Virtual-OR mediasites surgical procedures to educate health care professionals and improve patient care.

Virtual-OR mediasites surgical procedures to educate health care professionals and improve patient care. A diverse network of hospitals, institutions and professional organizations, called Virtual-OR, wanted to provide real-time continuing medical education to people around the world. The network wanted to stream medical procedures live over the Internet to keep medical professionals up-to-date on the latest changes in health and biotechnology. Virtual-OR turned to Mediasite for high-quality technology that was easy to operate.    

Mediasite seamlessly combines medical slides and video into one easily accessible presentation, requiring less production time and operating know-how than previous products. Clinicians are now able to reach a wide audience to improve patient care and share best practices. The live and on-demand presentations are accessed not only by health professionals but also by governmental representatives, patients and manufacturers. Virtual-OR hopes to communicate on an international scale with doctors to further enhance medical awareness. With the help of Mediasite, Virtual-OR has taken medical communication to an entirely new level.

At a glance

  • Organization wanted to provide education that would be accessible to a worldwide medical community online
  • Mediasite automatically synchronizes high-quality video and medical slides, enabling doctors to educate broader audiences with less time and effort
  • Existing video content leveraged without costly and time-intensive post-production
  • Complex medical knowledge shared in real-time or on-demand


A diverse network of hospitals, institutions and professional organizations sought a way to demonstrate surgical techniques in real-time to individuals spread around the globe. The idea emerged approximately three years ago when a team of doctors realized the benefit of being able to learn from their colleagues in real-time.

“We wanted to implement a device which would allow us to achieve our goal to educate people in the medical profession,” said Thomas Overbey, Virtual-OR vice president of technical services. ”We were looking for a simple turnkey solution.”


Overbey reviewed multiple webcasting products at InfoComm, a leading trade show aimed at the audio video market, visiting each of the vendor booths. “Mediasite seemed to be the resounding winner with the ability to be mobile and truly ‘plug and play,’ allowing us to need just one box for recording,” he said. From purchase to implementation, using Mediasite only took a few weeks. “The implementation process was very easy. The Sonic Foundry staff answered all of our questions and assisted our team by even attending our first webcast to ensure everything was up and running appropriately,” Overbey said.


The Virtual-OR staff use Mediasite to webcast surgical procedures and host community talks. Mediasite gathers video content with medical slides and seamlessly loads it into a presentation, with a web link for instant access. Viewers include patients, healthcare providers, physicians, medical device manufacturers, medical institutions and governmental representatives. Surgeries also are archived for viewers who are unable to attend the live broadcasts, which allows for optimal viewing anytime anywhere.

In addition, the company is now able to meet the needs of doctors who send video clips and asks them to make it “web ready.” Virtual-OR reformats the content into Windows and loads it into Mediasite for dissemination. “Previously, we would spend hours trying to make presentations from doctors viewable,” said Overbey. “Mediasite has cut the time in at least half which allows us to focus on our core competencies and not be bogged down with operating equipment.”

Doctors now have a tool which allows them to educate multiple audiences on a much grander scale than previously imagined. Mediasite helps these clinicians improve the quality of patient care and share best practices with their colleagues. The Virtual-OR is looking to work with doctors in other countries and expand the types of surgeries it webcasts so individuals can gain greater awareness on the effects of certain diseases.

“The unit has been a workhorse,” noted Overbey. “Mediasite truly allows us to speak directly to people in a way never before imagined. This product has elevated the way the entire medical profession communicates.”

About Virtual-OR

Virtual-OR was officially formed on August 17, 1998, when the world’s first internet broadcast of real-time interactive open heart surgery was performed at Seattle’s Providence Medical Center.

Virtual-OR is dedicated to continuing medical education for healthcare providers and consumers using internet-based video distribution. It provides live interactive webcasts of top surgeons sharing their specific expertise from the most advanced operating rooms in the world. The Virtual-OR recognizes the critical importance of staying current with rapid changes in health and biotechnology, and strives to deliver quality medical information to benefit physicians and patients throughout the world.