Polecam has gained recognition around the world as a lightweight carbon fiber camera jib used to raise production values in all types of program making.
Additionally, some forward thinkers in various medical companies around the world have recognized its potential for looking over the shoulders of surgeons in the operating theater to give an unrestricted high definition, or even 3D view of the procedure without being in sight of, or in many cases, even in the consciousness of the surgeons, who often remark that they forgot it was there.
This happens because Polecam used in this way can be configured to work with the latest small profile HD minicams and HD mini zoom lenses. It has a highly responsive, remote pan and tilt head, which is controlled by the operator at the back end of the rig, outside the main operating area, and able to react very quickly to move the camera view to accommodate any movement by the surgical team. This overcomes the problem of fixed and rail cameras up around the lights, which can be obscured by surgeons bending in over the work area.
Polecam is usually mounted on a standard tripod and dolly and is easy to move. Where sterility must be maintained, sterile sleeves are available to fit over the camera, head and boom, with a small aperture for the front of the lens.
So far Polecam has been used quite regularly by some of the large orthopedic companies who set up training events for surgeons and also for the sales teams, to demonstrate procedures using their prosthetics and the specialist tools and instruments used to fit them. In these events usually the audience will be in a lecture theater viewing the camera output(s) on large screen monitors or projectors, and the principal surgeon will have a two-way audio link to the audience to enable Q&A sessions. The HD outputs of the cameras can of course also be recorded so that training video productions can be produced after the event. Polecam is also able to mount a second HD minicam in tandem to produce a 3D output. In practice a further handheld or fixed camera is often used to enable occasional wide shots for an overview of the work area.
In some cases, webcasting has now been used to facilitate a wider audience.
These events can be in house, at participating hospitals or at other venues anywhere in the country. Polecam itself is renowned for its portability, packing away quickly into flight cases, with a build time of only 10 to 15 minutes depending on experience and accessories used.
Polecam has recently added the capability to fit larger cameras on board and a popular option is now the Canon C300, which is being used on Polecam in the U.S. already for medical work, still very maneuverable because of the Polecam head design, but capable of very high quality cinematic 1080p output. Remote zoom and focus can be set up for the operator at the rear of the Polecam.
Clearly there are countless other opportunities within the wide remit of the medical industry where Polecam could offer this benefit of showing clearly what is being done by the surgeons and specialists of all kinds so that this knowledge can be passed on in the form of training, but also to offer highly professional content in HD or 3D to those companies who make a business of producing training material.
In the UK and in Germany Polecam has been used in this way for landmark live surgery events, which have been broadcast in HD as prime time television programs demonstrating modern surgery skills in heart and brain surgery.
In Europe, Polecam has been used for training productions including orthopedics, tracheostomy and dental procedures training.
Some independent Polecam owner operators—these are freelance camera operators who own a Polecam—specialize in medical work and are employed by some of the companies to do this work on an ongoing basis.