Center for Telehealth: Faculty Research and Presentations
Delivering Diagnostic Quality Video over Mobile Wireless Networks for Telemedicine.In real-time remote diagnosis of emergency medical events, mobility can be enabled by wireless video communications. However, clinical use of this potential advance will depend on definitive and compelling demonstrations of the reliability of diagnostic quality video. Because the medical domain has its own fidelity criteria, it is important to incorporate diagnostic video quality criteria into any video compression system design. To this end, we used flexible algorithms for region-of-interest (ROI) video compression and obtained feedback from medical experts to develop criteria for diagnostically lossless (DL) quality. The design of the system occurred in three steps-measurement of bit rate at which DL quality is achieved through evaluation of videos by medical experts, incorporation of that information into a flexible video encoder through the notion of encoder states, and an encoder state update option based on a built-in quality criterion. Medical experts then evaluated our system for the diagnostic quality of the video, allowing us to verify that it is possible to realize DL quality in the ROI at practical communication data transfer rates, enabling mobile medical assessment over bit-rate limited wireless channels. This work lays the scientific foundation for additional validation through prototyped technology, field testing, and clinical trials.