A Web-based, realtime, tele-ultrasound consultation system was designed. The system employed ActiveX control, MPEG-4 coding of full-resolution ultrasound video (640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames/s) and H.320 videoconferencing. It could be used via a Web browser. The system was evaluated over three types of commercial line: a cable connection, ADSL and VDSL. Three radiologists assessed the quality of compressed and uncompressed ultrasound video-sequences from 16 cases (10 abnormal livers, four abnormal kidneys and two abnormal gallbladders). The radiologists' scores showed that, at a given frame rate, increasing the bit rate was associated with increasing quality; however, at a certain threshold bit rate the quality did not increase significantly. The peak signal to noise ratio (PSNR) was also measured between the compressed and uncompressed images. In most cases, the PSNR increased as the bit rate increased, and increased as the number of dropped frames increased. There was a threshold bit rate, at a given frame rate, at which the PSNR did not improve significantly. Taking into account both sets of threshold values, a bit rate of more than 0.6 Mbit/s, at 30 frames/s, is suggested as the threshold for the maintenance of diagnostic image quality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Informatics