Digital Imaging Analog vs Digital Imaging

In the 1980s, when video endoscopy was first introduced, intraoperative video and still images were captured and recorded using conventional analog cameras.

Despite universal availability and low cost, analog technology has several limitations and drawbacks when compared to the much improved digital systems commonly employed today.

Besides inferior image quality, analog photos and video recordings tend to lose resolution and degrade over time. In addition, storage of these analog images, in the form of video libraries, occupies extensive space.

■ THREE-DIMENSIONAL VIDEO ENDOSCOPIC/LAPAROSCOPIC SYSTEMS

■ VIRTUAL REALITY ENDOSCOPIC/LAPAROSCOPIC SIMULATION

■ INTERNET AND TELEMEDICINE Laparoscopic Applications

■ THE OPERATING ROOMS OF THE FUTURE-TODAY

■ CONCLUSION

■ REFERENCES

Exposure remains one of the keys to success in both open and laparoscopic surgery.

Despite universal availability and low cost, analog technology has several limitations and drawbacks when compared to the much improved digital systems commonly employed today.

For endoscopic imaging, digital contrast enhancement is a feature more important than the number of camera chips.

Analog images transmitted through individual fiberoptic bundles during various endourologic procedures are translated into continuous voltage waveforms to be viewed on an analog video monitor. Such analog image signals, susceptible to degradation during the translation process, typically lack the detail necessary to identify subtle pathologic processes. This limitation may be due to specific aspects of the signal being misinterpreted by the analog circuitry and results in the introduction of electronic noise (1,2). In some circumstances, subtle differences in exposure and visibility can also compromise recognition of important but delicate anatomical structures (Fig. 1).

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