October 25, 2012

Alternative Digital Archival System for KayPentax Strobe System

As a long-time user of the chip-on-tip all-digital KayPentax strobe system, I can certainly vouch for its amazing clarity of visualizing vocal cord pathology.

However, it's digital archival system to record, edit, and store video exams is to put it bluntly, subpar.

Which is why I've ditched that system, and put together a different one based on the Macintosh using its free (and included) but extremely powerful iMovie software which puts KayPentax's system to absolute shame. For those who know how to use iMovie, you know what I mean.

Potentially, this same setup can be applied to ANY medical imaging system including Vision Sciences and Olympus which my office also uses.

What you need...

1) KayPentax Hardware:
  • EPK-1000 Video Processor
  • Strobe Light Hardware
  • Chip-on-Tip Flexible Endoscope
2) Non-KayPentax Hardware (can be purchased on Amazon.com displayed below):
In essence, you connect the KayPentax, Vision Sciences, Olympus, or other hardware together first.

Than add in the "generic" hardware listed below. The key most important piece of hardware that makes this all work is the ADVC55 Converter box.

This converter box essentially brings in the separate video and audio feeds from the endoscopic camera hardware and spits out a single AV signal that is transmitted to the Mac Mini via FireWire which iMovie interprets as a single audio-visual digital signal.

For example, for the KayPentax system, the video signal is obtained from the EPK-1000 Video Processor using one of its S-video out ports. The audio signal, which is amplified using the Mic PreAmp, is recorded from a microphone and split to the Stroboscope and another to the converter box.

Finally, the DIP switches on the converter box needs to be set as follows:

3 ON
4 ON
5 ON

That's it!

iMovie videos are than recorded, edited, and saved just like any other movie file taken from a camcorder.

Movie files can be saved by iMovie in any one of a variety of standard video formats that can be read by any computer. Super nice as a copy of the video file can be simply copied to a thumb drive and given to the patient. On the other hand, the KayPentax system records videos in a proprietary video format which first has to be converted to a standard video format before anybody else can play it. Annoying and time-consuming if a patient wants a copy.

Keeping the saved iMovie files secure is another story, but briefly, I would suggest encrypting the hard drive using Apple's built-in FileVault. Use WPA-2 Enterprise or 802.1x for WiFi connectivity, but best to just turn WiFi off completely. For those more advanced users, a secure networked RAID hard-drive (NAS) can be used as a central storage repository for all saved video files which can be accessed by only those computers authorized.

Using such a centralized secure NAS is great because any recordings made from any system whether KayPentax, Olympus, Vision Sciences, etc can all be saved and retrieved from any computer in my office.

Best to talk to your local IT expert to get the networking all set up and ensure it's all secure.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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