eHealth – Industry synopsis, RedZinc pilots & projects
eHealth is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health, as defined by the World Health Organisation and includes mobile health, telehealth, eLearning, electronic health records, legal frameworks, social media and Big Data.
eHealth has many benefits such as providing services to remote patients and communities through telehealth, facilitating training though eLearning, enhancing patient diagnosis and treatment by providing accurate and timely patient information and improving operational and financial efficiency of health care systems. While there are obstacles to establishing eHealthcare such as government policies, data protection, upskilling and funding, the progress continues apace with eHealth becoming more central to the delivery of healthcare.
RedZinc has long been involved in the many aspects of eHealth and have participated and led many R&D projects with the focus of creating a new technology to better lives and ultimately, making eHealth mainstream. While RedZinc started with telecommunications technologies such as QoS and prioritisation and led the charge with IP Sphere standardisation, the application of technologies to do good has been front and centre of our philosophy. While working on pilots for standardising packet quality and charging, we realised that to make an impact we needed to show the “killer” application for using QoS technology.
This led to the application of streaming video as poor quality, low latency video is unacceptable and needs to have a defined quality for bit rate and latency etc for viewing. Having a business need for the QoS technology we now needed to demonstrate the application. Thus, we built the first prototype of the BlueEye platform with two scenarios – a browser application for educational purposes and a camera on safety glasses application for use by emergency doctors and paramedics.
The BlueEye platform concept was trialled as part of the LiveCity project with 10 schools in Ireland, two museums in Luxembourg and Greece and two hospitals, one in Ireland and one in Greece. More recently the focus of the work has moved from network technology to pilots with performance and clinical KPIs.
RedZinc are doing pilots across a number of European countries such as Sweden, Germany, Spain and Turkey to assess the impact of BlueEye Handsfree video on hospital based clinical work processes in different use case applications as part of the Health5G project.
RedZinc carried out a technical pilot to simulate the volume of emergency video calls that could potentially be made to a hospital from paramedics servicing that hospital. The video stream was scale tested in a simulated 5G test environment to check if it was feasible to carry out the potential number of required emergency video calls to a satisfactory quality level, in a city such as Madrid. Madrid has a population of 6.5 million people and an estimated 195 ambulances covering all services in the city.
RedZinc piloted its product BlueEye Handsfree in Oslo Hospital and with 5Gronginen ambulance services in simulated patient events. The purpose of the pilot was to understand see how handsfree video communications would impact clinical work processes in different types of use cases. The use cases trialled were treatment of elderly patients with specific painkillers, pneumothorax conditions and burn victims on a 4G network.
Q4HEALTH focused on the optimization of real time video for emergency services over 4G/LTE networks. A number of different experiments were conducted over the FIRE platforms PerformLTE and OpenAirInterface looking at how to optimize wearable LTE video and evaluating the network performance KPIs for wearable video in association with UMA, Eurecom and with demonstrations to Malaga Police and Andalucía Ambulance.
LiveCity built Video-to-Video communications across 3G and early 4G networks in the healthcare, education and public sectors to reach end users in their city communities of Dublin, Luxembourg and Athens. A total of 100 end user nodes with over 1000 users among schools, doctors, research institutions, special event locations, hospitals, live city users, and ambulances were involved.
The potential of telemedicine was explored through trials of video streaming using the first video camera built by RedZinc for this purpose. RedZinc also pioneered the Virtual Path Slicing technology to control the QoS of the video application in a true end-to-end slice. The LiveCity infrastructure reached end users directly and provided dynamic Virtual Path Slices to end users in each city. The project built specific network requirements such as physical locations, bandwidth and performance objectives. The Video-2-Video application was deployed in 2 hospitals, Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and Attikon Hospital in Greece; several schools in Ireland and Athens; a museum in Luxembourg and a museum in Athens and their end user communities.
Horizon 2020 is a financial initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness to drive economic growth and create jobs. H2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges such as challenges in escalating healthcare costs. The initiative ensures Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation. This is in line with RedZinc’s vision of optimising operational efficiency in healthcare and industry using mobile telemedicine.