Pre-hospital videoconferencing telemedicine: are we there yet?
Pre-Hospital telemedicine has the potential to save lives. This study examined the challenges in the development of a mobile audio-visual telemedicine platform for the pre-hospital telemedicine component of the European Commission funded LiveCity project.
Open source software and off-the-shelf hardware elements were used to build a wearable field unit for the paramedic to communicate from the scene of an emergency via live video with the Emergency Department hub over a Third Generation (3G)/High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network.
Videoconferencing from the scene was compromised in all but one of thirty-four telemedical consultations. Significant challenges in software and hardware suitability, durability, and reliability were identified. The 3G network was unable to provide for an uninterrupted high-quality mobile video link between the paramedic and the Emergency Department.
Improvements in hardware and software design with bespoke telemedicine equipment appropriate to the pre-hospital environment as well as investment in fourth (4G) and fifth generation (5G) networks with more extensive coverage will be required to further enable the widespread adoption of optimal telemedicine in pre-hospital care.
European Commission under the FP7 initiative.
CommentsThe original article is available at www.imj.ie
Published CitationGilligan P. et al. Pre-hospital videoconferencing telemedicine: are we there yet? Ir Med J. 2021;114(3):291
Publication DateMarch 2021
- Beaumont Hospital
- Undergraduate Research
PublisherIrish Medical Association
- Published Version (Version of Record)