Your Telemedicine Future

In the 1909 science fiction classic The Machine Stops, Vashti lives her entire life in a single room; her needs are met by the vast Machine in which she and the rest of humanity live. What happens when she gets sick?

"Kuno," she said, "I cannot come to see you. I am not well."

Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling, a thermometer was automatically laid upon her heart. She lay powerless. Cool pads soothed her forehead. Kuno had telegraphed to her doctor.

So the human passions still blundered up and down in the Machine. Vashti drank the medicine that the doctor projected into her mouth, and the machinery retired into the ceiling.

We're not quite there yet, but thanks to doctors practicing on the Internet, we're getting closer. A company called NuPhysica is just one of the latest online practitioners:

On a recent Monday, Dr. Oscar Boultinghouse listened to a patient’s heartbeat, checking his vital signs before moving on to examine a rash on his arm that had cropped up a couple of days earlier.

But doctor and patient were not in the same room. They weren’t even on the same side of the planet.

From a computer console near The Galleria, Boultinghouse was observing and talking to Don McKinney, an employee of Scorpion Offshore stationed on an oil rig in waters 23 miles off Borneo.

Audio of McKinney’s heartbeat was crystal clear. Live-streaming video of a skin scope zipping magnified images of his arm had none of the graininess typical of Web cameras. When Boultinghouse needed to see him from a different angle, he simply clicked his remote control in Houston to reposition the rig’s onboard camera.

Another program is in use at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, helping critically ill children. It's not connected to the ceiling, but the telemedicine apparatus is wheeled to the patient's bedside:

The program, launched last May, involves six pediatric critical-care attending physicians equipped with videoconferencing units in their homes, letting them connect to a portable robotic telemedicine station, nicknamed "PICU Bot," or "Bot," for short. Bot units can be rolled to the patient's bedside. The physician can remotely control digital cameras and medical scopes attached to the unit to examine the patient. Videoconferencing capabilities let the doctor talk with on-site hospital clinicians, respiratory therapists, and other specialists, as well the patient and the child's parents.

Although EM Forster was very early with his story, his contribution was to popularize and articulate the idea of telemedicine, which had been demonstrated five years earlier by Willem Einthoven; he demonstrated that telecardiology was possible via telephony.

The U.S. and Europe are the dominant players in the worldwide telemedicine market, which is expected to reach $18 billion by 2015, according to a 2009 report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., a global business strategy company.

From Information Week and Chron.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/1/2010)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

DxtER! Tricorder Prize Won By Final Frontier Medical Devices
We've been waiting a long time for this, Star Trek fans.

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.' - Frank Herbert, 1976.

H-MEX Helpful Exoskeleton From Hyundai
'We have those new suits rigged with atomic-powered lifting gadgets...' - John W. Campbell, 1938.

3D Skin Printer Helps Burn Victims
'Over her lacerated right shoulder he sprayed art-derm...'- Philip K. Dick, 1960.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...'

Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.'

Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'

'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
'... the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings.'

Is 'The Pulsar Positioning System' Evidence For SETI?
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Now we need to start looking for animals with fingers...

Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

DxtER! Tricorder Prize Won By Final Frontier Medical Devices
We've been waiting a long time for this, Star Trek fans.

President Trump's Wall As Otra Nation Hyperloop
'...an hollow tube must be constructed the whole distance... as to admit a four wheeled carriage...'

Pickup Lines From Artificial Intelligences
'They hate us, you know... The humans. They'll stop at nothing.'

Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk...'

Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
There's even a log test!

Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.