|Sony’s cameras, switchers and projectors are renowned for their quality and performance in the broadcast and entertainment worlds. Recently, Sony of Canada’s Broadcast Communication Solutions Group and its partners wowed a new audience – urologists sitting in a theatre, watching simultaneous live surgeries – one in high-definition (HD) 3-D and the other in HD.|
The approximately 500 urologists and others were attending the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Urology Association in Edmonton in June 2008. Through a live feed, they were able to watch two prostate surgeries taking place at Capital Health’s Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton and compare the two different procedures: one a traditional open approach and the other a robotic procedure.
“This was a first for urology in Canada. Watching the two surgeries simultaneously allowed us to compare the two procedures in a way that has never been done in the country before,” says Dr. Eric Estey, Site Chief of Urology at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Sony equipment played an instrumental role in the broadcast of the surgeries. The open surgery used a Sony BRC-Z700 camera mounted over the operating table and an Anycast switcher, which was used to switch views between an endoscope inside the patient and the BRC-Z700.
Sony’s innovative Anycast Station, designed for live event production, combines video switching, audio mixing, VISCA camera control, source and program monitoring, live conversion and web streaming in a single laptop-style unit weighing 7 kg. The BRC-Z700 is a robotic camera with HD and SD outputs with a pan/tilt/zoom mechanism.
A Sony XDCAM PMW-EX1 camera was used to introduce the surgical team to the audience of urologists watching the surgery at the Shaw Conference Centre, located two kilometres from the hospital. The PMW-EX1 is a compact HD camcorder, which records onto memory-based SxS Express Card media.
The HD video feed was fed into a Sony PCS-HG90 HD video conference codec at the hospital and transmitted via an IP connection to a second PCS-HG90 which fed the video stream into a Sony VPL-FH300 projector at the Shaw Centre. The VPL-FH300 boasts a resolution of 2048x1080 and produces extremely clear and detailed images. With a brightness of 6,000 lumens, the VPL-FH300 can project dynamic presentations, even in large auditoriums with ambient lighting.
The second surgery was performed by a robotic surgery device called a Davinci HD robot. The robot provides a surgeon with a 3D view from the endoscope inside a patient. Streams from the robot were fed into Sony SXRD 4K projectors, SRXS105s, to recreate the 3D effect. Sony’s SRXS105 has a native resolution of over 8.8 Mega Pixels and features the highest resolution 4K SXRD imaging devices, enabling a contrast ratio of greater than 1800:1. Sony’s 4K SXRD projectors can display up to four full HD images from different sources at the same time.
A firm called Lightspeed provided 3D filters and 3D glasses for the audience. Sony partner Matrix Video Communications helped in setting up and delivering the broadcast.
Capital Health’s doctors were thrilled with the results. The simultaneous broadcast allowed the audience to compare two different procedures in a way that had never been done before in Canada. The initiative demonstrates how technology has the potential to bring health professionals from around the world together and improve access to patient care.
“It was fascinating to watch and the feedback we have received has been very positive,” says Dr. Dan Birch, Medical Director of Capital Health’s Centre for the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Surgery. It helps us understand better what the possibilities are with the technology that is becoming available in the region.”