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Advantech Co-Creation Builds Intelligent Operating Rooms at the Erasmus Hospital in the Netherlands


By Pei-jun Liao with images provided by Advantech 

Interview with the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands


Taking advantage of the construction of a new medical facility, the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, introduced the Medical Imaging Management and Transmission Solution co-created by Advantech and its partners – improving the efficiency of their operating rooms, quality of medical services as well as empowering their medical students and new doctors with high-end technology.

At 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the students of Erasmus University Medical School were gathered in the classroom with no lecturer at the podium. Alternatively, every student in the classroom was looking attentively at the front screen. The screen was showing a live surgical operation being carried out by the most experienced surgeon at the University.

The Erasmus University is a world-renowned public university located in Rotterdam. The Erasmus University Hospital is the largest and most prestigious hospital in the Netherlands. By means of the newly introduced Medical Image Management and Transmission Solution, the hospital can share real-time images in the operating room via streaming transmission to the other operating rooms in the hospital. The image control center can also broadcast the streaming images to remote classrooms, allowing medical students to watch the surgery in real-time.

Advantech, INTER and SigmaXG work together to create an Operating-room Imaging Solution

The program originated in 2017, when the Erasmus Medical Center built a new medical facility with 26 new operating rooms. In the preparatory phase of the building, the Erasmus Medical Center decided to not only adopt modern and advanced medical equipment (following the example of large-scale general hospitals in other regions), but also actively reengineer its medical workflows and reduce the use of paper, posters or other  similar items through technological applications. The ultimate goal: enable the employees in the new building to work in a more comprehensive, digital, intelligent and highly integrated manner.

Of course, you can’t just talk on paper about how to achieve this goal. You must introduce an innovative technology and application. To do this, you need to transmit ultra-high quality images from various surgical devices (such as endoscopes) to any surgical display screens and display them on those screens without delay or loss of image quality (Full HD; FHD) as well as to allow healthcare professionals to seamlessly switch between these different sources.

Although searching for a long time, the Erasmus Medical Center was unable to find a suitable solution with such a multi-faceted and complex system architecture. Finally, such a solution was successfully created under the cooperation of Advantech, Dutch medical system integrator INTER and Dutch network streaming equipment provider SigmaXG – A true and representative case of Advantech’s co-creating solution model.

Advantech pointed out that through cooperation with professional partners, they can provide a one-stop solution covering software and hardware, not only to meet the needs of Erasmus Medical Center, but also to reduce the complexity of future system maintenance. Now, through cross-industry cooperation, the medical industry can contact a single window, and greatly reduce the workload of system maintenance.

Advantech provides a full range of medical solutions from image server to display screen to all-in-one computer

In this co-creation solution, INTER provides the core control software for network streaming multimedia images. The hardware consists of Advantech’s image Archiving and Streaming Servers (AVAS NDcoders), which are responsible for encoding and decoding images. SigmaXG’s solution is applied to achieve 4K resolution. The SigmaXG device is directly integrated into the Advantech PAX medical display screen, an approach that not only saves energy and space but also reduces the complexity of the system, making this system easier to install.

Advantech’s PAX medical display screen accurately and clearly display images from various sources. It can also show the patient’s electronic medical records, medical examination images and other information, so that medical personnel can read relevant information and simplify the work processes of the operating room – improving the efficiency and quality of medical services. In addition to the image transmission devices, the Erasmus Medical Center has deployed Advantech’s POC Series all-in-one medical computer, equipped with upto- date medical grade certifications. This device can integrate multiple functions within the operating room further adding to improved efficiency. To ensure that surgery can be sterile and infection-free, the POC allows the staff to control the systems from inside or outside the operating room.

Moreover, the all-in-one medical computer can also be connected to different instruments according to the nature and needs of the operation, such as: neurology, obstetrics and gynecology. There are multiple modes to choose from, such as PACS system display, cloud electronic medical record, nursing record system, etc. It is convenient for doctors and medical staff to get all the information on a single screen, greatly shortening their time to move or query data during surgery.

In recent years, the medical industry has been affected by the following factors: increasing number of medical devices with networking functions, the need of continuous training for medical students or new doctors, improvement of administrative efficiency via image management, and so on. As a result, the operating room has an increasing demand for video and video communication. The Erasmus Medical Center has successfully introduced these operating room imaging solutions created by Advantech and partners, thus leading the future of intelligent operating rooms.