What does the equipment look like?
There are two types of DXA equipment: a central device and a peripheral device.
Most of the devices used for DXA (also known as Bone Densitometry) are central devices, which are used to measure bone density in the hip and spine. They are usually located in hospitals and medical offices. Central devices have a large, flat table and an “arm” suspended overhead.
Peripheral devices measure bone density in the wrist, heel or finger and are often available in drugstores and on mobile health vans in the community. The pDXA devices are smaller than the central DXA devices, weighing only about 60 pounds. They may have a portable box-like structure with a space for the foot or forearm to be placed for imaging. Other portable technologies such as specially designed ultrasound machines, are also sometimes used for screening. However, central DXA is the standard technique.