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Thinking of Buying ... Arthroscopy Imaging Consoles
They're the brains of the operation.
Greg DeConciliis
Publish Date: December 1, 2015   |  Tags:   Surgical Video and Imaging

With all due respect to the camera, shaver, irrigation pump and HD monitor that make up the chain of arthroscopic technology, the imaging console — ?the box on the tower or cart that manages the visuals and controls other integrated tasks — ?is without question the brains of the operation.

When I started out in orthopedics more than 15 years ago, you interacted with the device to arrange how many photos would print out on a page. You could input the surgeon's and patient's names, and that was about it. Now the images, both still and video, are processed and stored digitally. Cutting out the cost and labor of ink-and-paper photo printing is a big advance in itself, but the ability to wirelessly transfer captured images to your electronic health records system or to the physician's or patient's e-mail inbox is practically the standard. Our whole market is based on efficiency. How can you beat technology that gives us a sharp view of the surgical site, that lets us shoot, edit and annotate what we see there, that gives us touchscreen interfaces and pre-programmed settings?

It's not likely that you'll purchase arthroscopy imaging consoles independently. Rather, they'll be part of an arthroscopy system as a whole. That's an important consideration when selecting this type of equipment, since one way to get the biggest bang for your buck is to negotiate a bundled deal — ?tower, scopes, shavers, pump, disposables, everything — ?with one vendor. You'll want imaging technology that's easy to plug in and start using, and that can be controlled conveniently, whether that means buttons on the scope in the surgeon's hand or fingertips on a tablet computer near the field. If space is an issue in your ORs, some manufacturers have consolidated a cart's worth of camera processing and light source equipment into a single, compact unit.

Consider going previous-generation on some components, especially cameras. If the equipment you're presently using is from several years back, and the latest cutting-edge features aren't must-haves, one generation prior will probably still be a technological step up for your OR, at an economical price. As always, invest in a vendor you can trust. A solid maintenance contract, a rep who's willing to in-service your staff, and replacement components when yours need repair are worth more than you can record on a budget line.

Synergy UHD4 Imaging Platform

Synergy UHD4 Imaging Platform
(800) 933-7001
Pricing: not disclosed
FYI: Arthrex's Synergy UHD4 platform offers 4K ultra-high-definition video imaging, a high-output LED light source, image management and system integration capabilities from a single console. Built-in network connectivity, as well as DICOM and HL7 support for EHR and PACS compatibility, allows users to save still images and video footage to multiple destinations and to provide live, secure streaming video to authorized users. The Synergy system's companion 4K monitor delivers heads-up visualization to keep the surgeon in control of imaging, the shaver, the pump and radiofrequency settings throughout the procedure.

DRSHD 1080p Image Management Solution

DRSHD 1080p Image Management Solution
(800) 448-6506
Pricing: $21,770
FYI: The DRSHD 1080p from ConMed provides easily accessed and efficiently shared surgical videos and images in the OR and during patient consultations, through EMR and PACS systems, and on laptops, smartphones and tablets. Its DICOM compatibility means it'll work with your IT infrastructure to serve as a fully integrated image management solution. The bright, crisp images and videos it captures are formatted for simple importing into PowerPoint and other presentation software.

Visualization System

DePuy Synthes Mitek Sports Medicine
Visualization System
(800) 382-4682
Pricing: not disclosed
FYI: The recent addition of visualization components to DePuy Synthes's portfolio of fluid management, shaver and radiofrequency technologies delivers a complete arthroscopic procedural system. The OVB1 HD Camera Control Unit's LCD touchscreen user interface, the OLED 300X HD LED light source's pure white, eco-friendly illumination, and the Image Management System wireless control and viewing of surgical video and stills bring real-time HD visualization into the joint space, and image management and storage to wherever a surgeon is working.

Arthroscopy Imaging Platform

Karl Storz Endoscopy-America
Karl Storz Arthroscopy Imaging Platform
(424) 218-8100
Pricing: not disclosed
FYI: Karl Storz's arthroscopy imaging platform combines state-of-the-art video innovations into high-definition, highly enhanced, views of minimally invasive surgical sites. The company's proprietary CLARA technology, for instance, automatically identifies and brightens the darker, less illuminated areas of captured images, in real time. This delivers a clear view of anatomical details without the need for adjusting a scope's brightness level — which can result in overexposure and glare — or stopping to move the scope, which narrows visibility.

1588 AIM Camera Platform

1588 AIM Camera Platform
(269) 385-2600
Pricing: not disclosed
FYI: The multiple advanced imaging modalities that Stryker's 1588 AIM Platform offer let orthopedic surgeons see and do more. Dynamic range enhancement improves visualization at the arthroscopic surgical field by creating a brighter image in dark and posterior compartments. The desaturation function decreases the color levels in the captured image to the physician's preference for optimal viewing. The clarity enhancement option amplifies video visualization by improving contrast and detail in real time. Each of these features can be activated from the touch of a button on the system's camera head.