The ICENI Centre – world-class in Colchester

This new surgical training centre – a collaboration between Anglia Ruskin University and Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust – has come about as a result of Professor Roger Motson’s determination to drive excellence in the East of England.

The presentation podium

Lecture room multi-image projection

The control room for technical support

Located in a purpose-built building on the Colchester General Hospital site, ICENI represents a high quality centre for teaching surgery – especially of the minimally invasive kind.

The main technical issue faced by Video South was that the new building, housing the teaching facilities, is 1km from the operating theatres. So, for connectivity, we could have used the Trust network, or direct wideband fibre. For the quality envisaged in a premium centre teaching surgery by live video, only the direct fibre would live up to expectations.

Uncompressed 3Gb/s broadcast fibre can provide absolutely lossless HD imaging for theatres in the ICENI presentation rooms. Also, using this technology, the audio is immediate and suffers no time delay. This is the type of communication required for meetings of advanced surgeons and qualified trainees.

In the main lecture room, all facilities are touch panel controlled and can be operated by users. A support technician in a control room can check the feeds from theatres, set up videoconference links to distant locations and assist users in the more complex meetings.

The theatres (three) are all STORZ OR1™. All the images from every theatre are sent over fibre to the Video South system. The DVI output of HD endoscopy at 1080p can be faithfully replicated on screen from a Panasonic true 1920 x 1200 HD projector.

The multiple-image composer is controlled by touch panel and allows the moderator to show a single image or up to four on screen simultaneously and in various patterns relevant to the procedure in theatre. With this quality of multi-imaging, it is also possible to have one image on screen from a local source in the lecture room. In this way the moderator can put on screen the patient history or run through radiology on screen, while the link to theatre is open and the conversation with the surgical team continues. This really brings demonstrations of procedures up to date and the audience closer to the case being shown and discussed.

The ICENI system is equipped with a Tandberg HD IP codec capable of sending 1080p images to remote sites. The team will use this to link their well-known national courses and participate in international ones. The links to the world can be running at the same time as holding a local meeting with the ICENI lecture room – TOTAL flexibility and very advanced meetings for demonstrating surgery.