Haptiscan goes 5G!

Professor Saeid Nahavandi, IISRI Director

The world’s first haptically-enabled robotics system for remote ultrasound procedures has been developed by Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI), in partnership with Telstra’s Chief Technology Office.

The system aims to increase the availability of sonographers and physicians in remote or smaller medical facilities, minimise the potential for error and minimise the time taken to re-scan a patient when additional investigation is required. It achieves this through a full immersive package of 3D video, haptics (force feedback) technology and two-way patient-doctor communication, delivered over Australia’s communications network. The intuitive control system can also reduce operator fatigue, lowering the risk of sonographers developing musculoskeletal disorders.

HaptiScan on Telstra 5G network on 9news

  • The HaptiScan system is able to provide patients with access to first class medical expertise from anywhere in the world.
  • Through the internet or a wide-area network, experts can remotely login to control the robot and ultimately the ultrasound probe as though it is an extension of themselves.
  • This technology lends itself to creating a new health business model.
  • In cases where a medical expert is not in the country, an expert from oversees can remotely perform a diagnosis on a patient in Australia.
  • In a visual training scenario, medical students can observe an ultrasound procedure from anywhere in the world.
  • This visual feedback can be used for medical replay in a haptic This visual feedback can training scenario.
  • A haptic training scenario can also be used for offline training. By recording video, position, force and patient data, a virtual environment can produce an ultrasound training environment without the need for a real patient.
  • The intuitive and ergonomic control system of HaptiScan can reduce operator fatigue and consequently lower the risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders.
  • A local installation of HaptiScan, where the sonographer, HaptiScan and the patient are in the same room can be utilised.
  • This approach can enable a unique implementation of controlling an ultrasound probe from a comfortable and ergonomic position.
  • The use of a robot in this scenario means that sonographers can utilise the force generation of the robot without themselves being required to apply large forces to a patient.
  • The HaptiScan system has major advantages in developing nations. The technology is able to distance humans from hazards such as disease, radioactive waste and disaster zones.


Professor Saeid Nahavandi
IISRI Director, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Defence Technologies)
BSc(Hons) MSc PhD Durh., FIEAust CPEng FIET CEng

Email: saeid.nahavandi@deakin.edu.au
Telephone: +61 3 5227 1231
Fax: +61 3 5227 1046