Front Porch, Rutgers and Robert Wood Johnson to Develop Virtual Microscope

Front Porch Digital Inc.'s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Jay Yogeshwar, who received his master’s and doctorate degrees from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, will work with Rutgers and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School researchers to develop the technology needed to create a "virtual" microscope that can broadcast realtime images over the Internet. Although images currently can be transmitted over the Internet, they cannot be transmitted in streaming video formats with the high resolution necessary for medical applications.

Front Porch Digital, which specializes in the large-scale, offline conversion and migration of information stored on aging media or obsolete systems to easily accessible digital formats, will contribute technology designed to capture, compress, encode and transcode the digitized images at the highest possible resolution. Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Front Porch Digital each will retain the rights to their respective technologies.

"The ‘virtual’ microscope technology being developed by Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Front Porch Digital has tremendous medical ramifications," notes Saeed Karim, President and Chief Operating Officer for Front Porch Digital. "First, the ‘virtual’ microscope will make it less expensive to train medical students worldwide, who will be able to view operations at other locations in realtime, via the Internet. Second, variations of the technology eventually will be applied to other medical imaging applications, such as remote medical consultation and smart operation theaters, where medical experts from multiple locations may analyze, consult and guide diagnosis and surgery via realtime streaming video transmitted from a clinic or hospital."

Front Porch Digital is developing the technology under an agreement with Rutgers’ Center for Advanced Information Processing (CAIP) and the Center for Biomedical Imaging & Informatics (CBII) UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, which have already built a prototype for the tele-robotic microscope. This research was funded in part by the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.

Dr. Yogeshwar’s team will work closely with research teams led by Dr. David J. Foran (CBII) and Dr. Joseph Wilder (CAIP) to adapt Front Porch Digital’s proprietary technology to capture and compress video from the ‘virtual’ microscope and stream it over the Internet in realtime at a resolution comparable to broadcast television.

This technology will enable the first use of streaming video for medical diagnostic purposes.

Front Porch Digital’s software-based technology ingests video and audio content in a single capture and converts it into a standards-based digital format, which can then be streamed realtime via MPEG, Microsoft ASF, Real and other formats

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