Real-time cardiological imaging reproduced by the cineo3+ 1080 projector from projectiondesign at Wessex Cardiothoracic Centre, UK

Fredrikstad 13 September 2007Southampton University Hospital is home to the Wessex Cardiothoracic Centre, one of the largest specialist heart treatment units in the United Kingdom. The consultants at this unit have developed a programme for excellence in the treatments they offer and the way these are delivered to patients. To realise this goal, a charity called Wessex Heartbeat was formed some eight years ago, since when it has raised over GBP 13 million to support the work of the unit. Part of this money has funded the Heartbeat Education Centre, specifically for the hospital's cardiac consultant team and their juniors. The Centre in the hospital's new North Wing, and comprises five interventional catheter labs, four seminar rooms, a videoconference suite and a 120-seat lecture theatre.


"The brief was to provide excellent facilities and a world-class, live procedure demonstration area in the lecture theatre", stated Alistair Holdoway, Managing Director of Video South Ltd., which was hired by the hospital to design and install a state-of-the-art audiovisual solution at the Heartbeat Centre. "We equipped the cath labs with transmission of all imaging and two-way sound, while the lecture theatre has high-definition (HD) projection, clinical links and global videoconferencing."

The lecture theatre is the centrepiece of the facility, as Alistair Holdoway explained: "The Centre wanted very good display of specialist cardiology - both live motion from the labs and archived MRI/CT scans from PACS. As well as this, they wanted triple-image projection from a range of sources, all on one screen."

After weighing up a number of alternatives, Video South chose a cineo3+ 1080 DLP projector from Norwegian manufacturer projectiondesign to act as the lecture theatre's image source. The cineo3+ 1080 projector was supplied by technical trade distributor, RGB Communications. "We felt that a 16:9 widescreen, full-HD projector reproducing native 1080p would be superior to the only other alternative of three projectors, which had been the initial specification", stated Alistair Holdoway. "The projector is connected to graphics computers and switchers which combine remote camera feeds from the cath labs and route them to the lecture theatre."

In the finished lecture theatre, doctors have only to touch a small screen for the room to connect to and then operate a graphic representation of the multi-screen layout. They can snap between single, dual and triple image, and choose which image is in which window. These images are a combination of important camera views, fluroscopy at native resolution and graphic displays.

Real-time cardiological imaging reproduced by the cineo3+ 1080 projector from projectiondesign at Wessex Cardiothoracic Centre, UK. Image credit: Video South Medical Television.

Emphasising the medical benefits of the Heartbeat system design, Alistair Holdoway continued: "While many cardiology conferences have used video to feature live presentations of fluoroscopic-guided procedures by satellite, this is the first time that procedures depending on both Fluoro and Electrophysiology (EP) techniques can been shown in real time at full resolution, and with multiple live images on screen for an entire procedure. Because all the sound is two-way, the chairman of the meeting is able to discuss procedures with the hospital team as they go. Once several hospitals are equipped to a similar level, it will be possible to allow the chairman to see all the procedures simultaneously and put any one to screen on demand, while conducting a fluent discussion between all sites."

Anders Løkke, Marketing and Communications Manager at projectiondesign, stated that his company's products are ideal for this kind of application: "The image quality and smoothness suit the subtlety of real-life motion images, while the true black level and good peaks work well with long demonstrations based on monochrome radiology. But it's not just a question of image. A projector such as the cineo3+ 1080 suits an NHS location, which demands easy installation and usage. The projector's twin-lamp lighting can be set so that if lamp one fails, lamp two will kick in - very useful at a site such as this, where access to AV professionals is limited. Also, the design of this particular room demanded that the unit be mounted only directly above the audience, but because the projector is very quiet, this wasn't an issue at all."

Summing up, a Southampton-based consultant commented: "The Heartbeat Education Centre is about improving cardiac care. Over 20.000 people attend the unit each year, and our investment in audiovisual systems allow us not just to train and educate staff, but to videoconference to different locations all over the world."

projectiondesign is a Norwegian company that designs, manufactures and markets a range of high performance projectors for professional, business and consumer applications. High resolution simulation and visualization, medical imaging, e-cinema and public displays are its core markets. The projectiondesign professional product range is warranted for 24/7 usage, and the home entertainment range is highly regarded throughout the world. projectiondesign has offices in Fredrikstad, Norway, Gothenburg, Singapore, Milano, Stuttgart, Bilbao, Bombay, Cape Town, London and New York. More company news is available in the VMW February 2007 article projectiondesign releases professional grade F20 projector with full BrilliantColor technology and SXGA+ resolution.

Leslie Versweyveld

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