Healing Hands: The Tactile Internet in Future Tele-Healthcare

Stefan Senk, Marian Ulbricht, Ievgenii Tsokalo, Justus Rischke, Shu Chen Li, Stefanie Speidel, Giang T. Nguyen, Patrick Seeling, Frank H.P. Fitzek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the early 2020s, the coronavirus pandemic brought the notion of remotely connected care to the general population across the globe. Oftentimes, the timely provisioning of access to and the implementation of affordable care are drivers behind tele-healthcare initiatives. Tele-healthcare has already garnered significant momentum in research and implementations in the years preceding the worldwide challenge of 2020, supported by the emerging capabilities of communication networks. The Tactile Internet (TI) with human-in-the-loop is one of those developments, leading to the democ-ratization of skills and expertise that will significantly impact the long-term developments of the provisioning of care. However, significant challenges remain that require today’s communication networks to adapt to support the ultra-low latency required. The resulting latency challenge neces-sitates trans-disciplinary research efforts combining psychophysiological as well as technological solutions to achieve one millisecond and below round-trip times. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview of the benefits enabled by solving this network latency reduction challenge by employing state-of-the-art Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) devices in a testbed, realizing the service differentiation required for the multi-modal human-machine interface. With completely new types of services and use cases resulting from the TI, we describe the potential impacts on remote surgery and remote rehabilitation as examples, with a focus on the future of tele-healthcare in rural settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1404
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

Keywords

  • Human-in-the-loop
  • Multi-modal
  • Multisensory perception
  • Tactile internet
  • Tele-healthcare

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