Double HD for surgeons

Walsall Manor Hospital in the West Midlands has been largely rebuilt over the past two years, in a £170 million redevelopment project

Walsall control desk

Walsall lecture theatre

As part of the PFI scheme, Video South worked with the constructor Skanska to install multiple fibres between operating theatres and the Education Centre.

The seven new operating theatres are installed with high specification LED operating lamps by Trumpf. These lamps are equipped with true HD 1080 cameras which Video South has integrated with a four-channel video system for use in each of the theatres. These are the first theatres and live procedure links that have been equipped with ‘double HD’.

In each theatre, the HD camera and a HD endoscope or microscope can link simultaneously to the Education Centre, along with two standard resolution channels and two-way audio. The entire system carries two HD channels and can show both of these on screen simultaneously.

This is a very flexible and high quality installation which will be used by some surgical teams who have used previous systems in the old hospital. They are experienced in using live procedure demonstrations to support their training courses and national meetings. Side by Side HD imaging on lossless fibre will certainly impress audiences at meetings this year.

Video South installed two lecture rooms of different sizes, for this use and for everyday teaching and presentation.

Both these rooms have full touch panel control of the live links and local sources. Users can operate the entire system from the podium, or for large meetings there is a linked touch panel for control by technical support at the rear of the lecture theatre.

The large true HD projectors are native 1920 x 1200 resolution at 6,000 lumens. Images are displayed as multiple windows on screen. The user can choose one to four images in preset patterns and can place any image in any window. The images could all be from theatre, with no problem displaying HD and regular (SD) images side by side. But it is also possible to carry on a link to theatre and for the moderator to use a window on screen for a local source, such as PC or laptop.

The ability for a moderator to show the patient’s history and radiology to the audience while surgery continues, and in conversation with the medical team, is a valuable advance that makes live procedures a more relevant resource for courses. The open two-way audio has no inherent delay and is balanced to the correct volume at each room. In this way, relaxed but fast discussion can be carried out between lecture room and operating theatre.

In total, seven new operating theatres and two existing ones are connected to two lecture rooms, all on dedicated fibre. The Trumpf lamps and HD cameras show excellent overhead and ‘surgeon’s viewpoint’ images, while the Video South Mobile Teleconference Trolley allows HD endoscopy stacks, ultrasound, vital signs or microscope cameras to be connected. The set up in theatre is a few minutes and key team members wear head-mounted radio microphones for close-up and high quality discussion with the audience. For quality and flexibility this represents one of the leading installations anywhere in Europe.