Mobile Tele-echography: User Interface Design
Ultrasound imaging allows the evaluation of the degree of emergency of a patient. However, in several occasions a well trained sonographer is unavailable to perform such echography. To cope with this issue, the OTELO project aims to develop a fully integrated end-to-end mobile tele-echography system using an ultra light, remote-controlled robot, for population groups that are not served locally by medical experts. This paper focuses on the user interface of the OTELO system, consisted of the following parts: An ultrasound video transmission system providing real-time images of the scanned area, an audio/video conference to communicate with the paramedical assistant and with the patient, and a virtual reality environment, providing visual and haptic feed-back to the expert, while capturing the expert's hand movements. These movements are reproduced by the robot in the patient site while holding the ultrasound probe against the patient skin. Besides, the user interface includes an image processing facility for enhancing the received images and the possibility to include them into a database.