The project will develop and test 3D telepresence technologies that are permanent, portable and handheld in remote medical consultations involving an advising healthcare provider and a distant advisee. Advanced trauma life support and endotracheal intubation will be used initially in developing the system and in controlled experiments. These will compare the shared sense of presence offered by view dependent 3D telepresence technology to current 2D videoconferencing technology. The project will focus on barriers to 3D telepresence, including real time acquisition and novel view generation, network congestion and variability, and tracking and displays for producing accurate 3D depth cues and motion parallax. Once the effectiveness of the system in controlled conditions is established, future efforts would involve adapting the technology for use in a variety of clinical scenarios such as remote hospital to tertiary center emergency consultations, portable in transit diagnosis and stabilization systems, interoperative consultations and tumor boards. Quality of medical diagnosis and treatment will be used to assess the system as well as judgments concerning its acceptance and practicality by patients, physicians, nursing staff, technicians, and hospital administrators. Cost-effectiveness of 2D and 3D strategies will be analyzed.
Future vision of 3D Telepresence for Medical Consultation. The left column illustrates examples of person-portable and permanent 3D telepresence technologies used by an advisee. The top row illustrates examples of permanent and hand-held technologies used by an advisor. Images (a)-(d) illustrate the shared sense of presence for corresponding advisor-advisee scenarios.