An X-ray is a common imaging test that has been used for decades to help doctors view the inside of the body without having to make an incision. The X-ray was made public in 1896 with an image of the hand of anatomist Albert von Kolker. In the hundred years or so that followed, this basic X-ray technology has become a key element in the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of many types of medical conditions. Today, different types of X-rays are used for specific purposes. For example, mammograms are used to examine the breasts and a barium enema is used to detect bowel problems.