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Telemedicine Journal and E-Health


This work evaluates the feasibility of using 802.11g ad hoc and 3G cellular broadband networks to wirelessly stream ultrasound video in real-time. Telemedicine ultrasound applications in events such as disaster relief and first-response triage can incorporate these technologies, enabling onsite medical personnel to receive assistance with diagnostic decisions by remote medical experts. the H. 264 scalable video codec was used to encode echocardiographic video streams at various image resolutions (video graphics array [VGA] and quarter video graphics array [QVGA]) and frame rates (10, 15, 20, and 30 frames/s). the video stream was transmitted using 802.11g and 3G cellular technologies, and pertinent transmission parameters such as data rate, packet loss, delay jitter, and latency were measured. 802.11g permits high frame rate and VGA resolution and has low latency and jitter, but it is suitable only for short communication ranges, whereas the 3G cellular network allows medium to low frame rate streaming at QVGA image resolution with medium latency. However, video streaming can take place from any location with 3G service to any other site with Internet connectivity. the transmitted ultrasound video streams were subsequently recorded and evaluated by physicians with expertise in medical ultrasonography who evaluated the diagnostic value of the received video streams relative to the original videos. They expressed the opinion that image quality in the case of both 802.11g and 3G was fully to adequately preserved, but missed frames could momentarily decrease the diagnostic value. This research demonstrates that 3G and 802.11g wireless networks combined with efficient video compression make diagnostically valuable wireless streaming of ultrasound video feasible.





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This is a copy of an article published in Telemedicine Journal and E-Health, © 2010, copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.; Telemedicine Journal and E-Health is available online at: