How Video Conferencing is Changing Medicine

LifeSize Room 220 System Used for Medical Collaboration

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: December 09, 2010

How Video Conferencing is Changing Medicine

High-definition video conferencing is being used by more and more doctors to collaborate on live surgery and training. The systems can be somewhat expensive, however, putting them out of reach of the smaller organizations.

The Seattle Science Foundation was faced with this problem and decided to purchase a LifeSize Room 220 system. The video conferencing system features a 1080p HD display, a fact that was vital to their specific needs.

The SSF is a non-profit organization that has an eight-station bio skills lab that recreates the appearance of an operating room. Doctors from around the state use it to practice surgical techniques and train themselves on future operations.

The LifeSize Room 220 system allows the doctors to speak with their peers during an operation and receive guidance on how to proceed. The visual quality of the system is highly robust and shows extremely small details. The video conferencing system also greatly reduces travel expenses since they don’t have to fly out the other doctors to the foundation.

The teleconference center of the Seattle Science Foundation also allows up to sixty people to observe a video conference session on eight oversized high-definition displays. In addition, they have an express version that can be wheeled around on a cart into the smaller conference rooms for remote calls and PowerPoint presentations.

Gary Merritt, the director of technology at the Seattle Science Foundation, spoke briefly about the use of video conferencing. He said, “We have live surgery here in our video conferencing room and also broadcast out to places like Duke University, where we have a doctor on the other end. The quality of the video conferencing equipment lets him talk to the doctor in the operating room. They can talk back and forth while doing the surgery, and he never has to fly here and book a hotel.”

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