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Quantitative 3-D imaging topogrammetry for telemedicine applicationsThe technology to reliably transmit high-resolution visual imagery over short to medium distances in real time has led to the serious considerations of the use of telemedicine, telepresence, and telerobotics in the delivery of health care. These concepts may involve, and evolve toward: consultation from remote expert teaching centers; diagnosis; triage; real-time remote advice to the surgeon; and real-time remote surgical instrument manipulation (telerobotics with virtual reality). Further extrapolation leads to teledesign and telereplication of spare surgical parts through quantitative teleimaging of 3-D surfaces tied to CAD/CAM devices and an artificially intelligent archival data base of 'normal' shapes. The ability to generate 'topogrames' or 3-D surface numerical tables of coordinate values capable of creating computer-generated virtual holographic-like displays, machine part replication, and statistical diagnostic shape assessment is critical to the progression of telemedicine. Any virtual reality simulation will remain in 'video-game' realm until realistic dimensional and spatial relational inputs from real measurements in vivo during surgeries are added to an ever-growing statistical data archive. The challenges of managing and interpreting this 3-D data base, which would include radiographic and surface quantitative data, are considerable. As technology drives toward dynamic and continuous 3-D surface measurements, presenting millions of X, Y, Z data points per second of flexing, stretching, moving human organs, the knowledge base and interpretive capabilities of 'brilliant robots' to work as a surgeon's tireless assistants becomes imaginable. The brilliant robot would 'see' what the surgeon sees--and more, for the robot could quantify its 3-D sensing and would 'see' in a wider spectral range than humans, and could zoom its 'eyes' from the macro world to long-distance microscopy. Unerring robot hands could rapidly perform machine-aided suturing with precision micro-sewing machines, splice neural connections with laser welds, micro-bore through constricted vessels, and computer combine ultrasound, microradiography, and 3-D mini-borescopes to quickly assess and trace vascular problems in situ. The spatial relationships between organs, robotic arms, and end-effector diagnostic, manipulative, and surgical instruments would be constantly monitored by the robot 'brain' using inputs from its multiple 3-D quantitative 'eyes' remote sensing, as well as by contact and proximity force measuring devices. Methods to create accurate and quantitative 3-D topograms at continuous video data rates are described.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Altschuler, Bruce R.
(Army Inst. of Dental Research Fort Meade, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, Seventh Annual Workshop on Space Operations Applications and Research (SOAR 1993), Volume 2
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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