Silicon Valley-based El Camino Hospital and Sony Bring Live, Two-way High-Definition Videoconferencing to Medicine

HD Visual Communications Has Potential for Facilitating Faster Decision Making

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 1, 2007 - El Camino Hospital today became the first hospital to demonstrate the educational and collaborative capabilities of Sony Electronics' high-definition IP-based IPELA® visual communications system.

During a live, two-way conference with City of Hope, a medical center in southern California, cancer physicians shared data on cases involving difficult-to-treat liver tumors. The HD technology allows physicians to remotely share images at levels of precise detail, clarity and resolution not possible with standard definition, from individual blood vessels in a surgical video to the granular details of a pathology slide.

"This real-time collaboration can lead to faster decision-making," said surgical oncologist Shyamali Singhal, director of El Camino Hospital's Cancer Center. "The high-definition visual communications technology allows us to share detailed CT scans and pathology slides with physicians in other institutions. The implications for physicians' collaborative education are enormous as we can now remotely share sharp, clear views."

The Sony HD visual communications system, model PCS-HG90, combined with the PCSA-CHG90 pan-tilt-zoom camera, can transfer HD-resolution video and stereo audio over an IP network for use during medical educational conferences and lectures. The system may also have potential future uses in a broader range of medical educational applications.

"The use of HD resolution further expands the potential for real-time visual medical education," said Mike Sekiguchi, general manager of Sony Electronics' IPELA Visual Communications Group. "Precise imagery and color reproduction are important when viewing subject matter like blood, bone or organs. For example, the color red has always been particularly difficult to reproduce accurately with appropriate levels of gradation and shading. HD technology removes that challenge by effectively capturing the necessary image details."

Glowpoint, which provides managed video communications services over its dedicated IP video network, provided support and secured IP network connectivity in this demonstration.

"With the introduction of HD two-way video communications in the medical area, the requirement for extremely high-quality, reliable and secure connectivity becomes critical," said Michael Brandofino, Glowpoint's CEO. "Glowpoint is happy to participate in showing how far this technology has advanced."

"Our hope is to go beyond patient conferences and educational seminars," Singhal said. "We hope to broadcast and view live surgical cases over the secure network, and share that information with some of the most preeminent medical institutions in the United States." "El Camino Hospital has grown up with Silicon Valley," hospital Chief Executive Officer Ken Graham said. "This is another example of how our hospital has kept pace with - and stayed ahead of - the changing technologies in medicine to bring the highest quality care to the community."

El Camino Hospital plans to install the Sony visual communications system into its pathology and catheterization labs, an operating room and a conference room.