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Digital Video Exhibits Surgical Procedures

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Daniel C. McCarthy, News Editor

Lasers are not the only photonic tool at the surgical table. Video network technology is beaming images of medical procedures out of the operating room to provide training for students, education for patients and interaction with researchers and colleagues. The Ar-izona Heart Hospital in Phoenix houses one of the largest and most flexible surgical video systems in the US, incorporating 14 cameras that can be moved among 50 connection points throughout the facility. Arcatron Inc. designed and integrated the overall system, including the selection of four digital signal processing cameras from Hitachi Denshi America Ltd.

At the Arizona Heart Hospital, Hitachi's HV-D15 video cameras transmit high-resolution digital imagery of surgical procedures from the operating room to students, patients and colleagues. The pan-tilt system mounts on a cradle designed by Arcatron Inc. and attaches to a surgical light arm. Courtesy of Pipeline Communications Inc.

Worldwide broadcast

Hitachi's HV-D15 video cameras were selected specifically to monitor surgical procedures, according to Bob Ginger, president of Arcatron. They are mounted on maneuverable arms over operating tables and in catheter labs. The camera's high-resolution, digital imagery allows them to deliver close-up views of surgical devices and methods to the hospital's television control room. From the control room the images can be shown within the hospital or broadcast to any location in the world.

"[Digital signal processing] cameras provide much more functionality and features than analog cameras," Ginger said. In particular, Hitachi's cameras are compact, he added. In spite of their diminutive 3 1/4 × 3 1/4 × 5 3/4 -in. size, they still carry a lot of the features of a full broadcast camera. The digital signal allows control room technicians to manipulate color correction, noise reduction, color balance, shading, detail and auto level control. The camera's three 410,000-pixel imaging chips provide 800-line resolution.

"We selected Hitachi mainly for their price-performance ratio," said Ginger. "This particular camera, at the time we selected it, was brand- new and led the pack in terms of features, quality and price."

Besides the four HV-D15 imagers, Arcatron's network uses a Berchtold surgical light camera over the operating table, three Hitachi KP-D51 cameras to provide wide-angle views of the operating room, and a combiination of Hitachi Z-2000 and Sony EFP cameras.

Photonics Spectra
Jun 1999
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