The 'Internet Of Touch' For Telemedicine
Science fiction writers have long imagined telemedicine, but doing it over the Internet will require a lot of work on new standards.
If a network drops a packet or experiences a latency hiccup, most of the current crop of consequences are bearable: a video stutter, res-downgrade or buffer-swirl on Netflix; ‘some text missing’ in a standard SMS message; or an undeserved frag in a multiplayer shoot-out.
In the realms of remote surgery, events of this nature really can signal ‘game over’, particularly if an anomalous – rather than dropped – packet quite literally sends the wrong signal momentarily to a robot that’s performing a millimetre-critical telesurgical procedure. Data glitches during cybernetic coitus are likely to be less injurious, but to just as emphatically kill the mood; and at the very least, poor latency in biofeedback is likely to cause the same kind of ‘cyber-sickness’ that gamers can experience when the ‘equal and opposite’ reaction they were expecting wipes its feet at the door.
A group of researchers from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) are considering [PDF] these and other impediments to the development of the ‘haptic internet’, a touch/pressure-based iteration of the internet which, they believe, will ‘revolutionise almost every segment of society’ – if a massive leap of network quality can be achieved.
To this end the researchers propose changes both in the way that haptic information is transmitted and received, and in exploiting the multiplexing capabilities of 5G to bring near-‘real-time’ feedback without the high overhead of a TCP approach or the unreliability of a system based on User Datagram Protocol (UDP).
As far as I know, the first telemedicine reference in science fiction dates from 1909, in EM Forster's amazing The Machine Stops:
"Kuno," she said, "I cannot come to see you. I am not well."
Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling, a thermometer was automatically laid upon her heart. She lay powerless. Cool pads soothed her forehead. Kuno had telegraphed to her doctor.
So the human passions still blundered up and down in the Machine. Vashti drank the medicine that the doctor projected into her mouth, and the machinery retired into the ceiling.
(Read more about Forster's telemedicine apparatus)
Telemedicine also played a role in the excellent 1999 science fiction novel Starfish by Peter Watts. The primary action in the novel takes place near a deep undersea rift; as with astronauts, it is very time-consuming and expensive process to retrieve workers from these depths. So, the author posits the use of a medical mantis:
There's this praying mantis a meter long, all black with chrome trim, hanging upside down from the ceiling of the Medical cubby. ..it hovers over his face, jointed arms clicking and dipping like crazy articulated chopsticks...
The mantis stops in midmotion, its antennae quivering... "Hello, er-Gerry, isn't it?" it says at last. "I'm Dr. Troyka." (Read more.)
Via The Stack.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/3/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.' - William Gibson, 1986.
BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it' - Pournelle and Niven, 1981.
Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.
Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...' - John Varley, 1984.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Amazing Kepler Space Telescope Decommissioned By NASA
'Thus it came about that the search for a planetiferous sun... was not unduly prolonged...'
ODYSSEUS Solar-Powered Stratospheric Plane Flies Forever
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...'
Augmented and-or Virtual Reality Shoes From Google
'The auto-treadmill's bumps and gullies matched whatever terrain the goggles showed me...'
Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'
Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'
FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'
Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'
Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."
Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'
Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'
LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'
ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'
MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'
Exploring Oceans Across The Solar System
'Black liquid flashed past the turbot’s infrared eyes.'
SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories