b<>com is a private French innovation center that pioneers, designs and delivers technologies to companies that want to digitally boost their competitiveness.
Its technologies are developed to address digital infrastructure, the cultural and creative industries, health, defense, and industry 4.0. Its experts come up with solutions in areas like 5G networks and beyond, image and audio processing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, cognitive science and mixed realities.
b<>com is proud to be part of the H2020 5G-TOURS project that helps the hospital to improve its services in the operating room and enhance emergency healthcare, thanks to 5G networks capabilities and features and Augmented Reality application.
In the context of the operating room (UC8), the scenario considers a situation when a patient has to go under a cardiac intervention procedure, involving an image fusion application (Augmented Reality), combining live echography provided by a spatially tracked ultrasound probe and live X-ray imaging. In this situation, devices and wires would see their numbers grow and a way to reduce this number is to use 5G connectivity and transmission.
5G technology is considered here as an enabler for Augmented Reality (AR) applications which have strong growth potential in clinical practices (such as needle biopsy and surgery guidance) and require important amounts of video data to be transferred with very low latency. In order to provide a precise synchronization of the different incoming images, the augmented reality platform operates DICOM-RTV streams. b<>com was the initiator of the DICOM-RTV supplement to the DICOM standard, based on the recent video over IP standards, SMPTE 2110, and enables the transfer of metadata, related to the video, such as patient information, device in use or tools position.
In February 2022, tests and integrations could be carried out in the ThérA-Image room of the Rennes University Hospital, which is a hybrid operating room, that is both a place of care and research in the field of health technologies. Such tests allowed the technical teams to test the AR applications and connectivity in situ considering all constraints of such room (space, devices already in place like the X-RAY device). Experiments were shared with a cardiologist, who could also give feedback to the technical teams about the usage of the devices and the outcomes of the AR application.
In the context of the emergency healthcare (UC7), b<>com is providing the 26GHz wireless private 5G network to connect the devices (smart glasses from AMA, ultrasound probes from Philips) used inside the emergency ambulance and to share video streams to remote medical experts, in a secured way and with high reliability offered by the 5G network.
Those use cases are done in close cooperation with partners in 5G-TOURS that are all strongly active across the value chain, including Orange (mobile network operator), AMA (video communication solution provider), Nokia (5G equipment vendors), Philips, (immersive tele-sonography solutions) and Rennes University Hospital (vertical).