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International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Volume 2009, Article ID 435849, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/435849
Research Article

SURGNET: An Integrated Surgical Data Transmission System for Telesurgery

Multimedia Networks Laboratory, Electrical and Computer Science Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Received 14 August 2008; Accepted 18 March 2009

Academic Editor: Robert Istepanian

Copyright © 2009 Sriram Natarajan and Aura Ganz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Remote surgery information requires quick and reliable transmission between the surgeon and the patient site. However, the networks that interconnect the surgeon and patient sites are usually time varying and lossy which can cause packet loss and delay jitter. In this paper we propose SURGNET, a telesurgery system for which we developed the architecture, algorithms and implemented it on a testbed. The algorithms include adaptive packet prediction and buffer time adjustment techniques which reduce the negative effects caused by the lossy and time varying networks. To evaluate the proposed SURGNET system, at the therapist site, we implemented a therapist panel which controls the force feedback device movements and provides image analysis functionality. At the patient site we controlled a virtual reality applet built in Matlab. The varying network conditions were emulated using NISTNet emulator. Our results show that even for severe packet loss and variable delay jitter, the proposed integrated synchronization techniques significantly improve SURGNET performance.