A mobile telemedicine system, capable of transmitting video and audio simultaneously, was designed for consulting acute stroke patients remotely. It could use a wireless local area network (e.g. inside the hospital) or a mobile phone network (e.g. outside the hospital). When initiating a call, the sending unit chose a suitable encoding profile based on the measured data throughput, in order to allocate appropriate bit rates for video and audio transmission. The system was tested using a portable digital assistant (PDA) type phone and smart phone as receiving units. Video and audio recordings were made from five patients (two normal and three stroke patients) and then transmitted at different rates. Subjectively, both video and audio qualities improved as the data throughput increased. The physical findings, including facial droop, arm drift and abnormal speech, were observed remotely by four specialists according to the Cincinnati Pre-hospital Stroke Scale guideline. A comparison between the face-to-face method and the mobile telemedicine method showed that there were no discrepancies at bit rates of more than 400 kbit/s. We conclude that specialists could generally conduct remote consultations for stroke patients either using a public mobile network or a wireless LAN.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Informatics