4 Things to Know About Implementing LED Backlight Technology in the OR

Hospitals and surgery centers are increasingly implementing light emitting diode backlight technology in their operating rooms. This echoes the example of consumers, who have been flocking to replace their power-hungry LCD televisions with more cost-efficient LED versions.

NDS Surgical Imaging, based in San Jose, Calif., is a pioneer of LED backlight technology, having launched the world's first LED backlit surgical display in 2009. Here, Jens Ruppert, VP & GM of NDSsi's Surgical Business Unit discusses four important points about implementing LED backlight technology in the surgical setting — and the benefits that facilities can realize through the upgrade.

1. LED technology can positively impact surgeon satisfaction. Until recently, surgical displays used older CCFL (fluorescent tube) lamps, which draw more power and burn out faster than the new LED models. Because LED displays can produce a brighter image while running cooler, the surgeon enjoys an enhanced overall picture and a screen that doesn't heat up in the same manner as CCFL.

If a surgeon has an investment in the facility, he or she could also benefit through increased cost savings. "By eliminating fluorescent tubes and moving to LED technology, display designs are getting thinner, more lightweight, and promising a much longer product lifespan," Mr. Ruppert says. He adds that backlight stabilization means the luminance output will never change or dim over time, giving surgical staff a higher level of image consistency and quality.

2. It won't strain your budget. Hospitals and surgery centers must replace their CCFL technology as it ages, meaning a capital investment in visualization equipment is inevitable. "Even though it is a newer and more advanced technology, LED-based monitors remain price-competitive," Mr. Ruppert says. "Also, lower power consumption leads to lower energy bills."

3. LED is environmentally-friendly. Surgery centers can also benefit from the environmentally-friendly nature of LED backlights. "LED technology eliminates mercury-filled components found in the CCFL backlights of the past," Mr. Ruppert says. "This new technology allows medical-grade displays to conform to stringent RoHS certification requirements."

4. Practically no operational differences exist from prior technology.
Hospitals and surgery centers often shy away from technological upgrades because of the fear of disrupting operations. But Mr. Ruppert says there are practically no operational differences between the LED and former CCFL technologies.

"This is an advanced step in image reproduction, without any additional burden on resources. The upgrade to LED should be nearly transparent to staff with no further training required," he says. He says there are no roadblocks to implementation because the operation and manufacture of displays are almost unchanged.

Learn more about NDS Surgical Imaging.

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