Development of a Video Streaming System for Telehealth Applications

Arun Shankar Narayanan, Woon Cherk Lam, Kok Kiong Tan, Choon Huat Koh, and Clarence W. de Silva

Keywords

telehealth, adaptive streaming, videostreaming, selective streaming

Abstract

In this paper, the design of a video streaming system for telehealth applications is presented. Deviating from general-purpose objectives of off-the-shelf teleconferencing solutions, the system is customized to enable doctors and patients to be virtually linked over a broad range of connection speeds yet maintaining a satisfactory video/audio streaming experience to carry out remote diagnosis and assessment. Specifically, a key objective is to maintain a frame rate of around 15 fps at various connection speeds through an appropriate selection and characterization of transport protocols, encoding technologies and other innovations. Through the use of the Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, under low bandwidth conditions, the system allows an optional streaming of human body structure in binary colour mode. Images are much smaller in size but sufficient for certain applications like tele-rehabilitation. The system also allows selective cropping for the user to discard the background but send only the useful information. Finally, through the use of adaptive streaming approach, the system is able to adapt the image quality to the network speed while maintaining the frame rate. Collectively, with these customized innovations incorporated, the system is able to perform video calls at frame rate of around 15 fps even in 128 kbps network.

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