Real-Time Remote Telefluoroscopic Assessment of Patients with Dysphagia
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Dysphagia is a serious health problem that affects persons of all ages, from the neonate to those of advanced age. Many smaller communities and areas with sparse populations do not have regular access to professionals with expertise in the area of oral/pharyngeal dysphagia. Telemedicine is one method by which people in these areas can receive quality of service. The intent of this work was to develop an Internet system that permits real-time, remote, interactive evaluation of oral/pharyngeal swallowing function. The system consists of two major components. The first is a PC that is located in the fluoroscopy suite of a hospital. The computer is connected to the fluoroscope output and is responsible for (1) capturing video signals, (2) converting the analog video data into digitized video formats of both full resolution and transmission-optimized resolution, (3) simultaneously transmitting the transmission-optimized video stream over the network while the examination is being performed, and (4) storing the full-resolution data as a file in local storage for later retrieval. The second component is the controller computer which is located at a site some distance from the hospital. That controller computer manages the video capture process at the remote hospital site, manages the transmission of the stored images, and is then used for video analysis. The delay between the image as it was captured at the remote hospital site and viewed on the controller computer in the Principal Investigator's (PI's) laboratory ranged from 3 to 5 s. Video transmission occurred over a standard T1 line.
KeywordsVideo Stream Video Data Small Community Video Analysis Local Storage
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