CESNET arranges interactive transmissions of new cardiology methods

Prague, 17 May 2013. Using its UltraGrid technology, designed for video transmission on the computer network, the CESNET association was involved in interactive transmissions at the 23rd Workshop of the Intervention Cardiology Workgroup of the Czech Society of Cardiology (CSC) and the 21st Annual Congress of the CSC. This enabled participants of both the events to watch first-class interventions and discuss them. The operations were performed at four prestigious workplaces: the University Hospital Brno, the Centre for Cardiovascular and Transplantation Surgery in Brno, the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) in Prague, and the Podlesí Hospital in Třinec.

Both the events of the past weeks presented latest catheter methods for treating patients with serious cardiovascular disease, accompanied at the CSC Congress with a transmission of a mini-invasive cardiosurgical operation using the endoscopic approach. In total, there were ten live transmissions, mostly demonstrating the latest methods for determining revascularisation treatment for patients with ischemic heart disease, a disease that is the most common cause of death in advanced countries. Among the other innovations, we can mention the specialised technology aimed at accurate detection of fat content in coronary blood vessels, which in some cases helps estimate the risk of a heart attack (NIRS – Near InfraRed Spectroscopy). It was the first time it was demonstrated in the Czech Republic. The so-far most accurate 3-D reconstruction of the interior of coronary blood vessels using optical coherent tomography (OCT) also drew attention.

In collaboration with the University Hospital Brno and Masaryk University, CESNET has intensively deployed technology for transmitting high-quality video in cardiological and cardiosurgical applications so that the workplaces in the Czech Republic are at the very top in the world in terms of video transmissions for research and education. Dr. Petr Holub and Dr. Petr Kala’s teams focus on developing methods that will enable video capture automation, anonymisation and additional functionality that is applied ever more widely in medical applications.

UltraGrid is a technology being developed by CESNET, allowing low-latency Internet video transmission in resolutions from HD up to 2160p/4K. The video can be compressed by the M-JPEG codec, which is accelerated using graphics cards, enabling low-latency real-time compression and decompression up to 4320p/8K resolution. The UltraGrid makes use of common graphics cards supporting the NVidia CUDA technology and can be used on common PC and Mac hardware. The deployment of these technologies in the CESNET2 national research network makes it possible to achieve fully interactive collaboration, notably thanks to the one-way transfer latency up to no more than 100 ms. At the same time, the image quality is indistinguishable from uncompressed video. For more information, please visit: ultragrid.sitola.cz

Technical details of the transmissions

Cardiological operations require high quality of the transmitted video, in both invasive cardiology and cardiosurgery. The transmissions at the 23rd Workshop of the Intervention Cardiology Workgroup of the (CSC) took advantage of the maximum quality achieved by connecting both the participating workplace to the academic backbone network of Brno, run by Masaryk University. Thanks to its long years of expertise in the area of optical networks, it also provided temporary connection for the venue of the workshop – the Hotel Voroněž. This enabled the use of the unique M-JPEG codec integrated in the UltraGrid system, fully accelerated by NVIDIA graphics cards and achieving sufficient throughput for up to 8K video (16 × HD) on a single graphics card. The workshop received video streams in Full HD quality with data flows of approx. 150 Mbps. There were also experimental test transmissions in native ultra-HD (4K) video, which could be implemented as the commodity standard for demanding viewers starting in 2014.

The transmissions at the 21st Annual Congress of the CSC were a new challenge with regard to the limited network capacity of the IKEM and the Podlesí Hospital. Within the UltraGrid platform, CESNET set a special low-latency H.264 encoding for these cases, which enables excellent video quality and interactivity even with data flows of 10–50 Mbps. This permitted the simultaneous transmission of two FullHD video channels to Brno Exhibition Grounds, the venue of the Congress. During transmissions from the IKEM and the Podlesí Hospital, one channel was always used for direct connection to the unique scientific instrumentation, which is the cutting edge in current cardiological and cardiosurgical equipment.

The Czech Society of Cardiology (CSC) is a voluntary professional-scientific organisation that advances cardiology. It notably associates people engaged in prevention, diagnostics, treatment and research into cardiovascular diseases. The ČKS is a descendant of the Czechoslovak Society of Cardiology, established in 1929. Its primary mission is to foster and advance professionalism in cardiology. In collaboration with professional institutions, it is engaged in education and expertise in cardiology. The ČKS is a representative of Czech cardiologists in the European Society of Cardiology and other international professional organisations. For more information, please visit: www.kardio-cz.cz.

University Hospital Brno is the second largest hospital in the Czech Republic, providing highly specialised medical care and almost twenty years of tradition in intervention cardiology, specialising in invasive diagnostics and treatment of patients with serious cardiovascular diseases. The basic programmes of the Invasive and Intervention Cardiology Centre of the Internal Cardiology Clinic are invasive diagnostics of coronary defects and their intervention treatment using percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and implantation of coronary, preferentially medicamental stents. The workplace is also an international training centre—Centre of Excellence for invasive imaging methods, comprehensive PCI and some interventions in patients with structural heart defects.

Brno Centre of Cardiovascular and Transplantation Surgery (CKTCH) is a state allowance organisation directly reporting to the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic. It provides highly specialised medical care involving diagnostics and surgery of cardiovascular diseases, diagnostics and transplantations of hearts in both children and adults, transplantations of livers and kidneys and post-transplant monitoring of patients as well as organ removal for transplantation. In these specialisations, the institute participates in scientific research programmes and cooperates with the Medical Faculty of the MU on graduate and doctoral studies. For more information, please visit: www.cktch.cz.

The Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague (IKEM) is a state allowance organisation in the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic. It provides highly specialised medical care involving diagnostics and both intervention and surgical treatment of cardiovascular diseases, diagnostics and transplantations of hearts in both children and adults, transplantations of livers and kidneys and post-transplant monitoring of patients as well as organ removal for transplantation. The Institute is involved in many scientific research programmes in these specialisations.

Podlesí Hospital in Třinec is part of the MoH network of comprehensive cardiovascular centres, along with the UH Brno, the CKTCH Brno and the IKEM. It provides highly specialised medical care in diagnostic and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and ranks among the Czech Republic’s biggest cardiovascular centres.

The CESNET Association was founded by Czech universities and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 1996. It is engaged in research and development in information and communication technologies and builds and develops the CESNET national e-infrastructure for research and education. With its research activities and accomplishments, CESNET represents the Czech Republic in international projects, most notably the pan-European GÉANT network building project and grid projects (EGI.eu), and participates actively in their implementation. Among other things, the association deals with the use of high-speed networks for sharing multimedia data both through synchronous video conferencing and shared applications and asynchronous streaming.

Press Release, May 17, 2013

Last change: 28.5.2013