Flexible and loss-free with CuratOR Alipe: new video-over-IP system as a network solution for data transmission within the OR

Monday, 2017 June 26

Today’s operating rooms are not only seeing ever-increasing requirements regarding quality and zero-latency transmission of image and audio data, but also growing demands for flexible routing and interactive connection of video sources and display units. Video over IP is increasingly the solution chosen to implement these requirements: This transmission medium enables data transfers both within and out of the OR using the same, standardized network technology. In addition, the systems are simple and modular, and are expandable and scalable. EIZO, the experts in video management systems, has developed its own video-over-IP solution that can be incorporated into its proven Caliop control software for integrated ORs. The system, comprising an encoder and decoder, offers video transmission speeds of 10 GB / sec., Full HD resolution, a frame rate of 60 Hz, and full color space. The solution with the name CuratOR Alipe has been presented for the first time at this year’s ConhIT.

The video-over-IP hardware component TID0210F-DVI from EIZO can be used both as an encoder and decoder, depending on the software parameter settings.

“Increasingly, flexible video routing systems that make every image available everywhere and at all times are being requested when equipping operating rooms,” said Matthias Lubkowitz, Vice President of OR Solutions at EIZO. Previously, closed networks for image transmission within the operating room, for example from an endoscopy camera to a monitor, were the standard. But now thanks to video-over-IP, it is also possible to use the same network technology for transmissions within and outside the OR: “Video-over-IP technology now enables high transmission rates of 10 GB / sec., as well as uncompressed transfer of videos,” explained Lubkowitz. “This makes it of interest to the medical field because quality can be maintained while still being able to bridge large distances.”

Additionally, this is standardized data transmission using a defined transmission medium, significantly simplifying the infrastructure in the OR and increasing flexibility. The IP protocol is packet based and has a fundamental advantage in that the same network cable can be used to transmit all data – regardless whether image data, audio data, video data, or even control data for the keyboard and mouse. Thus for example, a computer in a remote computing center can be operating via the EIZO system directly from the OR.

In order to be able to transmit video data both within and beyond the operating room using the same standardized network technology, EIZO has developed its own video-over-IP solution that can be incorporated into the Caliop control software for integrated ORs.

CuratOR Alipe guarantees zero latency transmission with best possible image quality

EIZO has designed its own transmission system for operating rooms in order to leverage the benefits of this technology and be able to transmit data of particularly high quality loss free. In contrast to existing video-over-IP solutions, the core functionality is contained in a hardware component that functions both as an encoder and decoder, depending on the parameter settings, and can also subsequently be integrated into the company's Caliop software. This reduces the number of versions and saves costs – for example through more flexible planning and lower storage and maintenance expenditures. With Caliop, operation takes place through the existing vm module that manages the available video sources. “The module displays all image and video sources connected to the EIZO medical equipment,” according to Lubkowitz. “At the click of a mouse or simple touch, a video source can be selected or assigned to one or more monitors as desired. An existing connection is shown in a visual display.” The transmission can also be logged on a recorder via Caliop as needed. Optionally, these recordings can be stored in the patient record via Caliop. For this exchange, the control software contains special connectors that can communicate using all established communication standards such as DICOM and HL7.

The new video-over-IP solution CuratOR Alipe expands upon these capabilities: “For example, if an IP protocol-compatible light-mounted camera is present, it can be connected directly to the EIZO system without additional components. With conventional image sources, their image signals are converted to data packets using an encoder. They are then sent in real time to the required receiver,” explained Lubkowitz. “The local decoder converts them back into images.” If one of the packets is lost, it can be identified using special algorithms and resent if necessary. In the EIZO solution the data are transmitted via fiber-optic cable, enabling transmission lengths up to 10 km. As a result, not only rooms, but whole buildings, can be linked to one another.

The vm module in Caliop controls EIZO’s new video-over-IP system.

Alipe supports DVI and HDMI 1.4 interfaces. In contrast to other commercially available systems, the EIZO solution works without data compression, enabling loss-free, zero latency transmission while fully retaining the color space. At Full HD resolution, videos with a frame rate of 60 Hz can be transmitted. With 4K, 30 Hz can be achieved at present, and work is already underway on a 60 Hz solution. “In conjunction with the playback quality of image data, one usually only hears about Full HD and 4K. But these concepts do not allow for precise statements regarding the quality of images. CuratOR Alipe ensures that image data and audio data are transmitted at a quality higher than the market standard,” according to Lubkowitz.