This activity was approved by the Aurora Board of Participants within the Work Plan 2005-2006 and should be initiated by the end of 2005.
The tele-echography technology developed in collaboration with ESA enables an ultrasound specialist to perform a diagnostic on a patient from a remote hospital. Isolated areas or mobile contexts, such as boats, usually do not have access to echography examination because of the cost of equipment and the necessity for a specialist to be on site.
ESA system features a significant advantage that makes tele-echography a promising candidate to cope with the need for ultrasound exams in isolated and mobile situations: the ultrasound specialist does not need to be with the patient to perform the exam. He can actually be located in a hospital and perform an ultrasound exam in different locations distant from the hospital and from each other.
So far, the system is based on a robotic echography system combining one master station with or without force feedback, and four or five slave robots. The interest from the Aurora Exploration Programme is quite obvious since remote medicine is one of the key capabilities for such undertakings.
The objective of this activity is to run in parallel two operational projects in contexts with different requirements and constraints. The two sites should be chosen in the following possible applications list:
- Antarctic Station Concordia
- Isolated health centres: discussions are ongoing with Argentina Space Agency to identify potential users
- Mobile contexts: possible applications on cruise ships
The outcomes of the study shall be:
- Two reference hospitals equipped with a master unit
- Remote sites (number to be determined according to the context and possibilities) equipped with slave units
or actual duration
Last update: 17 May 2006