Sony finds medical niche for high-resolution video
Despite the cost, heart surgeons are sold
Hidden among the endless departments of music, video, electronics, PlayStations, and other gadgets at Sony lies an unassuming division that is beginning to make waves in medicine. While broadcast and professional business media remain Sonys dominant pursuits, Sony Medical is seeing growing interest in the companys cameras for surgical applications.
The medical group at Sony has been around for roughly 15 years, but we are a well-kept secret with a long history of growth and profitability that has shown our ability to adapt well to the market, said George Santanello, director of marketing for Sony Medical. Our business is built on cameras, printers, and monitors for medical use, but each year we focus on improving our older technologies while continuing to build new innovations.
For example, Sonys high-definition DXC-H10 was recently purchased by cardiac surgeons at New York University Medical Center, marking the first sale of the device for a purely medical application. Sony Medical has had a close affiliation with NYU for some time, providing technologies ranging from visual imaging to operating room devices.
The firms most recent contribution to NYUs medical staff is a small (weighing less than three pounds) video camera that can capture images from locations that were difficult for larger HD cameras to access. The DXC-H10 is being used in the operating room for multiple tasks: enhancing surgical procedures, teaching residents and medical students, and giving physicians in other parts of the world the ability to observe new techniques in real-time. Surgeons can use the camera to zoom into the area being operated on and project the picture on a large screen for reference.
The DXC is also being used in robotic surgery, where, in conjunction with a camera attached to the end of the robotic arm that is used for close-up work, it serves as an overhead camera to help provide a broader view of where the doctor is operating.
Allan Katz, head medical technician at NYU, is responsible for adapting the camera for use in NYUs operating rooms. For each installation, he works with the surgeons setting up the camera before use in surgery, personalizing such features as voice operation and remote control. The camera is mounted on the operating light with adjustable brackets and is specifically designed to withstand the intense heat from the lamp as well as high-temperature emissions from the tools used during operations. Electronics on top of the lights and pan-tilt controllers allow the surgeons to move the DXC remotely to the most helpful position.