March 5, 2021

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Prepping Hospital Operating Rooms for the Future

Many years ago, adding a new technology or imaging modality in the operating room meant connecting devices like endoscopy cameras, computers, scanners and surgical displays through dedicated audio visual (AV) equipment. Operating room (OR) technology today is becoming increasingly digitised, and many hospitals in Singapore and around the world will have difficulties keeping pace. Even more drastic developments can be expected in the next decade and the groundwork for these changes is being laid today.

By adopting an OR-over-IP approach, which integrates devices over an IP network for the operating room, hospitals will be able to implement many of the emerging technologies that will shape the complex OR environment of the future.

Surgical data, images and video can be easily shared, stored and displayed on any screen inside or outside the operating room. Integration over IP also makes it possible to manage the multitude of imaging systems and devices from a single point and to streamline the OR workflow.

A future-proof OR

The digital OR is no longer a nice to have. The OR-over-IP approach will be the necessary foundation for the adoption of many innovative technologies, including 4K imaging and 3D imaging, which   allows surgeons to perform surgery with the highest precision and enhances surgical efficiency and accuracy in laparoscopic procedures to shorten operating times. In the future, virtual and augmented reality, as well as artificial intelligence will be used to help surgeons and clinicians acquire proficiency in complicated technologies faster.

The same can be said of OR. A digital OR is essential to reduce complexity, simplify workflows, and increase efficiency and productivity.

Bringing more technology into the OR made set up and configuration before surgeries more complex and time-consuming. The OR-over-IP approach simplifies installation and reduces set-up time in the OR due to its standard architecture. These reductions in setup and turnover times are improving the productivity of surgical teams and efficiency in the use of ORs. Running OR technology over IP also reduces the number of cables and devices needed to run the navigation devices, machine-controlled applications, and PACS equipment, which creates a much cleaner and more comfortable working environment for surgeons to make quick and accurate decisions. Technical maintenance efforts are also simplified, and downtime minimised, with an IP-based OR platform due to its use of unified fibre cabling that connects directly to the devices.

Flexibility today and tomorrow

Technology continues to evolve and ORs need to be easily adaptable to meet future requirements. Its environment must be flexible enough to accommodate the most recent technologies, such as 4K and 3D imaging. IP-based video integration is an approach that will support this expansion of technologies well into the future.

In an environment where the patient’s stakes are so high and where every minute means money, digital technology can help improve the productivity and efficiency of today’s highly-skilled OR professionals. The OR of today and of the future delivers highly accurate images and provides the most ergonomic working conditions to enable surgeons do their best work.

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