A concept of mobile telemedicine has been proposed to provide emergency care in a moving vehicle. The practicality of this technique was investigated through technical considerations required to realize mobile telemedicine. Some problems with this technique were identified, and measures to resolve the problems were devised. Then, theoretical analysis verified the feasibility of the proposed technique. Different multiplexing techniques for the multiple medical data transmission by mobile communication were investigated. An experimental system that can simultaneuosly transmit color images, an audio signal, three-channel ECGs, and blood pressure from a moving vehicle to a fixed station was developed. Experiments on the transmission of multichannel medical data from a moving ambulance, a navigating ship, and a flying aircraft were conducted. The results of these experiments verified the practical feasibility of the proposed technique. In the practical application of this technique, there may be some legal problems: for example, whether medical treatment through a communication medium would be legally acceptable or not, and whether the transmission of medical data violates the protection of personal privacy. However, considering the emergency nature of this technique and the significance of the results, both problems seem to be either legally or technically solvable. This application of mobile communication to telemedicine is not confined to merely a proposal to use new techniques. It can also bring about a methodological change in the concept of conventional telemedicine by changing it from static to dynamic, and by enlarging its scope from a local area to a global or cosmic area. It may also have an impact on conventional emergency medicine in that it will open up a new field of application that applies to moving vehicles.
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