With a view to providing paramedical care within moving vehicles, a telemedicine technique using mobile satellite communication was proposed. With this technique, the diagnosis from a specialist and the emergency care under his/her instructions would be available on the spot without unnecessary delay. The characteristic problems of this technique were identified as: channel capacity, size of the system, reliability of vital sign transmission, real-time operation and electromagnetic interference. Measures against these problems were devised, and their effectiveness was analyzed. A data format was designed and an experimental system was developed. The system can simultaneously transmit a color image, an audio signal, 3 channels ECG and blood pressures from a mobile station to a ground station. It can transmit an audio signal and error control signals from a ground station to a mobile station in a full duplex mode. Fundamental transmission characteristics were measured in a fixed station. Finally, experiments of medical data transmission were conducted with a navigating ship and an aircraft flying an international route. The measured threshold values of C/Na to guarantee satisfactory data reception were well below the lower boundary of C/N0 of the communication link. Consequently, the feasibility of this technique was verified.
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