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Solstice proves central to training UK Radiographers

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Mersive has announced that Solstice, its award-winning, in-room wireless collaboration platform, is being used for training at the recently opened National Imaging Academy Wales. The Academy is using 15 Solstice units in 13 spaces ranging from a full lecture theatre to smaller meeting rooms. Mersive Solstice was chosen by the academy for its reliability, flexibility and ease of use.

The National Imaging Academy Wales is an NHS facility that trains radiologists and imaging professionals at all stages of their careers from senior house office through to consultant. Established with £3.4m of funding from the Welsh government, the academy is Wales’ flagship facility designed to meet the increasing need to train more consultant radiologists across the UK. Visiting consultants deliver training modules at the academy in accordance with the Royal College of Radiologists curriculum in a dedicated environment equipped with the latest technology.

The academy engaged Comcen AV to provide AV facilities throughout its many training and meeting rooms. The academy has a 100-seat lecture theatre with a dual-screen projection system and has the ability to record and stream live lectures across Wales. An additional large meeting space with multiple repeater screens and a 4K, 86” interactive screen can accommodate 70 delegates in a workshop/seminar type environment. Six smaller training rooms and five meeting rooms are available equipped with 84” and 75” interactive screens from Avocor, Microsoft and C-Touch. The screens in each of these rooms are fully interactive, allowing tutors and trainee radiologists to deliver a unique training experience by working with images from across Wales. The screens are configured as interactive whiteboards, allowing images to be marked up as discussion progresses.

A key element of the specification provided by the Academy to Comcen was screencasting: allowing tutors and trainees to share high-resolution, medical images from their desktops with the whole class. This was a challenging requirement, since the files themselves can be very large, and the presentation needs to be of sufficiently high quality to allow trainees sitting at the back of the larger rooms to see the details clearly and participate in a discussion. The source of the images might be Windows PCs, MacBooks or Android devices.

Comcen recommended Mersive Solstice. Matthew Sims, AV health consultant at Comcen AV explained, “We standardised on Mersive Solstice for wireless on-screen content sharing in 2015 and have found it to be easy to use, flexible and exceptionally stable. A key NIAW requirement was ease of connection. Mac, iOS, Android and Windows devices can all connect easily with no dongle, which was a major plus. MacBook, iPhone and iPad users can use native mirroring, Android users can use Miracast, and Windows laptop users can download and install the App without administrator rights. The number of simultaneous users is essentially unrestricted and connection is easy, quick and intuitive.”

Chris Charran, UK and Ireland Regional Sales Manager of Mersive, added:

“Comcen clearly considered the needs of the Academy thoroughly and we’re delighted that they chose Mersive Solstice for the project. Comcen is a long term and valued partner for Mersive, and this demanding installation is the latest example of a stellar implementation of Solstice technology by their exceptional team. Comcen harnessed Solstice to improve the learning and teaching experience throughout this flagship facility.”

Stephen Buckle, radiology clinical IT systems manager, National Imaging Academy Wales, emphasised that sharing of images is a core element of the training: 

“Our consultant radiologists who conduct the training bring in images based on their own professional experience. Between modules, trainees go out to hospitals and return with images of their own to share. They also need to deliver presentations to the class as part of the programme. None of this could happen without screencasting functionality, and Mersive Solstice has proved easy to use and totally reliable.”

“We couldn’t deliver the training we do without Solstice,” he concluded. “Image sharing is seamless – it just happens. No swapping of cables or dongles and no fiddling with on-screen settings. Our tutors and trainees alike don’t really notice that the technology is there. Mersive Solstice just works in the background allowing the class to focus its attention where it should be – the image and what it’s telling them about the detailed pathology of the case being reviewed.”

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