European Radiology

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 1890–1896 | Cite as

Should previous mammograms be digitised in the transition to digital mammography?

  • S. Taylor-Phillips
  • M. G. Wallis
  • A. G. Gale


Breast screening specificity is improved if previous mammograms are available, which presents a challenge when converting to digital mammography. Two display options were investigated: mounting previous film mammograms on a multiviewer adjacent to the workstation, or digitising them for soft copy display. Eight qualified screen readers were videotaped undertaking routine screen reading for two 45-min sessions in each scenario. Analysis of gross eye and head movements showed that when digitised, previous mammograms were examined a greater number of times per case (p = 0.03), due to a combination of being used in 19% more cases (p = 0.04) and where used, looked at a greater number of times (28% increase, p = 0.04). Digitising previous mammograms reduced both the average time taken per case by 18% (p = 0.04) and the participants’ perceptions of workload (p < 0.05). Digitising previous analogue mammograms may be advantageous, in particular in increasing their level of use.


Digital mammography Comparative studies Workload Breast screening 



We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the participants and staff at the Warwickshire, Solihull and Coventry Breast Screening Service at University Hospital Coventry who gave up their time to assist with this research, and the NHS Breast Screening Programme for their support. MGW receives research funding from the NIHR and the Cambridge Biomedical Research Group


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Taylor-Phillips
    • 1
  • M. G. Wallis
    • 2
  • A. G. Gale
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Vision Research CentreLoughborough UniversityLeicestershireUK
  2. 2.Cambridge Breast UnitAddenbrooke’s HospitalCambridgeUK

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