Telemedicine is the use of information technology to deliver medical services and information from one location to another. The evolution and growth of telemedicine is highly correlated with the developments in communication technology and IT software development. Health services was degraded not only in rural areas, but also, in the big cities because of the migration of doctors, especially, specialist doctors. There is a great shortage in the advance medical equipments so that there is a great need for telemedicine. This paper introduces two issues related to the telemedicine; the first issue is to introduce and discusses the possibilities of all available technologies that can be used to implement telemedicine facility. Three scenarios of different levels and requirements were analyzed to cover the possible cases (big city, small town and mobile unit in a rural area). The second issue is to introduce the design and implementation of E-Hospitals to facilitate the process of medical data exchange. 1. INTRODUCTION
Telemedicine is the practice of medicine in which the information between doctors, or the doctor and the patient, circulates over an interactive communication network in the form of audio, video, fixed images and/or data (typical Multimedia application). Telemedicine may be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone, or as complex as using satellite technology and video-conferencing equipment to conduct a real-time consultation between medical specialists in two different countries. Applications of telemedicine nowadays cover a growing number of medical specialties such as: Teleconsultation
Rural areas lack sufficient experienced doctors; Telemedicine can eliminate the rural/urban health divide caused by the dichotomy that many of the qualified doctors live in urban areas . 2. PROPOSED SCENARIOS FOR RURAL
AND URBAN AREAS
Some countries as a developing country lacks a high speed communication network infrastructure; the available infrastructure is a Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) to be used with conventional modems (max speed of 56 Kbps). This paper proposes a high speed, cost effective, best coverage telemedicine system that accommodates the current facilities available in the country; through the use of hybrid satellite/wireless/terrestrial delivery platforms, The proposed system consists of three phases, and each phase has its proposed network infrastructure and software applications for medical data exchange that run over it: The proposed system is an IP based hardware architecture, which uses the VSAT and Wireless LAN communication modalities for telemedicine purposes through the transmission of physiological data and medical images with video conferencing. Figure-1 shows the three proposed phases. Fibre Optics, to facilitate the direct connection of these hospitals with the hospitals and medical centres in the world. The requirements for this phase are the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) link with the following hardware and specifications: Outdoor unit: Comprises of Radio Frequency Transmitter (RFT) and a 3.8m dish antenna; Indoor unit: Comprises of IP based satellite modem,and a personal computer; Specifications:
- Provide a variety of data transfer rates.
- Have the advantage of operating all over the world.
- Works in the C-Band.
- Uses the GSAT satellite for the communication.
- IP based where the medical data transmission and video
conferencing can be carried out simultaneously by assigning a static IP address between the transmitting and receiving systems. In order to provide an urban hospital with high speed Internet connection, it is recommended to provide the hospital with VSAT SCPC DAMA connection with minimum bit rate of 384 kbps up to 1Mbps. Two...