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Video Recording Systems

Health Education North East - Melissa - The training and simulation bus


Melissa is a double decker bus that was designed to deliver healthcare education and training across the North East of England and North Cumbria. Melissa required audio visual facilities including cameras and microphones to allow the streaming of simulation exercises on the top deck of the bus to viewing areas down below.

The bus consists of a simulation/training area on the upper deck, a control area upstairs, and a viewing area downstairs.

The main requirements of the project included:

  • Provide cameras and microphones to capture video and audio within the upstairs simulation area for live viewing only (no recording)
  • Provide an interface to allow the capture of the vital signs generated by the Laerdal SimMan ALS system
  • Implement an easy to use system to allow the live streaming of the video, audio, and vital signs to monitors in the control room, downstairs viewing area, and the side of the bus that allows viewers standing outside to observe

The Solution

Working alongside the electrician and joinery teams involved in the project, we identified the required and audio-visual cabling that would be required and supplied this to be installed during the fit out.

Alongside the client we identified the key positions and equipment for installation:

  • Cameras – 3 x ceiling mounted, wide angle HD cameras allowing a variety of views to be captured allowing for the area to be setup for different layouts and scenarios
  • Microphones – 3 x boundary microphones either wall or ceiling mounted, capturing the audio in the simulation area and feeding back to the control room and downstairs viewing area
  • Vital Signs – a wall mounted discrete interface box was installed near to the position used for the SimMan monitor tablet for easy connection via HDMI cable
  • Quad Splitter/Switcher – located in the control room allows the user to set a quad split of the 3 cameras and vital signs feed, or alternate to full screen, picture in picture, etc.
  • In-Ear Talk Back Solution – features a headset microphone worn by the control room operator transmitting to an ear piece worn by the facilitator in the simulation area for private communication during an exercise
  • AV Distribution – the video, audio and vital signs signals are split and fed to a control room monitor, viewing area TV, and TV mounted at the side of the bus. An additional transmitter and receiver were provided to allow the signal to be distributed into a building so a larger audience can potentially view


The system in place now provides a flexible and easy way to view live the simulation and training taking place on Melissa. The system is a real time live view only system, although cabling was provided to future proof the system if recording and playback becomes a requirement.

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