Nov 04, 2019

What if you could avoid chroma subsampling in the operating room?

Medical Imaging & workflows 2 min read last updated on: Mar 20, 2020

Nexxis is a video integration platform specifically designed for the digital operating room. Nexxis supports the surgical team with precise images, efficient workflow, and maximum flexibility and is the cornerstone of any integrated, hybrid or interventional operating room.

Many factors need to be aligned while performing surgery. From the atmosphere, team, technology, and tools, surgeons rely on many parameters to assure that they have the focus and steadiness to deliver a successful outcome.

One of the main OR must-haves is high-quality surgical video. The surgeon needs an accurate view of the entire procedure. During minimally invasive procedures, a camera enters the patient body via a small incision, subsequently turning a medical display into the eyes of the surgeon. To assure the best result, the colors on the display need to be as sharp, stable and accurate as possible. The goal is to show an image on the display that has the same quality as what the endoscopy camera is sending out. 

With the entrance of 4K resolution, images are now sharper than ever before. However, you’ll often see that, to stream 4K images over a video network, special techniques are applied to reduce the bandwidth. One of those techniques is called chroma subsampling. 


What is chroma subsampling and why should you care about the “4:4:4” label?

Chroma subsampling is a technique of encoding images with less color but with the same luminance. This technique is widely used to reduce bandwidth, meaning that the images are encoded with less color but keep the same luminance. In the OR, color accuracy has an immense impact on the success of a surgical procedure. Small variations in red, for example, can identify a blood vessel embedded within the tissue. To achieve the best results, you must ensure there is no color loss in the surgical images. 

The only way to guarantee the perfect image quality in the operating room is to look for a label “4:4:4” which refers to the fact that no chroma subsampling has been done. 

Find out more in the video below, the sixth in the “What if” video series, in which our product manager, Bruno Debonnet, explains how Nexxis can help deliver the best color accuracy to your surgical team.


Keep your eye on our blog and YouTube channel because we have more videos coming up soon!

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