The Silesian Center for Heart Diseases (SCCS) in Zabrze has been setting the standards for modern cardiology and cardiac surgery in Poland for more than 30 years. Since its inception, SCCS has worked closely with the Silesian Medical University, educating new generations of specialists. The facility combines the mission of saving lives, with education and innovation, always putting the safety and well-being of patients first. The institution brings together the most eminent experts in cardiac surgery and cardiology thanks to whom, advanced scientific and clinical research is carried out at the facility.
It was at the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze in 1985 that Zbigniew Religa performed pioneering procedures: the first heart surgery and the first successful heart transplant in Poland. A long tradition of innovation, combined with access to advanced medical equipment and the pursuit of an educational mission, allows the Center to operate at the level of the largest medical facilities in the world.
The mission of the SCCS is, first and foremost, to save human lives, as well as to improve their quality. Because of this, the authorities of the institution attach great importance to the quality of education and the effective combination of practical and theoretical aspects of learning. In the context of the didactic objectives, the facility’s priority was to allow students to observe procedures accurately, while ensuring patients’ privacy and safety.
During the expansion and modernization of the SCCS, the focus had to be on integrating and updating existing audio-visual systems with the latest technologies. From a technical point of view, the most important goal was to distribute audio, video and control signals efficiently, use the latest signal transmission technologies and create a reliable network.
In turn, the most important strategic goal for the institution was to enable hands-on education for students, without disrupting complex, often risky operations. The challenge, therefore, was to combine world-class education with patient safety and physician comfort.
Our task was to develop, integrate and upgrade AV systems at SCCS. In this implementation, we used an AV signal transmission and multimedia management system based on Crestron products, which are characterized by high reliability and the greatest stability on the market. The solution was designed based on IP signal distribution technology, which ensures the flexibility of the AV system and the ease of its servicing and expanding in the future. This has given us virtually unlimited possibilities for expanding the system’s reach over the years to come. A single signal distribution ecosystem and management system based on Crestron solutions guarantees native communication of all components. This, in turn, has its direct impact on the reliability and high responsiveness of the entire system.
A newly built hospital that we equipped comprehensively with new AV systems.
Each of the six hemodynamics and electrophysiology treatment rooms was equipped with a similar set of equipment. We made sure that each set included a wall-mounted touch panel to manage the AV system and to establish voice communication and adjust audio levels. The rooms also included ceiling speakers and a set of wireless microphones connected to a common antenna system located in all treatment rooms – for voice communication.
Each of the five seminar rooms has been equipped to provide seamless and efficient multimedia presentations, from locally connected sources of audio video signals, to the media ports in the tables. It is also possible to conduct AV transmissions from the treatment rooms, along with two-way voice communication. All seminar and training rooms, as well as the auditorium, have been additionally equipped with image processors, that allow several video streams to be assembled and displayed as a single content – this gives the ability to observe several images simultaneously. In this way, the presenter can show the content from his laptop or phone, and display the broadcast of the medical procedure taking place in the treatment room at the time. The lecturer can describe the surgical procedure “live” to the students, and they can ask questions about the operation being performed. This innovative functionality improves the quality of learning and offers students an amazing experience and practical learning opportunity.
In the server rooms, we have installed high-end Cisco active devices, which form a backbone network that extends to other facilities. This network is based on a fiber-optic cabling infrastructure, with a backbone switch as its central element. Due to the high requirements for system stability, the network structure has been designed with the utmost care, taking into account security mechanisms such as, for example, the physical redundancy of the connections of all major system components. In addition, to provide the technical staff with wireless access to the AV system, a dedicated wi-fi network was taken care of, allowing the technician to manage the system from any key location in the building. The implemented technology allows for the distribution of 4K resolution IP video signals without noticeable delays.
An existing hospital where we upgraded previous AV systems and integrated them with newly designed systems.
The AV system in the auditorium of Pavilion B is key to the hospital’s entire global system, as it is from here that the system in buildings A+, and B and C can be remotely managed, in terms of selecting video sources and establishing two-way voice communication with operation theatres and treatment rooms. The auditorium is also a key venue due to the training sessions, lectures, important internal meetings and press conferences held there – dedicated journalist connections have been provided especially for these events. The Hall has been equipped with a new projection and sound systems, as well as comprehensive “AV over IP” signal distribution and management systems. The latter allows for control of the Hall’s equipment (AV, blinds, lighting) locally, and remotely for equipment located in other parts of the building.
This space was upgraded in terms of adjusting its multimedia equipment to be compatible with the audio-visual system of the entire SCCS complex. We equipped it with classic conference room solutions, such as a projection and sound systems, together with a control system managing all devices in the room. Just like all spaces in the complex, this one has also been integrated with the central AV system, which has allowed signals to be transmitted to and from the room in any way, along with verbal communication through the sound system. This allows the trainers to establish contact with the operating rooms and to discuss the processes taking place there in real time. For trainees, this is an experience of great value and an opportunity to learn practical skills, in a safe environment.
Two operation theatres have been upgraded with key AV signal distribution components, allowing the room equipment to be connected to a central AV system. This allows for “verbal contact” between the classrooms and operating rooms used for training or consultations for future medical professionals.
We upgraded the existing AV systems in five operation theatres, in accordance with the agreed standard for the whole complex. Similarly to other spaces in the project, these rooms have also been integrated with the central AV system, allowing audio-visual connections to be made.
The solution we have implemented allows SCCS to meet its educational goals while meeting safety standards and maintaining required procedures. The ability to transmit the signal from the treatment rooms to the lecture halls is a great convenience. This allows students to discuss practical situations with the lecturer – in a safe environment allowing for concentration, and without interference with the situation in the treatment room. The transmission allows to show not only preview images from the PTZ cameras installed in the rooms, but also what is happening in the monitor of the treatment table, to view medical images visualized by the medical apparatus, and to allow students to observe the interaction of the staff. The transmission of images is carried out in real time – ‘on time’ – allowing the lecturer to select the images that are most important at any given moment, and then to discuss them in detail with the students.
SCCS is a place where the fate of human life is at stake, as well as a centre for training future doctors.
That is why it is so important that it has the best technological solutions, implemented in a thoughtful and consistent manner. Hence we designed an AV system that allows teaching at the level of the best centres around the world: with video and audio transmission capabilities. Thanks to this project, students are able to almost tangibly learn the principles of performing procedures. This is the future that, thanks to the technological solutions proposed by A+V, SCCS can implement. It is a huge success for us to enable SCCS to achieve their most important goal, which is to bring the treatment process as close to the student as possible, while ensuring safety for patients and respecting their rights. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work on a project so important to every patient and to contribute to the development of great doctors. Our implementation for the University of Silesia is an example of how effectively designed audiovisual systems have a significant impact on the quality of learning, as well as the comfort of students, lecturers and patients.