Operating Room Integration Technologies are Transforming Health Care

The concept of operating room (OR) integration has been introduced to streamline and automate the operating room by consolidating data, video access, and controls for all of these devices at the central command station. OR integration could allow the surgical staff to perform many of their tasks efficiently without having to move around the operating room. OR integration most commonly involves stopping displays and imaging modalities within the OR, eliminating trip-hazards created by wiring, and providing easy access and exposure of surgical video.

All about the concept of operating room integration

The operating room integration technology is available in a range of structures and rates, promoting low-complexity operating rooms to high-volume, complex ORs. The simplest OR integration systems facilitate easy simulation of a few devices on a few screens within the OR, while more sophisticated systems can simplify video routing, image capturing, and device control.

OR Integration Solutions tailored to high-complexity ORs build on these capabilities, incorporate the ability to link and monitor several computers, work together in real-time using video conferencing or streaming, and support enhanced 4 K ultra-high definition visualization.

The structure of the Integrated OR reflects the types of operations conducted in the room, the medical devices to be used where surgical footage has to be displayed, the space required, and the need for longevity. The integration provider works closely with the hospital to design operating rooms that support their unique needs and support efficient and safe operating rooms.

OR integration makes it possible for the hospital to find equipment in the room. For example, cart-based devices may be mounted on the wall, if desired, connected to the integration network to allow the clinical staff to display the footage of the device in the OR. In the same way, the endoscopic towers can be located on the equipment boom in the OR, keeping the floor and the surrounding areas clear of the associated wires. Displays are often mounted inside the Integrated OR, on walls or light arms instead of on roller carts, so that surgical video can be easily viewed from anywhere in the OR.

Why is operating room integration important?

Due to the advent of new medical and imaging equipment for the operating room (also known as Operation Theater), operating rooms are becoming highly congested and complicated with a plethora of OR tools and monitors. In addition to booms, surgical tables, surgical lighting and space lighting placed in the OR, various surgical displays, communication system monitors, etc.

Benefits of the introduction of operating room integration:

An operating room can be a stressful environment requiring concentration, performance, coordination, and expertise. Without operating room integration, surgical teams continue to navigate around the operating room and perform a variety of tasks. These tasks include checking the patient information computer, writing this information on a whiteboard, moving to the wall to control OR lighting, entering the surgical field to display or change the video they are viewing, and more. The movement and time required to complete these tasks slow down the procedure and can deter attention from where it is most needed: on the patient.

The operating room integration systems consolidate and coordinate all patient data for surgical personnel during the operation, reducing complexity and streamlining information through various platforms. By OR integration, surgical personnel have streamlined access to the controls and information they require – to monitor patient records, control room or surgical lights, display images during surgery, and more. OR Integration provides OR staff with improved flexibility, health, and reliability to maintain the emphasis on ensuring patient care.

Currently, the benefits of OR integration often extend beyond the operating room as OR Integration connects and supports teams, processes, and information across the operative workflow. For instance, OR Integration enables in-OR teams to share real-time surgical video with remote consultants or students' classrooms for teaching applications. During a procedure, a clinician can conveniently view high-definition pictures of the treatment on a tablet during a post-operative visit with the patient and family. OR Integration ensures that these images and videos are automatically linked to the patient record for accurate documentation of each procedure.

Types of devices in operating room integration:

Audio Video Management System

Video conferencing technologies can improve the performance of Webcasts and Webinars by offering two-way video and audio without the need for a phone call between the operations room and one or more sites. The resolution of a video call is generally (but not always) greater than that of a webcast or a webinar. Video conferencing equipment is useful for consultation with the pathology department, ICU, radiology, other surgeons, or in any case where both parties need to transmit and securely receive photographs and audio.

Although video conferencing has previously used the form of switched connection known as the ISDN line, the expense of building and retaining such lines has contributed to the introduction of video conferencing systems that connect via the data network. Also known as IP video conferencing, it is becoming the standard connection method for standard and even high-definition video conference systems.

Display System

The remote display technology (projectors and flat panels) has to be capable of managing video feed resolution from the centralized operating room (and vice versa in the case of a two-way connection). Many projectors in current meeting rooms are not capable of displaying high-definition formats that an advanced operating room would and should have. Specialized electronics must be placed between locations which "scale" or translate between formats. Many display systems have built-in scaling features, but most do not reach all resolutions and are usually of inferior quality to outboard scaling equipment.

The display subsystem consists of high-definition flat panels attached to flexible arms positioned next to the surgical site. The surgeon can route a wide range of video and information sources to any of the displays. High-definition cameras mounted to endoscopes or built into the surgical light are the most common sources for displays. In the case of minimally invasive procedures, endoscope camera images may be the only view of the surgical field.

To sum up

Regardless of the procedures performed, the OR is one of electronics and cabling's harshest and most complicated environments – particularly those that are regularly treated and plugged/unplugged. Consequently, components of an OR integration system are also designed to withstand the rigors of the operating room climate. It includes weathering ability for regular cleaning, rough handling, and effects. To ensure durability, some of the components that are most vulnerable to injuries, such as surgical displays and video cables in the surgical field, are reinforced.

Free Valuable Insights: Global Operating Room Integration Market to reach a market size of ...

The operating room of the future will be distinguished by meticulous preoperative preparation, complete incorporation of the operating room into the general knowledge flow, more detailed intraoperative diagnostic imaging techniques, and the use of advanced simulation technologies like virtual reality. Mechatronic support (partially autonomous robots) increases safety and allows for staff reduction. Operating room integration Integrated operating room systems would allow the operations team to easily monitor the broad variety of new technologies and functionalities.

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