Technology Enhances and Simplifies Healthcare Training and Education

Mark Barron, Sony

Technology is a crucial element in connecting, informing, enriching and simplifying our day-to-day lives and its role in healthcare is no different.  As technology becomes smarter and more collaborative, it provides accessible new ways to enhance our insights and help foster engagement while empowering the next generation of healthcare professionals with the tools and knowledge to become experts in their field.  Medical technology, including pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, recorders, medical displays and collaboration video-over-IP  platforms enable educators and students with the ability to efficiently capture, record, live stream, review, edit and manage procedures from end-to-end.

Advancements such as 4K and 3D technology have enhanced visualization capabilities, which is paramount in showcasing and replicating surgical maneuvers.  4K offers four times the resolution of standard HD with virtually no pixilation, which enables capture and display of surgical procedures that boasts increased detail and clarity.  3D provides enhanced depth of field and a new level of realism and immersion.  When 4K and 3D displays and recorders are paired with a compatible medical systems, such as robotic or endoscopic systems, they can transform the visualization of procedures by capturing and displaying more picture information, along with enhanced depth perception, making colors and critical structures, such as nerves, vessels and blood, easier to identify and a procedure easier to see, understand, interact with and reproduce in a training and education scenario.

As ORs begin implementing larger displays and additional modalities, it provides another opportunity for students, interns and additional professionals to learn in real-time.  With bigger sizes and additional monitors, everyone in the room now has the same view as the primary surgeon.  This provides a richer and more comfortable viewing experience for all involved and ensures everyone has visibility into how a procedure is being performed.

Recently, as telemedicine has come to the forefront, the industry has found adaptive and immersive solutions to ensure students are receiving an accurate look at procedures, even when they can’t physically be in the OR.  Streaming live surgical video from an OR across a hospital network, inclusive of multiple video feeds, into a teaching auditorium, classroom, conference, or virtually any location, easily enables new surgical techniques to be shared and highlighted in near real-time, giving students a virtual window into the OR without needing to scrub in, mitigating the risk of infection or contamination of sterile environments, in addition to minimizing distractions for the surgeon.

With the implementation of technologies such as two-way audio, teaching surgeons can now guide surgical fellows through a procedure step-by-step, as it happens, by providing live commentary.  Additionally, they can record procedures with a recorder for on-demand viewing, lectures or presentations that can be edited or watched again by surgeons who are looking to improve their technique or address any concerns.  Through the use of powerful annotation, telestration and content management functions and applications, students and surgeons can seamlessly share, collaborate and jointly make written notes or provide commentary on videos, ultimately aiding in the potential for faster and more insightful decision making.

In turn, these flexible, next-generation technologies provide a holistic and dynamic training and education experience that prepares, teaches and inspires students to take on their meaningful and impactful work in a smarter, more informed and streamlined fashion, which, in the end, increases the potential for safer and better patient outcomes.

About the Author:

Mark Barron, Senior Manager/Principal Engineer, Product Management, Healthcare Solutions, Sony Electronics

Mark leads the Solutions Engineering group, overseeing the specification, development and implementation of products used in the surgical and radiology arenas.  He is the Principal Engineer in video for operating rooms, specifically the next generation of Sony’s NUCLeUS 4K Video over IP System, and is a technical leader in 3D medical solutions.