Sony has been a respected name in consumer electronics and professional video equipment for decades. These days the firm has been bringing its expertise to other fields, including medical practice where high quality visualization is key for successful surgical procedures. We spoke with Anne Bondulich, a marketing manager with Sony Surgical Products, regarding what the company plans to offer to the medical community and how its technology will change clinical practice.
Medgadget: When we think of Sony we think of entertainment and a host of consumer products. How has the company adapted its practices for medicine and where are Sony products found within a healthcare organization?
Anne Bondulich, Sony: “Adapted” is a very appropriate word, as many of the products Sony offers for the medical industry have been adapted from technologies used successfully in other professional and B2B markets, as well as the consumer electronics industry – from HD and 3D to OLED and now 4K. This is our biggest competitive advantage: the ability to take advantage of the technology expertise that Sony has in broadcast and production, and continually make that success translate into medical. And Sony has committed significant resources to optimizing and adapting our current innovations for the medical field.
Sony’s medical business covers general surgery, radiology, endoscopy, ophthalmology, neurology, urology — any area that can benefit from the effective use of A/V technology. Sony A/V technology for medical applications also goes beyond the OR. Business projectors, large screen displays and videoconferencing systems are in hospital conference rooms and lecture halls. Robotic and pan-tilt-zoom cameras are in training and simulation areas. IP “live” technologies can make training and education available anytime, anywhere.
HD monitors and remote cameras allow health care providers to monitor patients remotely or confer with other specialists regardless of location. Remote PTZ cameras can centralize patient monitoring from the nurses’ station. And security cameras and surveillance technologies can monitor an entire complex from parking areas, to hallways, to common areas.
So our technologies can be found throughout a healthcare organization, from the OR to the classroom, and everywhere in between.
Medgadget: What trends is Sony seeing in medical visualization?
Bondulich: High-quality visualization for the OR has advanced so rapidly. It’s become an extremely important resource for every area of surgery, and visualization technology will definitely continue to improve. For example, we’re already moving past HD, and onto 4K resolution. Sony will be launching 4K monitors as well as a 4K recording system this year, enabling surgeons to experience the benefits of 4K endoscopic surgical systems devices that offer 4 times the resolution of HD – to allow surgeons and their teams to see a procedure or an image on a monitor with more clarity than ever before.
Healthcare organizations are also looking for turnkey end-to-end solutions, including cameras, monitors and recorders. It’s not just about a camera, or a monitor, or a printer working alone. We’re thinking about the entire medical workflow – – compatibility between visualization technology and other imaging devices and how all products work together from image capture to editing to display, to storing and sharing.
Medgadget: 4K is certainly becoming a hot trend on the consumer front. What medical specialties will benefit from 4K technology and why?
Bondulich: 4K’s increased level of resolution and clarity can give surgeons and their teams a better view of general anatomy and blood vessels which, in the end, can help improve workflow and patient outcomes.
This technology can be revolutionary for minimally invasive and microsurgical procedures, including neurology and ophthalmic. Four times the amount of visualization results in virtually no pixilation and gives a greater sense of depth to the image.
Sony 4K technologies are already proven in motion picture and television production, digital projection in movie theaters, sports broadcasts, live events, and home viewing on consumer 4K TVs. The clarity, resolution and detail of 4K images hold great potential for increased visualization during or after a surgical procedure.
Medgadget: We know you are also a leader in 3D for medical. What’s the ideal balance of 3D and 4K solutions? Will healthcare facilities use both?
Bondulich: Both technologies – 3D and 4K – offer an incredible range of benefits for a medical environment and, yes, healthcare facilities can certainly use both.
3D technology is already being used to help improve surgical procedures. The ability to record and display in 3D versus 2D gives surgeons a realistic depth of field and helps them navigate through a procedure easily. 3D also provides a more in-depth and immersive surgical training experience.
Sony is also developing 4K technologies for medical to allow surgeons and their teams to see a procedure or an image on a monitor in new ways.
Whatever the surgical application, Sony has the right technology to help deliver optimized results. Whether it’s adding the enhanced depth perception of 3D to what have until now been 2D surgeries, or bringing previously unseen details to life in 4K resolution..
Link: Sony surgical products…