April 02, 2013

Operating Room over IP: Containing the Cost of Medicine


The network is at the center of the Barco “OR over IP” approach.

The world is getting older and with the greying of the world’s population comes increased demand for medical care. This increased demand for medical care comes with a real need to contain rising costs. One example is in the field of radiology where salaries in the range of $300k-$400k per year have been par for the course.

The costs of surgery don’t just come from the high salaries of certain specialists, though. The hospital operating theater itself helps contribute. When you look at the equipment in a surgical theater, the various endoscopy cameras, patient monitoring devices, C-arms and other equipment and devices, it’s doesn’t take much imagination to see that the setup, teardown, maintenance and configuration of all these various pieces of equipment is going to be a time consuming and expensive task. You also have issues similar to those faced by pro AV in terms of large and growing rats nests of analog and proprietary digital cables.

In the pro AV world, we helped solve these problems with the AVnu Alliance and a technology called AVB. In the medical world we are solving these similar problems with Ethernet and a company called Barco.

The folks at Barco have come up with a solution they call the digital operating room or “OR over IP,” an approach that leverages the Extreme Networks Open Fabric approach to high performance, highly reliable 10 Gigabit Ethernet and combines it with their Nexxis OR Management software, digital adapters that convert video and other data to IP, HD surgical displays and other components.

With standardized Ethernet connections, build-out and tear down and maintenance are no longer as long and hard as they were, nor as expensive. With Ethernet, it’s all plug’n’play.

Modern medicine generates  a lot of imagery and video, much of it uncompressed. In order to share imagery and enable collaboration, the network must not only move data very quickly, it must do so with little latency and no dropped packets or artifacted images. Of course, with patient privacy concerns being a very real consideration in light of some of the teeth HIPAA has been shown to have grown, security, identity awareness and policy based enforcement are also nice things to have and Extreme Networks delivers on all counts.

For more on Barco OR-over-IP and Extreme Networks, check out our press release or take a moment and watch the Barco video below:

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Extreme Marketing Team

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