At CEATEC 2019, we spotted the Olympus ORBEYE, a powerful medical camera that is powered by Sony Camera sensors, some of them small enough to fit in our phones.

Many people don’t realize that today’s best mobile camera phones are nearly always powered by at least one Sony camera sensor. We look at this extensively because we have our Camera IQ mobile camera benchmark.

The ORBEYE brings 4K and 3D imaging to surgical teams that perform extremely precise and difficult brain and spine surgeries. The camera is probably one of the greatest advances in neurosurgery since the invention of the surgical microscope.

Some details are so small, and the operating areas are so packed with tissues and veins that any mistake can have dire consequences. The camera is connected to a large monitor and shows to the whole medical team the same view as the surgeon.

Sharing a common view increases awareness and let other members chime in and provide advice if necessary. If the session is recorded, it may also bring invaluable educational value.

The camera is mounted on a multi-axis arm so that the camera can be oriented in any direction. The low-profile mounting platform is designed to require a minimal amount of space and can be placed out of the way, to let tools to be passed around.

A high-powered zoom shows the most minute details, but the camera can do far more than that. Equipped with Infrared, blue light, and narrow-band imaging, the camera can highlight veins and different types of tissues to help doctors operate with higher accuracy. It can even help distinguish between tumors and healthy tissues to minimize the damage done during surgery.

Finally, using a large screen greatly reduces eye-strain for long surgeries. Surgeons are known to spend long hours because once started, the surgery must end with the patient in a stable (and safe) condition. The longest surgery on record lasted 103 hours and was actually brain surgery.

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