MaineHealth VideoNetwork Transmits First Integrated Medical Broadcast


On March 25th the MaineHealth VideoNetwork successfully transmitted the first integrated broadcast from the Scarborough Surgery Center to the Dana Center at Maine Medical Center. This was the inaugural first use of the telemedicine system and focused on a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) performed by Dr. Tom Brady. The broadcast was designed as a proof of concept for the medical video system equipment in a non-emergent case.

This video unit integrates the Smith and Nephew Digital OR system that can be used by surgeons within the MaineHealth VideoNetwork. It can also be utilized throughout the state for Telemedicine and Video Conferencing. The cholecystectomy procedure was able to be viewed in a separate video conference room miles away and featured a multi-camera video setup for full coverage, with an overhead camera as well as a laparoscopic camera for internal video transmission.

One very unique aspect of the procedure was that the patient was very familiar with how these video systems worked. “I needed to have my gallbladder removed and my job is to work with these systems every day on the MaineHealth VideoNetwork” said Dan McKeown Telehealth Analyst for MaineHealth/MMC, “and I thought this was a perfect opportunity to really showcase the fantastic capability we have here as far as telemedicine. However I have to admit, it was very unique to be on the other side of the camera”. Not only did McKeown serve as the patient, he did a lot of prep work with the MaineHealth VideoNetwork team prior to Friday’s procedure.

The first goal was putting the video equipment through rigorous testing in the days leading up to the cholecystectomy. Next was coordinating the team who would work to make sure everything went smoothly. This was a great collaborative effort between the MaineHealth VideoNetwork team, the Clinical Engineering team and the surgery team. Telehealth Analyst Frank McMahon was manning the equipment on the Dana Center side,
Nick Priore from Clinical Engineering was running the equipment on the SSC side and additional support came from Keith Tanabe also from Clinical Engineering. “From the technical standpoint, the video and audio were great; as if I was in the operating room with them” noted Keith Tanabe Biomedical Electronics Technician II from Clinical Engineering, “this system on the MaineHealth VideoNetwork offers a secure, live and interactive method that really engages everyone involved. This technology will absolutely increase the educational interaction and consultation possibilities so more physicians and students will benefit in the long run.”

The end result was a stable high definition video feed which had audio from Dr. Tom Brady (who wore a microphone and provided commentary throughout the procedure) as well as full video from multiple cameras. The end result was a technical, procedural and educational success that will pave the way for more telemedicine video conference use in the coming months.

The MaineHealth VideoNetwork, located at 180 Park Avenue in Portland Maine, is focused on extending Telehealth and Telemedicine throughout Maine and beyond via broadcast medical procedures, training, conferences and patient/doctor video connections.

For more information, contact Dan McKeown at 207.662.6451 or Frank McMahon at 207.662.6558 or via our contact form.