LEDsmagazine.com MAY/JUNE 2017 37
life science | HEALTHCARE LIGHTING
One word that no one wants to hear in the operating room is “mistake.” Yet, like anyone else, surgeons have good
days in the office and they have bad ones. If
they can’t see inside their patients properly,
for example, slip-ups can happen. Ouch.
Moral of the story: Make sure the lighting is good.
That is exactly what is happening across
Scandinavia and other Nordic countries,
where some 90 hospitals have modernized
more than 500 endoscopic and related surgery and examination rooms with tunable,
colored LED lighting. Doctors, nurses, and
clinicians swear it has not only improved
their ability to see anatomical details, but
that it has also boosted their alertness and
reduced their stress levels.
Most endoscopic surgeons around the
world function in relative darkness, as the hospitals in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands used to do. For a
quick review of Endoscopy 101: Endoscopic
procedures entail inserting tubes through the
mouth and other natural openings, or through
keyhole incisions, when the operation goes by
associated names such as laparoscopy. Surgeons and other professionals manipulate
those tubes from outside the body. They see
what they are doing on the inside by looking
at video monitors displaying images sent by
tiny cameras mounted on the tubes.
To make the computer screens easier to
see in these minimally invasive procedures,
hospitals typically turn the lighting way
down in endoscopic procedure rooms, unlike
the bright white light associated with open
body surgery. The low
light levels can induce
drowsiness — not a
desirable attribute for
getting the job done. It
can make instruments
hard to find. And even
the little amount of
room lighting that is
used can cause glare
and reflection on the
This was all a prob-
lem for chief consul-
tant surgeon Dr. Jesper
Durup from Odense
tal in southern Den-
mark, who more than
a decade ago decided
that there had to be a better way to perform
his laparoscopic surgery — keyhole surgery
of the abdomen (Fig. 1). To make a long story
short: Durup approached a couple of lighting
specialists who in 2006 would go on to found
a company called Chromaviso and develop a
system of tunable, colored LED room lighting
to address these shortcomings. Durup him-
self gets credit as a co-inventor, although he is
a surgeon, not a Chromaviso employee.
Chromaviso, based in Aarhus, Denmark,
is the company that has supplied the 90 sites.
Today, it promotes the system with the tagline,
“Better screen, less fatigue, fewer mistakes.”
The system, called Chromaviso Ergonomic
Lighting, emits different light colors and lev-
els in various areas of an operating or exam-
ination room, with the aim of improving
visibility, increasing staff wakefulness, reduc-
ing stress, and calming nerves for doctors,
nurses, clinicians, and patients alike (Fig. 2).
On the visibility side, for example, it emits
green light from behind the screen to reduce
reflection and enhance the depth and con-
trast on the monitor, as well as to help open
the surgeon’s pupils. And it shines red light
from behind the surgeons to cut down on
screen glare (Fig. 3). It provides white light
in areas of the room where anesthetists work
and where nurses have to find equipment.
Chromaviso says that this “zoned” lighting
approach is a critical feature of its system.
User and co-inventor Durup — his
name is on the patent along with Chromaviso co-founder Anders Kryger — is a big
believer. He operates under the lighting regularly at Odense.
“We used to have a problem when we were
operating,” Durup said. “We had a lot of
How LEDs are eliminating mistakes
in the operating room
Light, liver, and the pursuit of happiness: Surgeons in Scandinavia swear that Chromaviso’s tunable
color system helps them see better, improves results, and sends everyone home in a better frame of
mind, as MARK HALPER discovers.
MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for
LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and
business journalist ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
FIG. 1. Odense University Hospital’s chief consultant surgeon
Jesper Durup, who co-invented the ergonomic lighting
system, stands in the red and green combined illumination.
Durup shares the patent along with Chromaviso co-founder