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. 2017 Sep;23(9):753-762.
doi: 10.1089/tmj.2016.0196. Epub 2017 Mar 17.

Wireless Teleophthalmology: A Novel, Low-Cost, Flexible Network Architecture and Its Performance Evaluation for Remote Eye Care Solutions

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Wireless Teleophthalmology: A Novel, Low-Cost, Flexible Network Architecture and Its Performance Evaluation for Remote Eye Care Solutions

Shashwat Pathak et al. Telemed J E Health. .

Abstract

Introduction: This article proposes a novel, cost-effective, flexible, and easy-to-deploy wireless teleophthalmology network architecture and performance evaluation for its potential use in remote areas. This study has used practical telecommunication standards, which is widely deployed throughout India.

Methods: In the proposed scenario, patient's eye images are obtained using a specified imaging modality, and then sent to a server at the primary eye care centre (PECC) using ZigBee a short-range wireless network. It is linked to the main server at the base eye hospital (BEH) through a GSM/UMTS (3G)/WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) network. After diagnostic evaluation of the eye image using various automated diagnostic software, data are sent to a physician in an urban center for further validation, which is connected through GSM/UMTS (3G)/WiMAX network. Performance evaluation of these wireless networks is carried out for their use in teleophthalmology application based on network parameters, namely throughput, average end-to-end delay, and average jitter. It is found that end-to-end delay is the most critical network parameter affecting overall quality of service (QoS) of the proposed teleophthalmology network.

Results and conclusions: The results demonstrate that WiMAX is the most suitable network among the considered networks for connecting PECC nodes with BEH main server, and further connecting main server with a doctor on the move. It is also deduced that for a given set of QoS parameters, WiMAX supports a load capacity of 22,000 packets at center nodes and the main server and it performs well even when the mobility speed of doctor exceeds 200 KPH.

Keywords: GSM; Kumbh Mela; UMTS (3G); WiMAX; ZigBee; telemedicine; teleophthalmology.

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