NASA announces telehealth experiment

NASA last Friday announced an experiment titled “Advanced Diagnositic Ultrasound in Microgravity,” which involves crewmembers onboard a space shuttle conducting ultrasound exams on one another as they are instructed from a radiologist on the ground.

According to the announcement, “Crews traveling beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) need the telemedicine strategies this experiment investigates, should injury or illness occur in space. There are also widespread Earth applications for emergencies and rural care situations.”

Google abandons smart grid project

Last week Google Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) decided to discontinue its smart grid project due to lack of users. Google PowerMeter, a free energy monitoring tool, was launched by Google in 2009 by its philanthropic arm, Google.org.

On the Google PowerMeter website, all existing users are asked to export their data by September 16, 2011.

The smart grid project allowed customers to view their home’s energy consumption from an online service center. According to Google, having access to smart meter information helps consumers reduce their energy use by up to 15%.

39 million security apps to be connected to European cellular networks by 2015

According to a new research report from analyst firm Berg Insight (Gothenburg, Sweden), shipments of wireless M2M modules for security applications in Europe are forecasted to grow from 2.4 million in 2010 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55 % to reach 21.4 million in 2015. At the same time, the number of tracking devices and wireless alarm systems monitored from an alarm receiving center will grow from 7.0 million in 2010 at a CAGR of 41 % to reach 39.2 million by the end of 2015, according to Berg.

New report shows slower satellite growth in 2010

The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) last Monday released its 2011 State of the Satellite Industry Report, showing a 5% growth in overall world satellite industry revenues in 2010. Global 2010 revenues for the satellite industry totaled $168.1 billion, for an 11.2 % average annual industry growth rate over the past 5 years.

More than 80 satellite companies, both SIA members and non-members, were surveyed to assess the performance of four satellite industry sectors: satellite services, satellite manufacturing, launch, and ground equipment.

TomTom cut its 2011 outlook again, claims weak market

Reuters

TomTom (Amsterdam, Netherlands), the Dutch technology company known for personal navigation devices (PNDs) used by car and truck drivers, cut its 2011 outlook for the second time on Monday citing weak electronics markets.

TomTom, which competes in the PND market with Garmin (Olathe, Kan.) and in the commercial digital map market with Google (Mountain View, Calif.) and Navteq (Chicago, Ill.) has been struggling to cope in an ever-tougher market.

Ford to expand in-vehicle smartphone connectivity

Reuters

Ford Motor Co (Dearborn, Mich.) will expand the use of its on-board smartphone applications for the 2012 model year, the automaker said last Tuesday at Forward with Ford, a safety and technology show.

Mark Fields, president of Ford Operations in North and South America, said a recent study showed that smartphones will eventually overtake feature phones in the United States, and that two-thirds of smartphone users want to use them in their vehicles.

Hospital uses remote-controlled, robotic telemedicine system

A team of neonatologists at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles have published a research paper indicating that the use of a remote-controlled, robotic telemedicine system in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is feasible and safe.

This study conducted considered 304 patient encounters on 46 premature and full-term newborns in a level IIIa NICU, the unit caring for the most critically ill infants. During each patient encounter, the infant was evaluated by both an onsite and an off-site neonatologist.

Smart911 Program spreading through U.S.

Rave Mobile Safety (Framingham, Mass.), a provider of safety software, on Tuesday announced that its Smart911 technology is seeing nationwide adoption, including numerous municipalities in over 13 states. Smart911 allows citizens to enter personal information online, which is then automatically available to a 9-1-1 call taker, in the event they call 9-1-1.

South America smart grid market to reach 104.5 million smart meters by 2020

Northeast Group, LLC (Washington, D.C.), a research and consulting firm, on Tuesday released its South America Smart Grid Market Forecast (2011-2020) which projects the smart meter market alone will reach 104.5 million meters and $25.1 billion by 2020.

Other smart grid technologies – including distribution automation – will also grow quickly in the region. According to Northeast Group, Brazil will be first to begin large-scale deployments. Chile and Argentina will be next to follow, with other countries set to launch deployments in the latter half of the decade.

New Zealand Telehealth Forum established

On Tuesday it was announced that the New Zealand Telehealth Forum has been established to promote the use of telehealth in healthcare delivery and is timed to maximize the benefits of the Government’s broadband program.

The National Health IT Board has funded the establishment of the Forum. Members of board include practicing clinicians, senior DHB managers, researchers and consumer representatives. The CEOs of the Health IT Cluster and TUANZ (representing health ICT suppliers and telecommunications users) are also on the Forum Board.

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