Objectives: We developed a new telediagnosis system to securely transmit high-quality endoscopic moving images over the Internet in real time. This system would enable collaboration between physicians seeking advice from endoscopists separated by long distances, to facilitate diagnosis.
Methods: We adapted a new type of digital video streaming system (DVTS) to our teleendoscopic diagnosis system. To investigate its feasibility, we conducted a two-step experiment. A basic experiment was first conducted to transmit endoscopic video images between hospitals using a plain DVTS. After investigating the practical usability, we incorporated a secure and reliable communication function into the system, by equipping DVTS with "TCP2", a new security technology that establishes secure communication in the transport layer. The second experiment involved international transmission of teleendoscopic image between Hawaii and Japan using the improved system.
Results: In both the experiments, no serious transmission delay was observed to disturb physicians' communications and, after subjective evaluation by endoscopists, the diagnostic qualities of the images were found to be adequate. Moreover, the second experiment showed that "TCP2-equipped DVTS" successfully executed high-quality secure image transmission over a long distance network.
Conclusions: We conclude that DVTS technology would be promising for teleendoscopic diagnosis. It was also shown that a high quality, secure teleendoscopic diagnosis system can be developed by equipping DVTS with TCP2.