The Evolution of Telemedicine

As far back as the 1800s, doctors were envisioning the potential that telecommunications could have within healthcare. In 1879, an American newspaper article discussed using telephone to reduce the number of in-person office visits.

What is telemedicine?

Where did this idea and term originate from?

In 1925, a magazine cover showed a doctor diagnosing a patient by radio, alongside an imaginary video device, for long-distance patient examination. In the 1950s, complex data from neurological exams, x-rays, and electrocardiograms was being transmitted from one clinic to another to help provide care to rural areas.

Inter-clinic communication also has a long history. Radio has been a crucial tool in providing medical advice to ships. In remote areas of Alaska, where traveling to a specialist could be costly, health aids in one location use video call to connect with specialists and assess whether a patient should travel to seek further treatment. Communication from hard-to-reach locations, such as scientific stations in the Arctic and Antarctic, were early participants in telemedicine. These applications often involved large devices and a trained telepresenter on both ends to use the technology, making it hard for telemedicine to have a place in every clinic.

Expanding the impact of telemedicine with apoQlar

At apoQlar, we are making telemedicine the new medical standard and understand that connecting specialists throughout the world enhances the quality of care that all patients receive. Utilizing the HoloLens mixed reality glasses from Microsoft, VSI Telemedicine adds a whole new dimension to inter-clinic communication.

VSI Telemedicine enables calling between two HoloLens devices, no matter how far they are located from one another. A surgeon in Hamburg can be in the operating room, viewing a 3D MRI aligned with the real anatomy of the patient, while sharing this whole view with an advising surgeon in e.g. Bangkok. The advising surgeon is viewing everything just as if he were in the operating room, and with holoportation, he himself can also be projected back into the operating room.

VSI Telemedicine enables communication with other devices such as laptops, tablets, and phones, allowing viewers to collaborate with the surgeon or to simply observe what the surgery is like from the surgeon’s perspective. With this feature, individuals, as well as conference rooms full of people, can experience the perspective of the surgeon and view the tools he sees in VSI, but this time in 2D.

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