Extron NAV Pro AV over IP Expands the Reach of Surgical Grand Rounds at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine
The Surgical Education Center, its videowall, and NAV AVoIP network tying all meeting spaces together surpassed everyone’s expectations. We couldn’t have done it without the aid of a company that was willing to embrace our design goals, train us, and support us, as Extron did.
Similar to its peers among top-ranked medical schools in the United States, the University of North Carolina School of Medicine incorporates grand rounds as an integral component of their medical education curriculum. The mission for Surgery Grand Rounds is to provide an educational format with broad appeal to UNC faculty, residents, staff, and students. A wide range of topics are presented by local, regional, and international speakers on clinical education, research science, technological developments, and related issues affecting UNC's current and future surgeons. A worldwide medical community can participate through streaming over the Internet. This fulfills a core value of the Hippocratic Oath: for doctors to share knowledge actively and openly to improve patient care.
To support their knowledge sharing goals, UNC’s Department of Surgery engaged the IT Department’s AV Engineer Christopher Ferrer to design and install state-of-the-art AV systems in a comprehensive renovation of the fourth floor of the Burnett Womack Building on the Chapel Hill campus. Central to the project was creation of a 140-seat Surgical Education Center to connect UNC surgeons with their peers. Consultants Newcomb & Boyd performed AV design. Integrator ClarkPowell performed installation. Extron was vendor of choice for AV switching, distribution, and control systems.
In addition to the expansive Education Center, the project includes new AV-enabled office spaces and conference rooms. Construction of building modifications and AV system commissioning were completed late fall of 2020, capping three years of work. When UNC’s new surgical tower opens in 2022, the final leg of AV connectivity to the tower’s operating rooms will be established over the network.
AV Facilitates Wide Dissemination of Medical Knowledge
Whether colleagues are in the first row, the last row, or on the opposite side of the world, the Education Center AV system helps UNC surgeons cut to the core of concepts as deftly as they handle a scalpel.
Positioned in front of a 24' x 5' videowall, a smart lectern feeds presentation video and audio into the AV system from the lectern's PC or a guest laptop. Other AV content sources include media players and a wireless access point for mobile devices. There are also inputs from a PC in the Control Room and from multiple PTZ cameras around the venue.
The direct-view LED videowall is comprised of left, center, and right screens driven by up to six 4K HDMI sources via an Extron
The Quantum Ultra videowall processor also provides signals for the two portrait-oriented confidence monitors that face the lectern. During videoconferences, the processor allows the confidence monitors to display local content, shared content, and far-end participants simultaneously as three separate images. Six flat panel displays above the audience reinforce views for the back rows. To interact with remote audiences, there are AV feeds to a Cisco videoconferencing system, to soft codecs for unified communications platforms such as Zoom, and to an Extron
NAV Pro at the Heart of AV Content Distribution
DTP CrossPoint Switchers Perform Source Selection, Audio Amplification, and Control in Conference Rooms
The Burnett Womack Building fourth-floor renovation included construction of new conference rooms that are used stand-alone or as extensions of the Education Center. Both rooms have identical AV amenities. A
The UNC Department of Surgery mission statement is, “To provide the highest patient care to all people through innovation, world-class research, and training the next generation of surgical health care professionals and scientists.” The chair of the surgery department, who guided creation of the Education Center, noted upon completion that, “This new Center will provide a state-of-the-art space for that collaboration and training.” According to Christopher Ferrer, “Utilizing our enterprise data network, we are able to send any AV source to any display. The videowall’s 24’ x 5’ expanse of direct-view LED tiles and the extensive choice of video scaling and windowing arrangements made possible by the Extron Quantum videowall processor provides a perfect palette for presenting large amounts of information like patient charts, photos, and live video, all at once, readable from short or long distances.”
Ferrer continues, “The Surgical Education Center, its videowall, and NAV AVoIP network tying all meeting spaces on the fourth floor together surpassed everyone’s expectations. We couldn’t have done it without the aid of a company that was willing to embrace our design goals, train us, and support us, as Extron did throughout this project.”