2.2 THE GREAT MACHINE VISION IMPACT detectors (FPDs), system designers can more easily transfer images between Ethernet networked devices and processing units used to enhance, analyze, and display images. Numerous manufacturers have integrated GigE Vision interface hardware into FPDs that fit into existing systems as a direct digital drop-in replacement for film-based panels. GigE Vision over NBASE-T provides a straight forward upgrade path for these manufacturers, enabling the design of next-generation higher bandwidth FPDs for networked and multi-panel radiography applications. Figure 2. By boosting the bandwidth capabilities of low-cost, extended-reach Cat 5e cabling for a fully networked medical imaging application, processing and analysis equipment can be located outside the sterile operating room. This reduces the cost of sterilizing equipment, lowers the risk of patient infection, and allows data to be easily shared across multiple departments. One of the key advantages of GigE-based distributed network architectures is the ability to integrate previously isolated image sources and patient data onto a common network and aggregate the information to a single dashboard. In an operating room, for example, the single screen dashboard displays real-time patient data from different imaging devices and systems. The surgeon can easily switch between imaging sources, such as white light and fluoroscopic cameras and pre-operative and real-time images, without configuring hardware or software. The image feed from a lamp head camera can also be converted into the same GigE Vision-compliant image stream for easy networking with other imaging sources. Figure 3. At the transport layer, the imaging device sends only one copy of the data to a network switch. The Ethernet switch replicates the data for distribution to displays and processing platforms. This ensures video distribution doesn’t impact server performance. Leveraging Ethernet’s multicast capabilities, display and
processing functions can be distributed from a single device to multiple devices to help ensure reliability. Per-frame metadata, such as a precise timestamp of image acquisition and sensor settings, is transmitted with the images over the Ethernet link for easy integration with DICOM-compliant software and hardware. Advances in high-bandwidth imaging transport are also helping reduce radiation doses for patients. This is especially beneficial in fluoroscopy, which provides real-time X-ray images of a patient’s anatomy using radiation exposure over time. The process, however, resulted in a greater cumulative radiation exposure. Innovative fluoroscopy systems minimize a patient’s exposure by using multiple moving X-ray sources to irradiate tissue from numerous incremental angles in just seconds. Traditional interfaces would be uneconomical and too cumbersome for this application. Figure 4.
Continuing Evolution NBASE-T technology joins a growing list of recent technology advances, including GigE, 10 GigE, USB 3.0, and wireless, that are now playing a key role machine vision. For imaging system manufacturers, these new capabilities are helping simplify design, lower costs, and enhance performance for traditional machine vision applications, while supporting the migration of vision expertise into new markets. Author Bio: Ed Goffin is the marketing manager with Pleora Technologies, a leading provider of video interfaces for real-time medical, security & defense, and machine vision applications. Ed has worked in the technology industry for 20 years, and has managed marketing, corporate communications and investor relations for telecommunications, semiconductor, and video companies. www.pleora.com
Figure 4 Higher bandwidth GigE Vision over NBASE-T interfaces enable the easier design of multi-panel X-ray systems.
34 | RTC Magazine JULY 2017