UCLA Medical Center Renal Denervation Animal Lab

SuperVisionMD was used in October 2012 to broadcast a renal denervation procedure conducted at UCLA Med Center.  The procedure was developed by Vessix Vascular but is not yet available for use in the US.  The purpose of the broadcast was to allow several remote surgeons to view the procedure as it was taking place and ask questions of the surgeon as he performed the operation.  The remote surgeons were viewing the operation on common laptops over regular internet DSL connections.

Two cameras were used, both broadcasting simultaneously, and the surgeon was speaking through a lavalier microphone.  It took about 20 minutes to set up all the equipment for the broadcast.  The cameras were initially mounted on tripods and later suspended from overhead, making it easy to zoom-in tight, down to the suture level, so viewers could see all the detail.  The video was broadcast in HD and the audio quality was very high, allowing everyone to hear the surgeon and remote participants very clearly.   Questions and conversation from the remote surgeons were broadcast into the operation room through high quality Bose speakers placed near the operating table.  Conversation was free flowing and communication was easy and natural.  System latency was less than 200ms, so participants experienced the broadcast in essentially real-time.

Once the operation began, the interesting thing about the live video is that it was actually easier to see the procedure over video than for those standing in the room.  Free area around the operating table is pretty limited, mostly taken up by the surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, monitors and X-ray equipment.  There wasn’t much room left for participants to stand next to the table or get in close.  The video cameras were positioned to have an unobstructed view and because they can be remotely zoomed, it was easy for participants to see small details on video, which couldn’t easily see even standing in the operating room.

The renal denervation procedure is still in development but when available to the public will be very helpful for people with chronic hypertension.

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