University of Arkansas-Little Rock

The Challenge:

The principal objective of the project was to provide a high-definition session monitoring and quality records archival management system for multiple simulated patient surgical suites at the UALR School of Nursing. The system would allow dedicated staff observers to manipulate HD cameras to achieve best-possible perspectives of patients and surgical activities during the audio/video capture of simulation sessions. Administrative assistants would also have concurrent master control of all session activities throughout the facility.

Among the challenges associated with this project were accomplishing the digital transport of multiplexed audio and video feeds from two HD cameras, PC-generated vital signs and microphone audio to/from each of the twenty-two (22) hospital beds used for simulated patient nurse training. The project was required to be implemented incrementally, with the initial phase limited to integration of ten (10) hospital beds. The hardware and software infrastructure was developed to allow a logical upgrade path for adding future equipment to complete the facility with twenty-two (22) beds. On-site playback of the multiplexed recordings was needed for debriefing sessions and were required to occur within 5 minutes of ending a simulation session. During each session, individual cameras were required to be monitored without interfering with the actual multiplexed recording. Additionally, a nightly file push to a permanent server archive was required to allow viewing of archived sessions from satellite campus computers with approved access.

The Solution:

SVSi engineers actually assisted Curtis Stout A/V with development of the initial system design, and they were also extremely supportive with training and systems troubleshooting during the integration phase. SVSi’s technical personnel customized the firmware as UALR’s needs evolved and provided custom recording devices with upgraded processors to handle the massive nightly file conversion to MP4 format which was required for permanent archival. There were a few issues encountered with equipment functionality, but SVSi responded very quickly with appropriate firmware upgrades or new versions of equipment in such a way that the project could be completed in compliance with the client’s required completion date.

The Impact:

As with any AV project, there were several system designs that would have met the needs expressed by UALR, but SVSi’s products provided a flexibility and quality that I don’t believe could have been met at this price point with other designs. Also because of the widget nature of this series of products, the base infrastructure (i.e. network switches) were the only items that couldn’t be added as per-bed cost. Other solutions would have required a much larger initial outlay of money as the base infrastructure (large HD AV matrix switchers) would have needed to be installed during the initial phase. This would have cut the number of beds UALR would have been able to install, which was not at all attractive to our client.

“SVSi’s products provided a flexibility and quality that I don’t believe could have been met at this price point with other designs.” –Mark Chard, MS, CTS, DMC-D

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