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Open Access Next-generation rheumatoid arthritis specialized telemedicine enabled by IoT and AI

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Ageing populations in developed countries place strain on healthcare systems and when ageing populations live far away from the specialists they require to treat their chronic diseases, the logistics can be challenging to say the least. This is a particularly acute issue in Japan, which is made up of small islands. The COVID-19 pandemic has served to emphasise the need for better systems for remote medical consultations. Dr Fumiaki Nonaka at Goto Chuou Hospital and Professor Atsushi Kawakami and Dr Shinya Kawashiri at Nagasaki University Hospital have collaborated with Microsoft to create the first remote consultation systems for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that uses mixed reality. Early detection is crucial to managing RA but it is often difficult to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment of the disease in remote islands. This issue became particularly pressing in the context of COVID-19. Working with Microsoft, the researchers sought to develop a method of viewing and rendering the joints in 3D. Microsoft adapted their Azure Kinect DK cameras into a rig covering three different angles of any joint and an array of seven microphones was also installed. Using a reality headset called HoloLens2, the images of the joint can be rendered a 3D hologram to the user, enabling doctors to freely observe the joint from any direction. Combining this with Microsoft's Teams, a face-t-face consultation is facilitated.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Japan

Publication date: October 1, 2021

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