Towards a Remote Medical Diagnostician for Medical Examination
van Gool L
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Successful medical treatment depends on a timely and correct diagnosis, but the availability of doctors of various specializations can be limited, especially in provincial hospitals or after regular working hours. Medical services performed remotely are emerging, yet current solutions are limited to merely teleconferencing. Thus,in the frame of the European project ReMeDi, we are developing a remote diagnostician system capable of performing the two most widespread physical examination techniques: i) palpation, i.e. pressing the patients stomach with the doctor’s hand and observing the stiffness of the internal organs and the patient’s feedback in terms of discomfort and pain as well as ii) ultra-sonographic examination. Besides high-quality teleconferencing, the envisaged system features a mobile robot equipped with a lightweight and inherently safe manipulator with an advanced sensorized head and/or ultra-sonic probe as well as a remote diagnostician interface equipped with sophisticated force-feedback, active vision and locomotion capabilities. The system is incrementally built following a user-centered design approach, and its usability is studied experimentally with respect to the patient and the examining doctor in real world scenarios of cardiac examination. The final system will go beyond classical telepresence concepts: It will capture and process multi-sensory data integrating visual, haptic, speech, patient’s emotions and physiological responses into perception and reasoning capabilities, resulting in a diagnostic assistant offering context-dependent and proactive support for doctors
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