Trainee medics practice in ultra-high definition 3D

A “virtual patient” system that allows trainee medical staff to study the body with ultra-high definition 3D simulations has been demonstrated at Cardiff University.

The system, which uses the UK’s research and education high-speed data network, “Janet”, allows trainees to practice diagnosis and develop other skills before they come into contact with real patients on a system with very high levels of detail.

‘The great thing about UHD video is that it enables us to use high fidelity visuals to replicate the human body, which are critical for modern diagnostics,’ said Prof Nick Avis of Cardiff’s School of Computer Science & Informatics.

‘Delivering this data-intensive digital media to remote users, whilst retaining high visual quality, requires high-speed networking and infrastructure.

‘We are fortunate to be able to use Janet’s high capacity data network to collaborate with research partners and push the boundaries of this technology, not only in the UK but internationally too.’

Visual data streams, which were displayed at the UHD formats of 4K and 8K (four and 16 times, respectively, the resolution of normal HD), were used to demonstrate how the system could help trainee radiographers practice diagnosis and how computer models of arterial cells could be displayed.

This showcase is the first of two run by the UK UHD Consortium, which consists of the universities of Cardiff, Bristol and Strathclyde, and Glasgow School of Art.

The group claims to be is the first in the UK to build an integrated networked infrastructure for research into novel multimedia techniques and networking architectures.

Emma Smith, video projects co-ordinator for Janet, said: ‘Ultra High Definition is the next generation of high fidelity digital media. Until now it has been most heavily associated with the entertainment industry and more recently large-screen coverage of the 2012 Olympics.

‘This research will not only benefit research and education, but also has the potential to enable virtual museums/tourism, performing arts collaborations and many more.’