CMAS selects HaiVision's hai500 Codec for telemedicine procedures during NEEMO 7 space analogue mission

Montréal 18 October 2004Hamilton, Ontario based Center for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) has selected HaiVision¬??s hai500 MPEG-2 encoder/decoder to provide video transmission for the NEEMO 7 space analogue mission. During this mission the CMAS team is supporting astronauts in experimental procedures related to their breakthrough telesurgery and telementoring techniques. CMAS has selected the hai500 for this advanced experimental medical system due to the hai500's extremely high quality and low latency video transmission within a very reliable product.


The NEEMO "analogue" missions are the execution of space processes within the Aquarius underwater laboratory in Key Largo, Florida. Performing innovative medical procedures in this remote environment allows astronauts and their support crews to evaluate and train for the adoption of such techniques within extreme conditions of space missions. The seventh NEEMO mission, which commenced on October 11, focuses on the delivery of expert medical care to patients in remote and harsh environments.

"CMAS has been using encoded MPEG-2 video for telesurgery and telementoring processes since 2003. Critical to these processes is the transmission of the video signals from endoscopy cameras to the surgeon in a remote location with the highest quality and absolute lowest latencies", explained Trevor Chapman, IT Analyst in charge of Surgical Communications and Robotics for CMAS. "Extremely low latency and consistent frame rate and resolution are critical for maintaining hand-eye co-ordination throughout the process. HaiVision's hai500 products certainly deliver the performance that we require."

Delivering the highest quality interactive video is the cornerstone to future deployments of telemedicine procedures in providing life-saving emergency medical care to remote regions and harsh environments. Leveraging medical grade IP networks using the latest Cisco GigaEthernet equipment, the hai500 broadband video encoders and decoders deliver the highest quality video coupled with the lowest latencies. The hai500 series is a scalable system which can accommodate multiple channels through a single chassis with its built-in wide-band multiplexer allowing for synchronous video communication along with remote endoscopy camera signals. Further, HaiVision's heritage as a telecom system provider with NEBS Level 3 certified products assures the reliability demanded during mission critical operations.

CMAS, a McMaster University Centre, located at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada develops telemedicine technologies to help Canadian physicians in isolated communities gain better access to the latest medical knowledge, techniques and specialists. HaiVision Systems Inc., based in Montréal, Canada, designs, manufactures and sells high quality broadband video communication solutions for corporate conferencing, distance education, security and surveillance, telemedicine, and other mission-critical applications worldwide.

More information on the NEEMO 7 project is available in the VMW September 2004 article Undersea habitat becomes experimental hospital for remote medical care in NEEMO 7 project.

Leslie Versweyveld

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