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New Media, Cloud Computing, and Fog Computing in Healthcare

Salem_MA_66383_n
(Salem, Massachusetts - ROC (Taiwan) Student Association of MIT)

 

Modern healthcare is being transformed by new and growing electronic resources, with hospitals generating terabytes of imaging, diagnostic, monitoring, and treatment data. Machine learning (ML) is central to utilizing these rapidly expanding datasets, combing through data across patients, clinics, and hospitals to uncover more effective treatments and practices that increase the quality and longevity of human life. 

The rise of new media has increased communication between people all over the world and the Internet. It allows people to on-demand (cloud computing) access to content anytime, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, and creative participation. New media allows the real-time generation of new, unregulated content, including (at least for now) Internet, blogs, websites, computer multimedia (e.g., medical audio or speech, real-time or recorded video, high resolution still image, and so forth), pictures, and other user-generated media. It is apparently envisioned that the field of medicine expects to gain a large benefit from the explosion of wearables and Internet-connected sensors that surround us to acquire and communicate unprecedented data on symptoms, medication, food intake, and daily-life activities impacting one's health and wellness. New media will have major impact on healthcare delivery and, perhaps, on costs as well. 

Pushing computing, control, data storage and processing into the cloud has been a key trend in the past decade. However, cloud alone is encountering growing limitations in meeting the computing and intelligent networking demands of many new systems and applications. Local computing both at the network edge and among the connected things is often necessary to, for example, meet stringent latency requirements, integrate local multimedia contextual information in real time, reduce processing load and conserve battery power on the endpoints, improve network reliability and resiliency, and overcome the bandwidth and cost constraints for long-haul communications. 

The cloud is now "descending" to the network edge and sometimes diffused onto end user devices, which forms the "Fog". Fog computing is a service-oriented intermediate layer in the Internet of Things (IoT), providing the interfaces between the sensors and cloud servers for facilitating connectivity, data transfer, and queryable local database. The centerpiece of Fog computing is a low-power, intelligent, wireless, embedded computing node that carries out signal conditioning and data analytics on raw data collected from wearables or other medical sensors and offers efficient means to serve telehealth interventions. 

Fog computing will change the information technology industry in the next decade. It enables key applications in wireless 5G, IoT, and big data. Fog computing and networking present a new architecture vision where distributed edge and user devices collaborate with each other and with the clouds to carry out computing, control, networking, and data management tasks. The IoT may more likely be supported by fog computing, in which computing, storage, control and networking power may exist anywhere along the architecture, either in data centers, the cloud, edge devices such as gateways or routers, edge equipment itself such as a machine, or in sensors. Fog computing distributes the services of computation, communication, control and storage closer to the edge, access and users.

 
  
[More to come ...]

 

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