live surgery

For many years, staff in ATiT have been involved with the production and transmission of live surgery in various medical fields and using different technologies. This type of event is increasingly used in the continuing professional development of surgeons and other expert medical staff enabling them to watch and interact live with surgeons demonstrating new approaches, techniques, practices or procedures.

Depending on the location, the type of content to be shown and the quality required, we provide a customised design and delivery service that best suits your location, needs and budget. Working closely with medical staff and organisers of large conferences, training workshops or small scale presentations and events, our specialised staff and production crew can organise and manage all that is required from capturing what is happening in the operating theatre through to display and real-time interaction with the audience. We use a variety of different transmission technologies allowing for different display quality from compressed video at various bandwidth through to full High Definition, HDR and 4K.

We work across borders connecting operating theatres in several countries with wherever the audience is located. Since 2010 for example we have organised live surgeries connecting up surgeons in 14 different countries in Europe, namely Germany, Belgium, Greece, Austria, France, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, UK, Portugal and Finland.

Setting up a live surgery event

Designing live surgery starts with a clear understanding of what the client wants to achieve along with a realistic estimate of the available resources and local considerations. Let's start in the operating theatre. Our experienced camera crews are used to working in operating theatres all over Europe but each theatre has its own logistical challenges, so we work with you to understand exactly how each operating theatre will operate on the day of the live surgery. We are used to working with theatre staff to agree on local logistical procedures to ensure minimum disruption and maximal safety while still making sure our crew capture exactly what your surgeon wants to show to the audience. We usually organise site visits to all locations well ahead of transmission day to make sure we understand exactly how and where our crew should set themselves up to transmit video and audio to where your audience is located.

Live surgery usually involves the installation of several different cameras in the operating theatre to make sure each step in the procedure is captured and transmitted, this includes the installation of endoscopic, manned and fixed cameras as well as connections to all relevant medical imaging devices, displays and instruments necessary for the operation. Factors determining set-up in the operating theatre relate directly to the type of operation, the nature of the images to be displayed, specific requirements such as 3D, the degree of close-up required and the number of surgeons operating.

We set up a mixing desk in the vicinity of the operating theatre which brings together all the outputs from the operating theatre(s) involved including sound channels from the surgeon and his/her colleagues. To this mix we add graphics, generic slides or other inputs to create the live signal that is sent to the audience location.

The quality of what your audience will see in the operating theatre depends on how you decide the images and sound are transmitted to the location of your conference or training event. We can offer several alternatives. Live satellite transmission is probably the most common. In this case we set up a link via satellite that sends one or more live signals directly to the location of your audience. This signal is encrypted so that only the audience at your event location can see and hear what is happening in the operating theatre. Satellite quality has the advantage that it can facilitate very high quality images and sound including 3D and 4K transmission to and from practically anywhere in Europe, no matter how far operation theatre and auditorium are apart.

An alternative to satellite is what we describe as video conferencing or transmission via IP. For this type of transmission access to high quality Internet is a requirement as well as close cooperation with the IT staff in both the remote as well as the event location.

A further alternative to satellite is transmission via dedicated radio bandwidth (microwave transmission) or Wi-Fi which we often suggest when the location of the operating theatre is within sight of where the audience is located. When distances allow, we use coax or fibre cable as well.

The final decision as to what transmission technology is best to use can only be taken when we understand the exact circumstances of each client, the quality of sound and image they require for their audience and their content, and of course the budget allocated.

Audience size and location are the determining factors for how the audience location is set up. We take care of making sure that the video display is perfect and that everyone in the audience can see and hear exactly what is going on. We also take care of making sure that the audience can interact live with the surgeon in the operating theatre. We work with your local AV support crew to ensure a seamless and hassle-free event. Again we usually carry out a site visit to the audience location well before the event to make sure everyone involved is fully informed and knows exactly what is expected of them.

During all live surgery events we put in place a senior producer who makes sure the event works perfectly. Flexibility and being able to react to unforeseen circumstances are the hallmark of the service we offer and having one lead person who liaises with the medical and organisational team ensures that no opportunity is missed when it comes to getting the most out of the live event.

Once the live surgery is over, we will package a final recording of the event to meet your exact requirements. If you want copies made, translations organised or certain parts edited then just ask. This too is part of our comprehensive Live Surgery design and delivery service.