Digital Imagingvideo Documentationand Editing

Over the last few years, digital imaging has slowly revolutionized the field of video endoscopy.

Images captured initially in the analog format could later be converted digitally using a digital camera or scanner. However, the introduction of digital still cameras has taken image documentation and editing to a new level. Currently, the newest surgical video systems have integrated digital image capture system, allowing immediate capturing of still images from endoscopic procedures (Fig. 5) (3). Alternatively, a less-expensive digital still image capture adapter can be connected to endoscopic camera systems (6). Digital still images can usually be recorded in Joint Photographic Experts Group or JPEG, tagged image file format or TIFF, or bitmap formats. These digital images can be edited and optimized on the computer using various graphic software packages.

Incorporating medical images into the patient's record as well as creation of an image library can enhance urologic practice (19,20).

The quality of the digital image required depends upon its purpose. Low-resolution images, in the range of one to two megapixels, can be used for email attachments or Power Point™ presentations. However, a higher quality image, between three to four megapixels, is more useful if a printed image is required. In cases where storage is not an issue, the image should be obtained at its highest resolution, thereby allowing for future image manipulation.

Until recently, the majority of video recordings during endoscopic procedures could be performed with conventional analog video home system or SVHS formats, which could be digitally converted. The introduction of digital video-recording devices now allows direct recording of video footages into a digital format, such as digital video, Moving Picture Experts Group and audio video interlevel (Fig. 6). These video-capturing

FIGURE5 ■ Still images and short video clips (depending on resolution) can be captured on a digital card. Direct digital video stream can be captured on a computer, digital camcorder, or digital recorder via an IEEE 1394 fire-wire connector on the back panel. Source: Courtesy of Olympus America.

FIGURE 6 ■ Digital capture is possible and increasingly flexible, offering the ability to store directly to DVD in all forms of Moving

Picture Experts Group or AVI. Also offering ethernet connectivity providing video conferencing capability. Video capture directly to an 80-gigabyte hard drive is also possible or streaming to computer or video camera via SVIDEO, IEEE-1394, serial port, or parallel port is also possible. Source: Courtesy of Stryker Endoscopy.

Storage of large numbers of digital files remains a big issue. Picture archiving and communication systems are under development to play an important role in "filmless" medical imaging in the near future.

systems can be part of an expensive commercial integrated video system, digital video camera, digital versatile disk recorder, or a low-cost personal computer with digital video capture card (21). digital video editing may be performed on a personal computer using various editing programs, e.g., Adobe® Premiere or Movie Maker.

Small still digital images can be stored on different digital storage media (SmartMedia, Compact Flash, Secure Digital, MultiMedia card, or Memory Stick) up to 1 gigabyte, depending on the media used. Zip disk (up to 750 megabytes), CD-ROM (700 MB), and, lately, digital veratile disk or DVD (17 GB) can be utilized for larger files, especially video clips.

Storage of large numbers of digital files remains a big issue. Picture archiving and communication systems are under development to ultimately play an important role in "filmless" medical imaging in the near future (22-24).

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