October 13, 2016

Bringing Video Connectivity to Operating Rooms

by Puneet Gupta (Senior Manager, System Solutions)

Adoption of video in healthcare industry is rapidly increasing to enable specialized and reliable patient care. Network cameras and security cameras in hospitals have been used for several years now to monitor patients. Similarly, invasive surgical procedures such as endoscopy and laparoscopy today achieve a higher-precision by leveraging live video feeds from cameras in the Operating Room (OR). Streaming video in/out of these ORs has even enabled remote assistance from experts during surgeries. In addition, recordings of surgical procedures are proving to be a digital boon for personnel training and review of patient records.

How is all this achieved?

Let us take a look at a new-age “Video Connected OR “.


Inside the OR, a Medical DVR acquires uncompressed video from the high quality camera attached to the surgical instruments and OR cameras. It then provides a real-time preview of the input video from camera(s) on a large-sized high-clarity OR display screen. This allows the surgeon to view high-resolution input video(s) of the organ/part-of-the-body being operated upon. And while the surgical procedure is underway, the Medical DVR carries out high quality live encoding of input video(s) for recording & streaming. These are used as follows:

  • Recorded video can be used for review of surgical procedure, audits, training of surgical interns, etc.
  • Live streams of the surgery enables users in physically different locations of the hospital to participate, collaborate and consult on the procedure. In addition, these live streams can be a valuable asset for training of interns by hospitals. Security features can be built into the stream to allow doctors, nurses and hospital staff to access these streams over mobile smartphones/tablets by running an authorized software/app.

Often, the Medical DVR is also connected to the hospital’s Picture Archival and Communication Systems (PACS) through IP network. This enables the surgeon to access critical patient information, reports and clinical images (MRI, X-rays etc.) during the procedure.

So what’s the challenge?

A few critical aspects of video processing are important for a Medical DVR. Given the critical nature of decisions to be made based on the video, it is paramount that the DVR preserves as much details of the input video as possible. Therefore, high quality video encoders are vital. Also, given the time-sensitive nature of the decisions made by the surgeon, it’s vital that the latency of operation be extremely low. In a remote consultation scenario, the end-to-end latency (from the OR to a remotely located expert and back) should be as low as 50-60 milliseconds. This low latency operation makes the remote consultant’s presence “felt” in the Connected OR .

So, how does one go ahead setting up a Video Connected OR?

Ittiam offers multiple solutions that address the critical needs of such a solution.

  1. magnaRecordPro (Multi-channel DVR) and cloveRecordPro (Low Power DVR) provide off-the-shelf system solutions that are perfect for this purpose.
    • These are based on DM816x (DM8168/DM8169) and SitaraTM AM57x (AM5728/AM5718) processors respectively.
    • magnaRecordPro can support up to 3 channels of Full-HD 1080p60 video inputs while cloveRecordPro can support up to 2 channels of Full-HD 1080p30 video inputs over HDMI®/3G-SDI.
  2. Low latency video streaming solutions that enable a glass-to-glass latency as low as 50 milliseconds, thus enabling high-precision interactivity during surgeries.
  3. Video conferencing solutions that allow surgeons to discuss and remotely consult with other surgeons/doctors during the surgical procedure.
  4. clovePlay (Full-HD Player) based on SitaraTM AM57x (AM5728/AM5718) with support 3-channel playback of Full-HD 1080p30 video over HDMI® displays. The player is capable of composing the video from multiple channels for display.
  5. Android or iOS apps for viewing of live streams on a mobile device (smartphone/tablet).

So, here’s to a clean bill of health for all the readers.

For more information, reach out to us @ mkt@ittiam.com

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