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MD Goes HD: Phoenix Doctor Is First to Use New High-Definition Television Production Vehicle to Help Educate and Teach From the Operating Room.

PHOENIX, Ariz., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- VAS Communications, a multi-media marketing and video production company co-owned by Dr. Edward B. Diethrich, Founder and Medical Director of Arizona Heart Institute and Arizona Heart Hospital, has recently custom built a High-Definition Satellite uplink production vehicle, the first vehicle with High-Definition capabilities in Arizona.

Early in his career, Dr. Diethrich had the honor of working along side of pioneering heart surgeons Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley who helped revolutionize cardiovascular treatments. During this time, many of the procedures were recorded on 16mm film, to be used later for educating other surgeons of new, life-saving techniques. Since then, Dr. Diethrich has carried on this philosophy of education and teaching both for the public and his colleagues. In 1983, Dr. Diethrich performed the first live open-heart surgery for the Public Broadcasting Network. Twenty five years later, he makes the importance of preventing and treating heart disease clear -- very clear -- with High-Definition video technology. With a new, state-of-the-art High-Definition production vehicle, he is able to bring clarity of his teaching, and offers images only seen in the operating room.

"The basis of all developments in cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy over the past five decades has been based on technological innovation," says Diethrich. "The monumental changes we have witnessed in caring for patients have been paralleled by an innovative and creative audiovisual evolution as well. Now, the next step of High-Definition in medical broadcasting joins us in our High-Definition attack on disease of the heart and blood vessels," continued Diethrich.

VAS' mobile High-Definition MD vehicle (HDMD) utilizes a full 1080i signal to broadcast new procedures and techniques to medical conferences around the world. In today's surgical suite, medical imaging is critical for the surgeon as they perform operations. Now, these high resolution medical images can be seen in their native resolution to conference attendees, allowing them to appreciate and better understand the procedures.

Along with the high resolution imagery, VAS also utilizes robotic cameras in the operating rooms during the procedures, allowing them to show exactly what the surgeon is doing. Chris Wooley, Managing Producer for VAS and 22-year veteran on surgical video production explains the benefits. "The new robotic cameras and fiber optic technology really cut down on the amount of production equipment required for a good broadcast, and also allows us to maximize our High-Definition capabilities and send out a clear, sharp High-Definition signal," says Wooley.

Although designed to maximize surgical broadcast, the vehicle and crew of the HDMD van have kept busy since it was built, recently being utilized by local stations in Arizona and CNN for breaking news. "Most of the local stations' studios have gone HD, but not necessarily their remote production vans," according to Wooley. "We like the diversity we have with the mobile vehicle, and are glad to assist while stations continue to upgrade their vehicles to HD." With the satellite uplink capability and being totally mobile, the vehicle has no limits. Recently, the vehicle has traveled to Washington DC, Texas, Louisiana and Kansas producing medical telecasts.

About Arizona Heart Institute

Arizona Heart Institute is among the world's leading providers of cardiovascular care. This visionary organization was founded in 1971, quickly evolving into the country's first freestanding outpatient clinic solely dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart and blood vessel disease. For more information, please visit

About VAS Communications

Established in 1978, VAS Communications is a full service multimedia production company. Specializing in live remote High-Definition broadcasts, VAS also provides marketing, video production, video editing and medical illustration services. For more information please visit

SOURCE Arizona Heart Institute
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