Two Dimensional Bar Code’s

 The bar code we see on products and packaging is usually the one dimensional ( 1D ) type  used as a “look-up” number, much like an automobile license plate is used to retrieve registration information about the vehicle the plate is on.

The  1D bar code requires information to be stored somewhere in a data base, usually in a computer.  Connection to that computer can be with wire or by radio link to the data base desired.  Internet sites are fast becoming accessible through the use of barcodes.    

Two dimensional ( 2D ) bar code’s do not need a computer data base to store the information,  the data is stored within the bar code itself.  There are a number of 2D barcode types.  One style of  2D bar codes is called PDF 417.  The “PDF” stands for Portable Data File.  Use of the 2D bar code allows the desired information to be available directly from the 2D bar code on the radiographic film image by scanning with a 2D scanner or reader.   

Use of a 2D bar code on radiographic images eliminates the need for a computer to store the data.  Depending on how the data is set up, valuable information regarding the X-ray or other radiographic image can become part of the film hardcopy and “travel” with it where ever the film goes.  Patient history, doctor's diagnosis, patient allergies, insurance, etc.  and other  demographics usually in medical records can become part of the radiographic film image.  And because the data is imbedded in the 2D bar code as black and white segments, not alphanumeric’s, it is illegible unless read by a 2D scanner.  Additional security can be achieved by including a special password required to allow access to the data.   

To see the difference between a 1D and a 2D bar code,  please CLICK HERE

To see an example of how much data a 2D bar code can hold please CLICK HERE

To see some other types of bar codes currently in use please



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