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Telemedicine supported by Augmented Reality: an interactive guide for untrained people in performing an ECG test
In many telemedicine applications, the correct use of medical device at the point of need is essential to provide an appropriate service. Some applications may require untrained people to interact with medical devices and patients: care delivery in transportation, military actions, some emergency cases, but also home care and telemedicine training are some examples. Appropriate operation of medical device and correct connection with patient’s body are essential. In these scenarios, tailored applications of Augmented Reality can offer a valid support by guiding untrained people at the point of need. In particular, an Augmented Reality application was built to support untrained users in performing an ECG test. Simple markers attached to the ECG device and onto patient’s thorax allow camera calibration. Once objects and their pose in the space are recognized, the video of the current scene is enriched, in real-time, with additional pointers, text boxes and audio that help the untrained operator to perform the appropriate sequence of operations. All the buttons, switches and ports of the ECG device together with the location of precordial leads on patient’s thorax were coded and appropriately visually indicated with audio and text messages when required. Some user’s voice commands were also included to improve usability. Ten untrained volunteers, supported by the augmented reality, were able to carry out a complete ECG test first on a mannequin and then on a real patient in a reasonable time. Average positioning errors of precordial electrodes was about 3 mm. This application can be adapted to support the use of other medical equipment as well as other telemedicine tasks and it could be performed with a Tablet or a Smartphone
Bifulco Paolo, Narducci Fabio, Vertucci Raffaele, Ambruosi Pasquale, Cesarelli Mario, Romano Maria
Paper for Specialistic Magazine
Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare
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