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UCSD Surgical Training Center Upgrades With MultiTaction Video Wall

The MultiTaction Video wall is the centerpiece of the latest upgrade at the Center for the Future of Surgery at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
(Image credit: MultiTaction)

The Center for the Future of Surgery (CFS) at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine is a world-class facility dedicated to advancing surgical techniques. In 2019, the CFS underwent a major expansion, incorporating cutting-edge technology to support the latest surgical trends with an emphasis on both brain and nervous system treatments. Combining imaging and surgery in real time, the center now melds state-of-the-art AV with advanced medical equipment.

The centerpiece of the upgrades, which were carried out by San Diego-based integrator Fluid Sound, is the “Wall of Knowledge,” a 3x3 interactive video wall from MultiTaction. Running a complete suite of collaboration and visualization software, real-time visual information can be captured, explored, analyzed, and compared by a surgical team directly in the operating room. The result is both better instruction and learning as well as a top-notch facility for developing and refining new techniques.

Related: Columbia University’s Jonathan Kornberg on the Future of Instructional AV

The Vision

Dr. Santiago Horgan, MD is both the director of the center, and the visionary driving new technology into the operating room. He first experienced MultiTaction’s touch technology during a visit to Stryker Corporation where several MultiTaction panels were installed in their California headquarters. He could immediately see how having an interactive wall in the hybrid OR would add functionality for both the surgeons teaching courses and for those learning.

The camera-based touch was a standout and set the stage for the wall to be incorporated into the hybrid operating room. Working with Fluid Sound, the school designed the wall into the space along with a myriad of other AV technology.

The Design

A project of this scale requires a lot of planning, and plenty of infrastructure behind the scenes. Getting a room to work organically and intuitively requires having a partner that has a passion for the details and that shares the vision of the project.

Local firm Fluid Sound was UCSD’s choice due to their record of work and their partnership with MultiTaction. The firm was able to leverage their experience to make the space a cohesive digital experience that ties medical and AV devices together into a complete solution that is as functional as it is high tech.

It took over six years in planning and a year of development for Dr. Horgan and his team to bring CFS 2.0 into existence, but the results have been well worth the effort. The CFS Hybrid Operating Room remains, in Dr. Horgan’s words, “the most advanced in the country and worldwide.”

The Implementation

Incorporating a large touch video wall into an operating room comes with certain challenges. The wall needs to be responsive to both gloved and ungloved hands, and it needs to have a touch system that allows for many people to be working simultaneously and quickly. It needs to have a robust touch system that can stand up to hard everyday use and have the best possible uptime and connectivity. Live video feeds will need to be captured and manipulated easily, and the software solution needs to allow cross referencing archived data with live data, access to web content, remote controlling network connected computers, plus allow for seamless annotation while multiple users are operating the wall in different ways.

MultiTaction’s solution features integrated camera-based IR touch with 32 cameras embedded into each display panel. This allows for extremely responsive touch for all hands, gloved or otherwise. The panels are each independent of one another (unlike traditional IR bezel systems), so no amount of misalignment will lead to phantom-touches or reduced touch performance. 

The MultiTaction Video wall is the centerpiece of the latest upgrade at the Center for the Future of Surgery at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

MultiTaction’s Canvus software provides the ability to combine live video feeds, archived videos, images, PDFs, websites, and more, and have all these assets available for multiple users to interact with concurrently. (Image credit: MultiTaction)

MultiTaction’s Canvus software provides the ability to combine live video feeds, archived videos, images, PDFs, websites, and more, and have all these assets available for multiple users to interact with concurrently. The system accepts live streaming feeds, RDP connections to remote machines, and more. To further expand capabilities, the center has the option to add a Canvus Connect server, which adds the ability to link sites or allow multiple remote users to connect to a collaboration session.

MultiTaction’s Showcase presentation software was also installed on the wall to address the center’s need to build interactive and engaging presentations for visitors and guests to the facility. Showcase allows CFS to produce, customize, and update this content like this in-house quickly and easily to further enhance the visitor experience.

The Future

Not one to just sit back and relax, Dr. Horgan has said that in the next 10 years he hopes to have CFS 3.0, the next iteration of the center and the most advanced robotic surgery facility in the world. One can only imagine what that will look like.

For now, the AV technology in the CFS helps provide a working operating room simulation where procedures can be practiced and developed without risk to a live patient.

“The Center offers surgeons of all specialties a rare opportunity to train on the newest techniques and technologies outside of a live operating room,” Dr. Horgan said. “This is where the next generation of surgeons is acquiring hands-on knowledge and experience to provide patients with the best, safest operations possible.”