November 3, 2008
Steven F. Palter, MD, a physician at Syosset Hospital and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, and founder of Docinthemachine,com, has produced and presented the first-ever ultra high definition digital cinema surgery recorded using 4K technology. He presented these images as a featured speaker at the General Session of the 37th Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Gyn, held today in Las Vegas in a groundbreaking session on the use of film and video technology to transform medicine.Ultra high resolution digital cameras are transforming the art of cinema. Leading Hollywood directors such as Peter Jackson and Stephen Soderbergh today have just started filming the next generation of cinema blockbusters using cameras with “4K” resolution, four times the resolution of High Definition (HD) with 4,096 lines of resolution to give audiences unprecedented realism. In previously describing this technology, Mr. Soderberg said, “This is the camera I’ve been waiting for my whole career: it is going to change everything….Shooting with it is like hearing The Beatles for the first time.”

For the first time ever, a surgeon has joined forces with RED Digital Cinema Camera Company, the leading digital cinema camera company; Sony, the leading ultrahigh definition projector company; and FotoKem, a preeminent Hollywood postproduction house; to film and project a surgery and microscopic images in 4K. This groundbreaking proof of concept, produced by the doctor who performed the world’s first high definition surgery in 2000, demonstrated to surgeons how Hollywood’s next generation technology will revolutionize visualization in laparoscopic surgery.

“By increasing resolution to this level we allow the surgeon to be actually immersed in images that surpass the live surgical experience. The progress from regular surgical film technology is like comparing sitting in an HD home theater to watching a video on a cell phone” said Dr. Palter, the surgeon who engineered this unique joint effort.

“Amazingly, the surgeons in the conference were able to visualize the surgery they were watching better than if they had been in the operating room live,” he said. “If it can transform the immersive experience of the movies with unprecedented realism wouldn’t you want that degree of vision in your surgeon’s hands?” By combining unprecedented resolution and magnification, the surgical images were beyond what a surgeon would have standing live in the operating room, he added. Conference participants predicted that this technology would further revolutionize minimally invasive surgery as it becomes incorporated into the OR of the future.

Dr. Palter projected the largest high definition (HD) 3d surgical images ever. Wearing glasses reminiscent of today’s 3d Hollywood blockbusters “U23D” and “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” a standing-room only crowd of more than 1,600 surgeons felt as if they could “reach out and join the operation.” These images were enabled by converting Sony’s ultrahigh definition and 3d theatrical systems to show medical footage in what the AAGL called the “Theater of Tomorrow.”

Since laparoscopic surgery is performed by a surgeon watching on a video monitor making the images “better than live” may facilitate teaching and procedures in the future.

RED’s 4K system was used to film the movies “Jumper,” “Crossing the Line” and “The Argentine.” This recording represents its first use for medicine and biology in the world.

Dr. Palter is the founder of Docinthemachine.com. He is a board-certified specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Formerly the clinical chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Yale University School of Medicine, he is recognized for his visionary insight into the applications of new technology to medicine to develop new therapies to better treat patients and as a leading specialist in infertility treatment. He has mentored trainees from over a dozen nations, and has been invited to perform surgery in the U.S., South America, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

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Media Contact: Terry Lynam 516-465-2600

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