June 27, 2001
Students Work with Yale Team
To Provide Remote Medical Care
California State University, Sacramento
engineering students are working with a Yale University team
on an ambitious system for providing specialized medical care
in the world's most remote regions.
The CSUS students, who are working on their senior project,
have already developed highly efficient approaches for sending
wireless video transmission. Now, they're working to perfect
the approach so they can simultaneously send digital video
over four different frequencies.
Their work will help Dr. James Rosser, director of the Yale's
Endo-Laparoscopic Surgery Center, improve the reach of medical
experts using laparoscopic surgery techniques, which are minimally
invasive and use small cameras so surgeons can watch what
they're doing on a video screen.
Rosser wants to beam the surgical camera images from a site
or sites to medical specialists nearby, who would provide
real-time advice. He envisions a group of specialists in a
medical van supporting a group of surgeons who reach patients
using small all-terrain vehicles.
But the video was a stumbling block. The Yale team planned
to send video from surgery sites to a weather balloon and
a small, remote-controlled plane, but the plane was unable
to carry enough equipment.
The CSUS students tackled the problem not by trying to improve
the plane or its batteries, but by creating better video compression
"They've just done some amazing work," says CSUS
engineering professor Warren Smith, who initially put Rosser
in touch with the students. "Who would have thought,
at the beginning, that video compression would be the answer
to so many technical challenges with this project?"
More information, including contact information for the students
and professors involved in the project, is available from
the CSUS public affairs office at (916) 278-6156. More on
Yale's Endo-Laparoscopic Surgery Center is available at http://laparoscopy.med.yale.edu/center.htm.
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