The IASTED International Conference on
Engineering and Applied Science
EAS 2012

Engineering Applications for the 21st Century

December 27 – 29, 2012
Colombo, Sri Lanka


Telemedicine - An Extension of Automated Homecare

Prof. C. W. de Silva
The University of British Columbia, Canada


The talk will begin with a rationale for automated homecare (quality of life, economics, etc.), concentrating on: automated (and possibly autonomous) devices that provide basic assistance to the elderly and the disabled in a home setting (e.g., serving food and medicine, cleaning, bathing, and providing assistance for mobility); teleoperation of such a device from a hospital control room to provide first aid while the traditional emergency help is forthcoming. In the anticipated homecare scenario, one or more automated devices (including robots) will be available with their local sensors and a range of networked global sensors in the home environment. Adequate machine intelligence is crucial for autonomous operation while haptic feedback is important in teleoperation. The needed basic technologies of robotics, networked communication, control, and teleoperation are sufficiently mature. Further development is needed in assistive technologies, specialized end-effector devices, and haptics. The talk will highlight the related needs and directions in research and development, particularly in haptic teleoperation and machine intelligence. Such technologies are initially intended for use in industrialized countries. Possible extension of these technologies to telemedicine will primarily target developing countries and rural areas. A telemedicine facility will enable remote access of doctors and other healthcare providers. On providing on-line the vital signs and acoustic cues of the patient using an innovative sensory harness, the diagnosis and medical prescription can be made interactively through a video and audio link between the patient and the medical professional, without the patient having to visit a hospital. The state of art of the relevant technologies will be presented. The progress of a pilot project in telemedicine will be indicated.

Biography of the Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Portrait

Clarence W. de Silva is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and occupies the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair Professorship in Mechatronics & Industrial Automation at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. A Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), he is also a Fellow of: ASME, IEEE, Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society of Canada. He has received many awards including the Paynter Outstanding Investigator Award and the Takahashi Education Award of ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division; Killam Research Prize; and Outstanding Engineering Educator Award of IEEE Canada. He has served as Editor/Associate Editor of 14 journals including ASME and IEEE transactions; and is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Control and Intelligent Systems. He received Ph.D. degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (1978) and the University of Cambridge, UK (1998), and an Honorary D.Eng. from the University of Waterloo (2008). He has authored 20 books and over 400 papers, half of which are in journals. The most recent books are: De Silva, C.W., Mechatronics—a Foundation Course, Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2010; De Silva, C.W., Modeling and Control of Engineering Systems, Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2009; De Silva, C.W., Vibration—Fundamentals and Practice, 2nd Edition, Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2007; and De Silva, C.W., SENSORS AND ACTUATORS—Control System Instrumentation, Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2007.