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 ")

China Accused Of Harvesting Organs From Unwanted Groups
'The death penalty was his immortality, and he would vote the death penalty for any crime at all.' Larry Niven, 1967.

Robothread Robotic Worms Crawling Through Your Brain
Perfect for clot-busting in the human brain. No Raquel Welch and no lasers, though.

Skin Electronics Can Show Electrocardiogram
'... the young men in the streets who applied polyimde OLED body film to their bared shoulders.' - Chen Qiufan, 2019.

Neurodevices For Consumers? Neuroethicists (And Philip K Dick) Say 'Caveat Emptor'
'They tried to use it today and it wouldn't work. No colors and no ceph patterns, neither one...' - Philip K. Dick, 1977.

 

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

Entire Planet Modeled In New MS Flight Sim
'CIC uses [it] to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns...'

FlyZoo Robot Hotel By Alibaba
'... hotels that specialized in non-human service.'

Implanted Memories Provide Songs To Birds
Finches can't tell the difference.

Robot Tuna Swims As Fast As Nature's Tuna
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Shapeshifter Robot Is Comprised Of Cobots
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed. For an interval, the device struggled with itself...'

Google Commits To Fighting Deepfakes
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

China Accused Of Harvesting Organs From Unwanted Groups
'The death penalty was his immortality, and he would vote the death penalty for any crime at all.'

Osmiridium Sounds Like Science Fiction (But It's Not!)
I can't resist science-fictional elements. Especially when they're real.

When Will We See The First Space Hotel?
'The heart of it was a vast hexagonal structure of welded metal, ten miles across...'

SpaceX Starhopper Has Flash Gordon Style
SpaceX makes retro cool spacecraft.

Mindar The Robot Buddhist Priest Offers A Blessing
'Not working is the hardest work of all.'

Does Your Company Need A 'Chief Dreamer'?
As far as the future is concerned 'they're the only experts we have'.

Helios Modular Touch Screen Wall Lights
'The walls and ceiling bore an irregular spacing of illuminum tiles...'

Zephyr Solar-Electric Stratospheric Drone
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...'

Robot Hummingbird Hovers Biomimetically
'With a buzz... it started out on its journey.'

Harvest Water From Air With Sunlight
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

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.