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Janet spreading best medical practice - virtually

Researchers at UK universities are carrying out 3D demonstrations on a ‘virtual patient', showing how groundbreaking ultra high definition (UHD) technology is making a real difference to medical training and diagnosis.

Already used by trainee radiographers at Cardiff University, UHD technology, using the UK’s research and education high-speed data network, Janet, has the potential to revolutionise the way medical training is conducted. It will free up treatment rooms for patients and enable students to learn in a virtual world before treating 'actual' patients. By sharing resources with other universities significant savings could be made, as well as enabling shared expertise.

This showcase is the first of two run by the UK Ultra High Definition Consortium, consisting of the Universities of Cardiff, Bristol and Strathclyde, and Glasgow School of Art. The demonstration sees radiographers at Cardiff’s Healthcare Studies undergoing training on a ‘virtual patient’ using 3D technology, bringing to life an area of the body in need of treatment.

The streams, of 4-8K content (four to eight times the resolution of normal HD) will also be shared with other sites at Bristol and PSNC (Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre in Poland). It will also show computational modelling on arterial cells – the results of collaboration with the Cardiovascular Sciences Research Group based at the Wales Heart Research Institute in Cardiff.

Nick Avis, professor of interactive visualisation and virtual environments at Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics, explained: '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. However, 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.'

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