The 'Internet Of Touch' For Telemedicine
Science fiction writers have long imagined telemedicine, but doing it over the Internet will require a lot of work on new standards.
If a network drops a packet or experiences a latency hiccup, most of the current crop of consequences are bearable: a video stutter, res-downgrade or buffer-swirl on Netflix; ‘some text missing’ in a standard SMS message; or an undeserved frag in a multiplayer shoot-out.
In the realms of remote surgery, events of this nature really can signal ‘game over’, particularly if an anomalous – rather than dropped – packet quite literally sends the wrong signal momentarily to a robot that’s performing a millimetre-critical telesurgical procedure. Data glitches during cybernetic coitus are likely to be less injurious, but to just as emphatically kill the mood; and at the very least, poor latency in biofeedback is likely to cause the same kind of ‘cyber-sickness’ that gamers can experience when the ‘equal and opposite’ reaction they were expecting wipes its feet at the door.
A group of researchers from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) are considering [PDF] these and other impediments to the development of the ‘haptic internet’, a touch/pressure-based iteration of the internet which, they believe, will ‘revolutionise almost every segment of society’ – if a massive leap of network quality can be achieved.
To this end the researchers propose changes both in the way that haptic information is transmitted and received, and in exploiting the multiplexing capabilities of 5G to bring near-‘real-time’ feedback without the high overhead of a TCP approach or the unreliability of a system based on User Datagram Protocol (UDP).
As far as I know, the first telemedicine reference in science fiction dates from 1909, in EM Forster's amazing The Machine Stops:
"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.
(Read more about Forster's telemedicine apparatus)
Telemedicine also played a role in the excellent 1999 science fiction novel Starfish by Peter Watts. The primary action in the novel takes place near a deep undersea rift; as with astronauts, it is very time-consuming and expensive process to retrieve workers from these depths. So, the author posits the use of a medical mantis:
There's this praying mantis a meter long, all black with chrome trim, hanging upside down from the ceiling of the Medical cubby. ..it hovers over his face, jointed arms clicking and dipping like crazy articulated chopsticks...
The mantis stops in midmotion, its antennae quivering... "Hello, er-Gerry, isn't it?" it says at last. "I'm Dr. Troyka." (Read more.)
Via The Stack.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/3/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Hurdl PIXL Wearable Helps Fans Connect With Stars
Like Macross Plus!
Advertising Drones Hover Over Traffic In Mexico
'Blurbflies are allowd to travel the streets, buzzing their adverts alive and direct...' - Jeff Noon, 2000.
Audiobooks - Fastest Growing Format In Publishing
'The public preferred lectons...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1961.
Douglas Adams Your Babel Fish Is Ready - The Pilot By Waverly
'You'll need to have this fish in your ear.' - Douglas Adams, 1979.
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.
Bat Bot Robotic Flapping-Wing Drone
'The dark birdforms dotted the mountaintops like statues of prehistoric beasts, wings outspread...'
NASA's Astronaut Rescue Ball
'Ball and closely-prisoned man plummeted downward..'
ARM Wants To Build Brain Chips
'Slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon...'
Sky Fence - A Drone-Proof Shield Created Over Prison
'There’s still a protective field over the whole thing. It volatilizes anything that tries to get through.'
Geoengineering The Atmosphere For Climate Change
'...a uniform temperature for each degree of latitude the year round.'
Archinaut Orbiting Robotic Factory
'mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
Cryonic Preservation - The Last Perk You'll Ever Need
'Is there not also a law providing for voluntary suspension of animation?'
Computers Understand Humans By Watching And Modeling Them
Soon, your computer will be watching you... and judging you.
NASA Asks For Moon To Earth Delivery Ideas
'Authority's 3-g catapult was almost one hundred kilometers long...'
Musk Tunnels Wisely Restrict Drivers
Too many robots.
Robot Swarms Controlled With Augmented Reality
'You're not thinking in enough dimensions...'
MIT's C-LEARN Helps Robots Transfer Learning To Other Robots
'Talk Between Robots radio...'
Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.'
Rapid Automated Search For Habitable Planets Needed
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.'
WatchSense Perfect For Fat-Fingered Smartwatch Owners
'Now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components...'
Digital Construction Platform Robot 3D Prints A Building
'It extrudes material like a spider.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories