Fiber for Training Future Surgeons

Posted by Dee McVicker on 3/30/16 4:13 PM

Surgeon TrainingTraining future surgeons using distance-learning technology is an important part of today’s hospital operation that comes with high bandwidth requirements, long-distance transmission obstacles and RF and EMI challenges. Thanks to a new visual training system designed by Midtown Video utilizing FiberPlex fiber optics technology, one regional hospital has been able to overcome these challenges so future surgeons can view live medical procedures without having to step into the operating room.

“The production of training content used to get in the way of the rest of the hospital’s operations, but fiber optics have allowed us to extend camera and audio signals a distance comfortable for production and medical teams to operate simultaneously,” says Jesse Miller with Midtown Video, an AV system integrator located in Miami. 

The Miami hospital, which has one of the more progressive residency and fellowship programs in the nation, hired Midtown Video to install a training video system that includes HD cameras, microphones, intercom and IFB in two operating rooms, and a NewTek Tricaster 860, Mackie audio mixer and Crestron integration system in the surgical viewing room. The surgical viewing room doubles as studio operations and control. All signal routing between the two rooms is done through fiber optic technology by FiberPlex Technologies, specifically the LightViper digital audio snake and a customized mobile rack unit (FiberPlex TDP) comprising FiberPlex TD Series of HD-SDI-to-optical output modules for up to 72Gbps bidirectional optical transport. 

The modules provide the necessary optical conversion for transporting uncompressed 3G-SDI camera feeds as well as that of specialized Karl Storz endoscopic cameras. Because the control room features a Cisco VTC Codec, remote parties participating by teleconference can view the camera, audio and data feeds generated in the local operating rooms. 

“Fiber optics is an important part of this because it gives us the broadband needed for uncompressed video to be shared over extra long distances,” comments Miller, who is now able to reduce cable runs to several strands of fiber tucked neatly inside a wall compared to dozens of copper cables running out the door and into the hall of the operating room area. 

In addition to reducing conduit width requirements, fiber optic communications provides the electrical isolation and noise immunity properties needed by an audiovisual system in a busy hospital setting with a variety of RF equipment. Unlike a conventional copper snake, the FiberPlex fiber optic audio snake handles preamplification at the source, bypassing the need to re-amplify at the mixing console. The outcome is virtually no noise and superior audio quality. 

As a result, operating room cameras and mics record doctors’ every skilled move in linear, uncompressed audio and video for training unparalleled detail and accuracy. Integrating in video conferencing means that remote viewers also benefit from training in real-time.


 The hopsital environment can be full of hidden EMI and RFI noise that can play havock on your AV.

Did you know the inherent capacitance, inductance and impedance properties of copper can create frequency altering filters on your audio?

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Topics: Pro AV