SONY 4K MEDICAL MONITOR
4K tellies are nothing new but haven’t made much of a dent in the medical and imaging field. Until recently, endoscopy cameras and other sources of acquisition have stayed resolutely HD. But times are changing and Sony is at the forefront.
Sony’s new 4K medical monitors are designed specifically for operating theatres, and form a part of a soon-to-be-announced 4K medical range that will include a 4K miniature camera, recorder and a content management system to manage the ingest, archiving and distribution of 4K video content.
The product itself is based on a 31-inch professional, tested and calibrated, panel. It’s fascia is edge-to-edge glass for ease of cleaning and will handle any kind of spill/splash (use your imagination).
The display packs a real-time image enhancer, called AIME (advanced image multiple enhancer). Extra resolution in a panel is welcome but colour is everything in the medical field. As a scope goes into the body, the surgeon’s decision as to whether a polyp is of concern, or where the boundaries are between the fat and tissue, are largely made based on colour. Colours can be quite close, but the AIME imaging enhancer allows the doctor to differentiate more quickly and easily. This type of image enhancer has been available elsewhere as standalone products but is built into the Sony medical monitor.
The extra resolution is as useful for the ability to zoom in (while maintaining HD resolution) as it is to have the extra pixels when not zooming. During a laparoscopy, for example, where the surgeon is relying entirely on the display for his/her visual feedback, the ability to zoom in full HD allows the medical staff to find the best possible view and angle for the procedure.
In this field, displays tend to be in the 26- to 32-inch range, which accounts for the 31-inch panel size of the Sony medical monitor. It’s comparatively small (compared to the average living room display at least) because of the size constraints of most operating theatres. That said, Sony has also released a 55-inch version of the 4K medical monitor. The upsized version has recently been test driven in Japan and early feedback suggests the doctors are very loath to give them back. Perhaps, newly built operating theatres will need to upsized along with the display technology!
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