Ten years is a long time in technology. Imagine a world without social networks or the ability to buy and listen to music on the move, wherever you are – yet it’s only 10 years since the launch of Facebook and iPods changed our communication behavior forever. For surgeons, the introduction of high-definition (HD) imagery in the OR was just as significant – enabling more precise, high standard procedures.
It’s a decade later, and the OR is about to experience another watershed moment. 4K, which was introduced to cinemas a few years ago, is now set to revolutionize surgeons’ practice.
4K, or ultra-high definition (UHD), offers a pixel array of 3840x2160 to yield a total of 8,294,400 pixels. This means it provides four times the resolution of the 1080 HD standard (utilizing 1920x1080 pixels to yield a total of 2,073,600 pixels). However, there is a bit of a discrepancy between how UHD is defined. In August 2012, the Consumer Electronics Association introduced the term Ultra High Definition, partly defined as resolutions of at least 3840x2160 pixels, to replace the term 4K. However, in practice, you will often see UHD used interchangeably with 4K.
From Hollywood to the OR
Building on a rich legacy of 4K projection in our digital cinema division, we are now taking the lead in bringing 4K technology to the digital operating room. In order to do so, we are working closely with key medical imaging companies as well as some of the industry’s best-known 4K experts. One of them is Ted Schilowitz, innovator and futurist for 20th Century Fox and Barco’s digital cinema division. Schilowitz was at the scene of the first ever 4k surgical procedure and believes “Hollywood’s cinematic tools will revolutionize the digital operating room”, adding that it “delivers images that even surpass the live surgical performance”.