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HaiVision's MAKO-HD Supports Titan Medical And Bell Canada's Test Of Telesurgery Technologies

HaiVision Systems, a leading vendor of high-definition (HD) H.264 TelePresence codecs, has announced that its hai1000 network video system and MAKO-HD H.264 codec are being used by Titan Medical and Bell Canada to support a test of telesurgery performed with Titan Medical's Amadeus robotic surgical system over Bell's IP-VPN network.
Implemented at Bell's Engineering Resource Centre lab facility in Toronto, MAKO-HD provides the exceptionally low latency HD encoding critical to this demanding interactive application.
Dr Reiza Rayman, President of Titan Medical, said: "Video is the most demanding portion of the information being transmitted during telesurgery, and so it is very important that we have a high-performance encoding/decoding solution capable of delivering high-quality video at high speeds.
"The low-latency video encoded by HaiVision's MAKO-HD plays a key role in the success of this model, which gives surgeons extraordinary new capabilities and promises to increase access to specialised care while reducing associated transportation costs."
Telesurgery is the performance of robotic surgery over a long-distance communications link, and Titan Medical has created a prototype that can switch from local to remote control, providing visual feedback through dual HD video signals. The speed at which video is transmitted determines the speed with which the surgeon can manipulate the console and see the reaction of instruments in the stereoscopic video viewer. Reiza's research shows that the surgeon's ability to perform surgical tasks accurately begins to decrease when video latency reaches the range of 300 to 500 milliseconds.
To stimulate long-distance intercity delivery, the team will send video and data over a network spanning varying long distances and back to the Bell lab. During the test at Bell, Reiza and his colleagues expect HaiVision's MAKO-HD to deliver video with latency under 200 milliseconds.
The hai1000 TelePresence codec system delivers the highly efficient MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression standard at unsurpassed levels, enabling communication of high-resolution HD (up to 1080p) or SD video and super wideband audio across IP networks at bandwidths anywhere from 256 kbps to 10 Mbps. The MAKO-HD "zero latency" codec from HaiVision is the highest performance H.264 codec available for HD, supporting up to 1080p resolution and an imperceptible 70 millisecond end-to-end latency.
Ron Brown, at Bell's Centre for Healthcare Innovation, said: "Telecommunications is a huge toolset in the delivery of modern health care and, more specifically, in getting the right information to right decision point.
"Titan Medical's Amadeus and HaiVision's MAKO-HD codec both offer revolutionary capabilities that enable health care providers to leverage modern telecommunications networks to provide a higher quality of patient care - and to lower the delivery cost of that care."
Bell created the initial concept design for the network portion of the test and identified HaiVision as being most capable of supplying the high-performance codec required. As part of the test, the team from Titan Medical and Bell with experiment with video quality in order to define the minimum acceptable bandwidth use, and thus the minimum transmission costs, for this telesurgery model.
Amadeus represents the first next-generation robotic surgery device that will be telesurgery-capable. The four-armed surgical system will initially be used to enable surgeons to train other surgeons over dedicated networks. As the procedural type and volume increase, the Titan Medical system will enable health care centres to provide a greater number of patients better access to a greater number of expert surgeons.
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