From Wikipedia article on
thermal paper:

...Texas Instruments
invented the thermal print
head in 1965, and the
Silent 700, a computer
terminal with a
printer, was put on
market in 1969...

In the late 1980s and early
1990s, thermal transfer,
laser printing,
electrophotography, and, to
a lesser extent, ink jet
printing began to take away
industrial and warehouse
barcode applications due to
better durability.

Direct thermal made a
strong comeback with
point of sale receipts
(gasoline pumps, cash
registers, rental car
receipts, etc.)...

[Maura Larkins'
comment: Thermal
apparently also made a
comeback at the
x-ray department in
San Diego]
Thank Heaven for
Insurance Companies blog
Thermal paper for medical use?
by Maura Larkins

UPDATE APRIL 2014:     Kaiser Permanente San Diego Lynette Seid, CFO, involved
in medical records hoax, later  exposed in 2014

Is Kaiser violating the California Business and Professions Code with false
advertising about digitized x-rays?

Kaiser Permanente in San Diego says it uses thermal paper as
its sole method of storing some x-ray images.  A quick survey of Google
results indicates that Kaiser Permanenete in San Diego may be the only
medical facility on the planet that prints out x-rays on thermal paper
I found a site that discusses fluoroscopy equipment, but even this site does
not discuss thermal paper.  In fact, it says images are stored on film,
videotape, or digital form

Here's an example of a site that discusses the issue:

TIMS, the PACS connectivity solutions

TIMS Saves Money: Extends the life on current fluoroscopy
equipment. This can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in
new equipment costs.
TIMS Improves Efficiency:Rather than spending time printing studies to film or recording
to videotape,
studies are immediately available in digital form on PACS.

Fluoroscopy is one of the most popular modalities used with TIMS.
There are
thousands of fluoroscopy suites in hospitals around the world, and many of
these are non-DICOM. The systems are functioning very well, so there is no
need to replace these systems (at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars)

simply to store and review the images on PACS. TIMS is the inexpensive and high
quality system that hospitals across the country are currently using to convert their
fluoroscopy images to DICOM and send to PACS.

Fluoroscopy images are typically non-standard and
very difficult to interface with. Most systems are
unable to capture fluoroscopy images.
TIMS has specialized
video capture devices that are able to precisely capture diagnostic quality images from
any fluoroscopy system.

Through the TIMS triggering interface, images streams are automatically captured to
the TIMS system. At the completion of the study, it is sent to PACS for review anywhere
on the hospital network.

With TIMS, the printing of several sheets of film per fluoroscopy procedure is
eliminated. Studies can be reviewed digitally on TIMS or on the PACS system. By
eliminating the use of film and itstext keeps going but I can't scroll down anymore.
Some facilities
apparently still
use thermal paper

Durico Ultrasound
Thermal Paper
Durico Ultrasound
Thermal Paper for
printing ultrasonic
video images
Cardiology score card
Retaliation by Kaiser
Missing Medical Records
Warnings deleted from abnormal
test results
Conflicts of interest
Failure to diagnose
Cases and news
missing x-rays
Peer review
Paul Bernstein and writers
Remediating failure to diagnose
Mary Ann Barnes
Kaiser executives
George Halvorson, Kaiser CEO
Profits grow as Kaiser cuts care
Blog: Kaiser Permanente
Dr. Eugene Rhee, chief of
Lynette Seid, CFO San Diego
X-rays (VUCG)
James G. Malone
Dave Horton
Comparison San Diego  hospitals
Kaiser Permanente links
Kaiser department rankings
Cancer score card
Diagnostic Imaging
Medical Records
US Health Insurance companies
consent form
Healthcare reform
KP On Call
Lawyers and doctors
Yvonne Hanzen
Nathaniel L. Oubré, Jr.
Dr. Huathin Khaw
Dr. Jacob Birnbaum
Dr. Catherine Cheng
Dr. Jae Kyo Lee
Marina Baroff
Bertha Aviles
Garfield Specialty Center
Dr. Hamid Safari
Code of silence
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report
San Diego Education Report
San Diego
Education Report
Lynette Seid, CFO, involved in
medical records hoax, later  
exposed in 2014
Is Kaiser violating the
California Business and
Professions Code with false
advertising about digitized