Tactile Robotic Telemedicine for Safe Remote Diagnostics in Times of Corona: System Design, Feasibility and Usability Study

Abdeldjallil Naceri, Jean Elsner, Mario Trobinger, Hamid Sadeghian, Lars Johannsmeier, Florian Voigt, Xiao Chen, Daniela Macari, Christoph Jahne, Maximilian Berlet, Jonas Fuchtmann, Luis Figueredo, Hubertus Feusner, Dirk Wilhelm, Sami Haddadin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current crisis surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the amount of responsibility and the workload on our healthcare system and, above all, on the medical staff around the world. In this work, we propose a promising approach to overcome this problem using robot-assisted telediagnostics, which allows medical experts to examine patients from distance. The designed telediagnostic system consists of two robotic arms. Each robot is located at the doctor and patient sites. Such a system enables the doctor to have a direct conversation via telepresence and to examine patients through robot-assisted inspection (guided tactile and audiovisual contact). The proposed bilateral teleoperation system is redundant in terms of teleoperation control algorithms and visual feedback. Specifically, we implemented two main control modes: joint-based and displacement-based teleoperation. The joint-based mode was implemented due to its high transparency and ease of mapping between Leader and Follower whereas the displacement-based is highly flexible in terms of relative pose mapping and null-space control. Tracking tests between Leader and Follower were conducted on our system using both wired and wireless connections. Moreover, our system was tested by seven medical doctors in two experiments. User studies demonstrated the system's usability and it was successfully validated by the medical experts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10296-10303
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • Telemedicine
  • medical robots
  • tactile robotic
  • telediagnostics

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