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Leading Video Capture for the Medical Market

medical operation displays

At Datapath, we pride ourselves on our market leading capture cards. Having the ability to capture pristine quality video into a host system without any compression, subsampling or frame degradation combined with product reliability and robustness have made Datapath cards the perfect choice for real time video capture.


The ability to deliver content on demand directly into critical applications, in which each and every video frame must be analyzed without error or misinterpretation, has made capture cards a crucial component in medical devices.


We have worked with a number of customers who have integrated their software applications with our capture technology in a variety of mission critical applications. Our RGBEasy software API makes it ultra-easy to write and maintain software applications that deliver multiple video streams for presentation within either Windows or Linux based machines.


Medical customers have used our capture platform to develop their critical systems intended for use within capture and storage of video data. Such systems are capable of looking back at past surgical procedures and ‘freeze frame’, on any frame, in order to make procedural improvements, educate staff, or to review patient condition based on the video data that was observed.


The Challenge

In more recent years, this basic need to review medical footage has quickly expanded its usage into live surgical applications where decisions are made by a surgeon during the live operation. And with procedures being as complex as they are today, multiple human factors and ergonomics and have to be considered alongside the technology.


The Datapath team were approached by a large medical manufacturer where their system designers were tasked to create solutions to meet a certain set of use-case requirements.


Any medical system employed should be capable of delivering any critical information to the surgeon on demand, and without removing focus away from the procedure. The solution must cause no unnecessary strain, fatigue or additional complexity for the surgeon who is already under pressure.

Additionally, multiple live cameras may be required in and around the operating area, with the ability to direct medical professionals to any information they need, either past or present, at the touch of a single button. In endoscopy for example, a surgeon must be able to view the live 4K camera feed from the endoscope whilst at the same time reviewing critical live patient data such as blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation levels. These must be displayed onto one convenient surgical monitor such that they can access the information without shifting their focus across multiple screens.


Since the RGBEasy API already proved itself in previous projects, the system designers needed to implement new features and capabilities in the platform to achieve their latest goals.

Capture Card for Medical Purposes

The solution 

Having listened closely to the requirements our team responded by expanding on a very specific and unique set of capabilities built on top of our Vision-SC capture card platform and API, and developed the VisionIO-XD2, a capture card with the ability to augment graphical overlays into a live video stream.


In medical applications, the main requirements were to ensure that there was no added latency from surgical cameras during live video, and the same time, allow information to be sent to the card from a secondary intelligent platform. It is blended onto a live feed and presented out to the surgeon in real time. This functionality is provided on top of a capture card baseline capability, which is to capture everything the surgeon is doing and archive it for later analysis.

The task to achieve ‘true’ zero latency presented additional challenges as the most used methods for achieving graphical overlay and alpha-blending were ruled out due to the inherent complexity and technical overheads. To overcome this, Datapath developed a dedicated hardware platform to blend supplementary information directly into the live video raster using FPGA technology, with true zero latency.

Today, this has proven to be an extremely successful and unmatched capability in the marketplace, and as such Datapath capture cards are now found in many of the world’s most technologically advanced medical processing systems.



The VisionIO card has been a great choice for augmented reality (AR) based applications. The technology is not only increasingly popular in the medical space but also has great potential in other areas which utilise massive datasets alongside the need to mix live video from cameras with AI (Artificial intelligence) processing, such as intelligent video surveillance, industrial design & engineering CAD systems.

Furthermore, as both AR and AI systems progress, both in and out of the medical Operating Rooms, we are continuing to build upon this unique low latency overlay technology to pave the way for even more advanced and capable systems that use Datapath capture cards as their core. As the amount of data that must be processed increases, we continue to make the platform faster with even more ability to interface to intelligent processing systems without compromising the live presentation or video quality element.

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