieves some important advantages.

A first important advantage is represented by the fact that, by univocaily associating a radiographic plate with a patient, it avoids the risk of mismatching and thus, of incorrect assessments by the doctor.

Moreover, this association makes it possible to practically eliminate the risk of losing an X-ray and, therefore, of having to subject the patient to further exposure, !t is to be noted how this aspect is further increased by the fact that, the processor 73 associates the radiographic plate with the medical practice requesting that particular plate. Another advantage, related to the association of the medical practice requesting the analysis with the X-ray, is the possibility of automatically sending the test results to the practice, greatly speeding up the process of transferring data, reducing the risk of loss and simplifying operations for the patient.

Variations may be made to the invention without departing from the scope of the inventive concept described in the independent claims and in the relative technical equivalents. In said sphere ail the details may be replaced with equivalent elements and the materials, shapes and dimensions may be as desired.