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An interactive telemedicine system for remote speech-language pathology treatment.

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National Rehabilitation Hospital, Washington, DC, USA.


There is significant potential for delivering speech-language pathology services using telemedicine methods. However, current telemedicine and videoconferencing equipment has limitations that constrain the speech-language therapeutic interventions that can be delivered remotely. This work aimed to develop a telemedicine system that would extend the capabilities of existing videoconferencing equipment and integrate an array of clinically relevant and validated therapeutic tools and techniques. Through a user-centered iterative design framework, an earlier prototype system was expanded and enhanced to enable greater interaction between a speech-language clinician and client during a telemedicine session. The final system utilizes H.323 Internet-based videoconferencing with integrated T.120 data sharing features and allows for a wide range of treatment material and therapeutic interventions to be delivered to a remote client. The protocol for a case-study evaluation designed to evaluate the system as a means for providing comprehensive speech-language treatment has been developed and testing is underway. Preliminary results indicate that the system is a viable alternative to face-to-face treatment for adult clients with neurological impairments.


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