In recent years, hospitals have gradually adopted new digital surgical demonstration methods to improve the quality of surgical treatment, reduce the rate of infections, and go beyond the traditional teaching method of on-site observation. However, most current surgical demonstration architectures are only straightforward to implement when new operating rooms are built. For many established operating rooms, ensuring the flexibility and reliability of the new deployment while not disrupting the original infrastructure of the room is a concern.
This blog will introduce how to use two of Magewell's encoding products – Magewell Pro Convert NDI® encoders for AV-over-IP, and Ultra Stream live streaming encoders – in a combined solution to assist hospital surgical demonstration between the operating room (OR) and a separate classroom. A typical workflow overview is as follows:
In the operating room, one or more Pro Convert NDI encoders receive AV signals from medical equipment such as surgical field cameras, panoramic cameras, and endoscopes. The Pro Convert devices encode the signals into NDI streams with very low latency; transmit the NDI streams over the hospital LAN; and loop the original source signal through to the OR's existing Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) system.
In the demonstration classroom, a surgical demonstration host system receives the NDI streams from the operating room and applies production effects such as picture-in-picture, cropping, and zooming through its built-in software. Some surgical demonstration systems are NDI compatible and can directly decode the streams; for other systems, Magewell Pro Convert NDI decoders can be used to decode the NDI streams into baseband AV signals for input into the host.
The final produced video is output as baseband signals to a projector or display through which physicians and students observe the scene. The surgical demonstration host can also send a signal to the Ultra Stream encoder for live streaming to a server or platform for viewing by doctors who are not in the classroom.
Magewell's Pro Convert NDI encoders seamlessly bring traditional video signals such as HDMI or SDI into NDI-based IP workflows, simplifying implementation and eliminating the need to replace existing equipment. Multiple Pro Convert units can be used to transmit several AV signals as NDI across the hospital IP network, eliminating the need for complex wiring. And the low latency of Pro Convert makes real-time interaction between the operating room and the classroom possible.
It is worth mentioning that the guiding physicians and students in the classroom are often most interested in the images from the endoscope. Users can use a Magewell Pro Convert NDI decoder to directly decode the endoscope video from the LAN and output it to the projector or display. This can reduce the performance load on the surgical demonstration host caused by decoding and outputting multiple baseband signals. The saved horsepower can be instead used for additional signal encoding, video production and recording, which is particularly important for 4K endoscopes. In addition, the current NDI 4.x version includes the Discovery Server function, which supports the use of NDI equipment to transport audio and video across network segments.
Magewell's Ultra Stream encoder can help doctors stream the live surgery video to the hospital's own streaming system or an external streaming platform using simple on-device buttons, a browser-based interface, or an intuitive smartphone app. In addition, the Internet connectivity of the encoder supports wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi or an easily-installed, optional USB 3G/4G cellular modem.
Many medical equipment manufacturers have released products such as 4K endoscopes and panoramic cameras. Magewell Pro Convert NDI encoders and decoders are available in models supporting 4Kp60 input, conversion, and transport, while Ultra Stream live streaming encoders support HDMI video signal inputs up to 4Kp60 and automatically down-convert them to HD for streaming. At the same time, their support for distributed deployment also provides strong scalability and flexibility for upgrading hospital operating rooms. HTTP-based APIs are also provided, enabling systems integrators or hospital IT and AV departments to integrate the Magewell devices into their network management systems.