Medilive – from the operation to the conference theater


Medilive – from the operation to the conference theater.

Medilive was formed from a film production company and previously worked for companies such as Daimler Chrysler and Deutsch Telecom producing image videos. The company has since evolved and is now a premier producer of live case transmissions. Eighteen years ago Medilive became the first company to produce a live case transmission from a hospital to a conference in Frankfurt, Germany. Over the past 18 years, the company has transmitted live cases from major medial meeting such as Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (Washington DC), the Joint Interventional Meeting (Rome) and EuroPCR (formerly in Paris, now Barcelona).


“At first I was reluctant to produce medical films as I did not like to see blood!” company founder and owner, Karlheinz Gelhardt, told Vascular News. “However, the company accepted my bid for what was to be our first medical film and it was nominated for an award and won gold – from that moment on more and more doctors have asked us to produce films.” At first, the company shared its time between medical and other non-medical filming projects. However, overtime it became apparent that medical productions would play an ever-increasing role in the company’s future. “I did not study medicine and when we started, I had very little knowledge of the subject – but I knew about filming. As a result it became very important to work closely with doctors to see how we would, for example, film the procedure and so on. However, doctors are very busy people and it was always difficult for them to sacrifice their time. It was then that we decided that we must learn the knowledge, such as the procedures and the medical terms.”

Specializing in medical productions

Years later, Medilive is a specialized medical film production company and is responsible for all aspects of filming, from shooting the film to editing. “Our experience has taught us that time is important to our clients, so we try and minimize the time we require of the doctor,” added Gelhardt. “This is important for the doctor as they know they can trust us.” He also explained the uniqueness of medical films, when compared to say, a football match. “When you are filming a live football match you have your equipment and film the match. With live medical transmission, the doctors for most of the time must concentrate on what they are doing – it is our job to project the right image at the right time. So for example, the doctor might say ‘now I need an X-ray’ or ‘please film my hands’, and we have discovered that doctors cannot concentrate on what is been filmed – they must concentrate on the patient/procedure.” Medilive does not only the produce films and live case transmissions, but is also a technical conference organizer as is responsible for such conferences as the International Course on Carotid Angioplasty and other Cerebrovascular Interventions (ICCA), in Frankfurt. “What we bring to conferences is our know-how and knowledge of medical content. We were originally a production company, so we have our own writers and directors with years of experience in film production,” said Gelhardt. With years of experience behind the company, Gelhardt, Jürgen Rosner and the Medilive team are more than aware of the problems that can occur pre-, during and post-production. “Before we start a job we also ensure we discuss with the doctors so we know exactly what they want in a pre-meeting. It avoids problems occurring during the shoot.”

The future

As for the future, technology will decide how live case transmissions evolve. In particular, he highlighted the role stereoscopic imaging will play in the future and noted the excitement generated by looking directly into the heart. “The future is very exciting. There are already some actions to move to High Definition (HD) technology that will greatly improve the quality of the images – especially in instances where Xrays are used. I think the biggest change in the future will be through the internet and improvements in the quality of systems. We believe there will be a move towards productions in real3D,” said Gelhardt “However, it is not just about the technique and new technologies – it is how you go about producing the whole production from start to finish. It is necessary to have a good team, who know and understand the requirements – that is how you provide excellence.”