Where Quality is the Operative Word

Where Quality is the Operative Word

.Geutebruck video system supports simulated surgery

In an operating theatre at the German Heart Institute in Berlin, open heart operations are carried out on a sophisticated dummy. A Geutebruck hybrid recorder stores video, audio and metadata, while streaming real-time images and sound to the trainer in the control room and to fellow students in a lecture theatre. Learning to deal with simulated situations may well mean the virtual patient dies but real lives are saved in future.

Here in this academy for cardio-technology, surgeons, anesthetists and cardio technicians practice open heart surgery on a special medical torso, complete with beating heart and simulated responses to different drug treatments and interventions. In a fully equipped operating theater they learn new procedures and are given realistic practical training in dealing with the kind of unexpected problems which occur in practice.

The re_porter-based video system designed and installed by Berlin-based Alarmsysteme Richter & Co. is integral to the training process. It enables a trainer to realistically control the dummy and the operating theater equipment remotely; it allows operations to be observed live and in close-up from a nearby lecture room; and it enables the participants themselves to review, analyse and learn much more from their experience.

In the operating theatre a GSD-671 high resolution indoor dome camera focuses on the operation site, while a megapixel camera provides pictures of the surrounding activity. Testing the dome camera's zoom lens for themselves, the doctors found to their satisfaction that it could provide large razor sharp images of the 1mm tall lettering on their surgical instruments, and that it could instantly autofocus on the indistinctly shaped heart. — In contrast to conventional cameras, this auto-focus function works even when there are no sharp edges in the image.

The medical trainer who sits in the control room behind a glass partition has all the video pictures and sound from the re-porter system. He controls the machinery and events in the theatre by mouse click on a screen and by talking to the surgical team via their headsets. As a result he is able to simulate all kinds of scenarios many of which put the patient in critical danger and the surgical team under considerable pressure. Better, so goes the philosophy, for the heart-lung machine to break down here and the patient die, but learn from the experience, than meet the situation for the first time with a real patient on the operating table.

After the operation synchronised video and sound recordings enable participants to analyse their actions step by step, and edited clips may be readily incorporated into PowerPoint presentations for teaching purposes.

In the nearby lecture theatre a lecturer provides other trainees with commentary on the procedure as it is carried out. On the display screens he can bring up pictures from both cameras as well as the medical equipment data which is also handled by the re_porter system.

Although the re_porter is a product with high-end technology designed for security applications it Alarmsysteme Richter and Co.'s choice for media and presentation systems projects too. “Where high quality solutions are required it can't be beaten on performance or price,” Richter said. “We have been doing an increasing amount of business in this area and use re_porter because it provides excellent value for money.”

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