In a way to protect students and doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic, a Tokyo hospital has begun live streaming surgeries in virtual reality.
Tokyo Women’s Medical University is using an 8K virtual reality camera to film surgeries. The filming takes place at the university’s Smart Cyber Operation Theater while students follow along at home in real-time using a VR headset.
The camera hangs overhead giving students a birds-eye view of exactly what’s going on. While it’s not hands-on, it does give a more complete view than say looking through a window or over a doctor’s shoulder. During normal times, space and safety concerns limit the number of people who can observe surgery in person. With the live stream, an unlimited number of students can experience the operation in real-time from the surgeon’s perspective.
“Compared to conventional surgery tours, live streaming using 8K VR video provides a more realistic field of view. You can experience the surgery from a viewpoint that previously no one but the surgeon could experience, “ said Dr. Naotaka Fujii, CEO of VR company Hacosco who set up the streaming.
VR Surgery Filmed with Insta360 8k Titan Camera
The surgery is filmed and streamed using an Insta360 Titan camera using Insta360 8K Live software. The camera is ideal for low light conditions as it produces very little visual noise. The software can simultaneously stream and record live video so it can be played back for review, or at places like academic conferences and medical school classes.
“VR technology is definitely progressing in the medical field. It’s becoming increasingly common in research and education applications, such as this project, and in postoperative rehabilitation. VR will help spur further developments in the medical field in the future,” said Dr. Fujii in a blog post.