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Release of a 4K Endoscopic Surgery – Sony Olympus Joint Venture

It has become common practice to use endoscopic surgery for the excision of tumors and other lesions. This involves inserting a surgical endoscope, together with other special-purpose devices like energy devices or hand instruments, via incisions. By eliminating the need for open surgery, this technique offers less post-operative pain and faster recuperation, making it popular as a minimally invasive surgical practice that reduces the burden on patients. To further improve the accuracy and safety of endoscopic surgery, Olympus is launching a surgical endoscopy system incorporating 4K technology (3840×2160 pixels or more), offering resolution approximately four times better than the previous full HD model*2 . It also features excellent color reproduction to facilitate the identification of blood vessels and other fine tissue.

Sony Corporation, Olympus Corporation, and their medical joint venture – Sony Olympus Medical Solutions Inc. – are announcing that their jointly developed 4K surgical endoscopy system will be commercialized and made available for purchase in early October 2015. It will be sold by Olympus under the brand name “VISERA 4K UHD” and released in the Japanese and European markets. The three companies have been collaborating since 2013 on the development of this 4K surgical endoscopy system, which features cutting-edge 4K technology across its constituent elements, from the light source and the endoscope to the monitor. The companies believe that this makes VISERA 4K UHD a surgical endoscopy system unlike any before it.

Sony Olympus Medical Solutions, Sony, and Olympus will continue to combine their respective expert technologies and specialized knowledge in the realm of next-generation of endoscopic surgery. By generating synergies in this way, the companies will strive to make greater contributions to the global medical field and spur its further development. This and other collaborations between Sony and Olympus – including those involving Sony Olympus Medical Solutions – will be branded with the logo below to reflect that they incorporate the superior technologies of both companies.

4K system to help endoscopic surgery

How Innovations Merged

Sony Olympus Medical Solutions has brought together the core technologies and expertise of Sony (image sensors, image and signal processing, optical transmission, 4K imaging) and Olympus (medical products R&D, deep understanding of the needs of the medical community) and combined them to create a powerful technological base and image processing system for medical devices. Specifically, Sony Olympus Medical Solutions led R&D for the centerpiece products of the VISERA 4K UHD, including the “eye” of the endoscope – the 4K camera head – and the 4K camera control unit that manages the captured images.

Sony contributed its cutting-edge technology and expertise in 4K and digital imaging. For the 4K camera head, Sony provided its 4K Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor, image and signal processing technologies, and miniaturization technologies, which – taken together – make for very high image clarity and advanced functionality. Sony also led the development of the system’s 4K medical monitors and its 4K medical recorder*1. In addition, Sony’s 4K image transmission technologies made possible the nearly latent-free delivery of 4K visuals from the endoscope to the monitor.

Olympus, as a complete endoscope solution provider, has long engaged in the development and sale of various types of endoscopes meeting the needs of different surgical procedures. The new VISERA 4K UHD system benefits from Olympus’ advanced optics technologies, primarily in its ultra telescope, as well as its 4K xenon light source. Leveraging its expertise in the manufacture of medical equipment and in development technologies, Olympus Medical Systems Corporation, a subsidiary of Olympus, oversaw the entire design and production process for this new system, including its commercialization*2. Furthermore, VISERA 4K UHD will be sold through Olympus’ sales channels, as an offering in Olympus’ line of surgical endoscopy systems.

Launch Overview

  • LCD Monitor LMD-X310S/X550S (31/55-inch)

Launch Date

  • Yearly October 2015

Details of Main Features

1. Ultra-high-definition 4K images help improve visibility during surgery

The new surgical endoscopy system incorporates 4K technology to provide resolution approximately four times better than the previous full HD model. The resulting clear and ultrahigh-definition display helps improve visibility during surgery. The 4K camera head uses the Sony Exmor R™ CMOS image sensor to create high-sensitivity, low-noise images. To help shorten surgery times, it also features a one-touch auto-focus function that instantly focuses the image at the press of a button. The Ultra Telescope uses an extra-low dispersion (ED) lens to minimize chromatic aberrations caused by light dispersion that result in different colors having different focal planes. This technology helps to ensure that the image remains sharp right to the edge of the viewing field and improves the visibility of fine tissue features such as blood vessels or nerves. Comparison of full HD and 4K images – 3 –

2. Excellent color reproduction facilitates the identification of fine tissue

4K images provide a broader range of color reproduction than the full HD used in previous models, and the extensive range of hues enables more detailed color calibration. This will help surgeons to distinguish the edges and details of fine tissue features such as blood vessels, nerves, lymphatic vessels and adipose tissue. In particular, the enhanced reproduction of red, a crucial color for surgery, will support increased accuracy.

3. Large monitor and magnified visualization facilitates delicate surgical procedures

The larger display on the 55-inch monitor is helpful for delicate procedures, as it makes the ultra-high-definition images easier to see. It also uses Sony’s proprietary OptiContrast™ Panel to provide high contrast with minimal glare. Whereas conventional LCD panels have a layer of air between the liquid crystal screen and protective panel, the OptiContrast Panel fills this gap with resin, preventing glare that would otherwise degrade the image contrast and preventing condensation within the panel. Furthermore, the magnified visualization function on camera head helps surgeons use the telescope from some distance, minimizing interference with hand instruments inserted via different incisions.

We believe this might bring in a great revolution in the world of  endoscopic surgery.

Article Source

SONY Press ReleaseOLYMPUS News Release