Ultra High-Definition (4k) Imaging
Technology that makes Hollywood blockbuster movies is now being used for patients undergoing keyhole surgery.
Braemar Hospital has become the first hospital in Australasia to install ultra high-definition (4k) imaging tools in their operating theatre. The latest James Bond movie – Spectre – was made using 4k, as well as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. To get a better understanding of how advanced the technology is, 4k offers four-times the resolution of the current 1080p Blu-ray discs.
The human eye can see more than 10 million colours and shades. And 4k will allow surgeons to carry out keyhole surgery with images that replicate the human eye.
Orthopaedic surgeon Chris O’Meeghan said the difference between current imagery and the 4k imagery was like the difference between an old big box television and the latest Apple screen.
“It’s much easier to look at. The clarity, contrast and colour are far better and there is a greater depth of field,” she said. “You can more easily differentiate between different tissues and ligaments.”
The hospital is the first in Australasia to utilise 4k and theatre manager Margaret Dube said there was a possibility of more keyhole surgeries being offered.
She said keyhole surgeries are most commonly done for orthopaedic, gynaecology and ear, nose and throat patients. Ear, nose and throat surgeon John Clarkson said they would now be able to perform surgeries with greater accuracy and precision. 4K has 64 times the available colours.
Braemar General Manager of clinical services Angela Shaw said when the technology was demonstrated in Sydney, the suppliers used images of the inside of a capsicum to demonstrate the quality.
“The first one (in HD) looked pretty good. But when the 4K image was shown, it was just like, ‘wow’. This is amazing.” The Sydney demonstration led to trials at Braemar Hospital. Braemar chief executive Paul Bennett said more patients would benefit from the multi-million dollar technology. The new technology will also be used as a teaching tool.
One of the digital operating rooms is set up to stream live images and sound so specialists can demonstrate complex procedures to colleagues and junior staff.
The new technology is installed in four theatres at Braemar Hospital.