Audio/video applications on network, Basic Computer Science

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Clinical applications of a computer include recording of slit lamp images on a computer. These still images or even videos can be recorded on a data storage server or the local computer itself. The images can then be edited, enhanced and stored for use in the
patients management, presentations or just for the'sake of completeness of the patients records. Since these images are usually big in size, copying them on a floppy and transferring them from one system to the other is a cumbsersome job. Even more so for a video recording made either of nursing care of patient in ICU image from the slit lamp or from the camera mounted on the operating microscope in the operation theatre while assisting in the complicated surgery. The sheer size of most image or video clippings make them difficult to transfer. Also storage and archival becomes an issue. The option of having these images available at different locations also needs to be considered.

In most cases a simple solution of all these issues is a properly set-up network, with a dedicated data server. Some people also like to use the term "Image Server" for the server which is used to store clinical nursing care images. These servers ideally should have sufficient space to permit storage and archival of the images for an extended period of time. For the purpose of storage, the server would ideally have a large hard disk capacity (something like 80 gigabyte or further multiples of this as required) or cassette tape drives for secure storage. ACD writer or DVD writer is also a desirable option so as to enable the administrator to have a back-up disk of the data in the rare situation of problems with the data server. Presence of the data on the server enables all the people who have been assigned rights to view and utilize these images and videos.

One major advantage of the network is to collect and organize all data pertaining to a single patient together as a single directory and record on a single system. All this data can also be directly linked with the patient's basic data file. In the absence of such a network, single patient's record and images would have to be retrieved from various different systems spread throughout the clinic or hospital. This would not only be manpower and time consuming, but also would be bothersome for the patient. An advanced application on a network would be using a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera using a DVR card. This camera can be linked to the desktop computer of a nurse's station or nurse administrator on the network, allowing her/him to monitor the entire hospital while doing routine tasks.

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