Remote diagnosis & remote robot surgery
Remote healthcare includes a wide range of services that allows remote medical professionals to diagnose, treat and cure a patient, if for some reason they are unable to visit a local surgery or hospital. It can range from a telemedicine consulting service with a nurse or doctor, to telesurgery which is a surgeon controlling a remotely managed robotic surgeon from some distant location.
Telemedicine is defined as the remote diagnostics of a patient via a remote doctor or physician, using both video and audio technology. Instead of visiting a doctor's office or hospital in person, with telemedicine, you can discuss symptoms, medical issues, and experiences with a healthcare provider in real time using video.
Telesurgery is defined as the capability to fulfil remote surgery where a surgeon is performing the operation but from another distant location. This is normally achieved using a remotely managed robot.
When interacting with patients remotely, especially during a surgical procedure, it is imperative that there is almost zero delay between what the surgeon can see, and what a robotic surgeon needs to do. If the surgeon cuts too deep as the delay was too long on the on the video stream, it can be catastrophic. The surgeon needs to view a live video stream in real time to react to any unexpected situation that might occur doing surgery.
The other issue is that many of these patients are in remote areas where the only form of internet connectivity is via a cellular network. A single cellular network connection could prove unreliable, not provide enough bandwidth for video, as well as other connectivity that is required for such procedures. This includes audio, signals for monitoring the vital signs, and for any return control signals that are used for robotic control or other machine controls.
The Zao technology from Soliton is designed to solve the issues of reliable connectivity for video and other control signals needed for telesurgery and telemedicine. It can bond together multiple cellular operators as a single highly reliable connection on a single mobile device. It optimizes video and other IP related control signals based on the available bandwidth, even if the cellular signal becomes low and unreliable. But most defining of this technology, is that the Zao X technology has a video latency of less than 100ms over multiple 4G connections. This is from camera to monitor and includes all encoding and decoding that is required of a video live stream. With 5G this delay could be reduced even further.
As well as ultra-low latency and support for 5G, the Zao-X can support high resolution video such as 4K/UHD which can be considered a pre-requisite for surgical operations.