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GCN : July 2015
[BrieFing] Researchers have developed a virtual rehabilitation system that will enable therapists to treat disabled veterans without being in the same room. According to officials at the Univer- sity of Texas at Dallas, the multimedia system uses 3D cameras and off-the- shelf devices such as Microsoft Kinect to create avatars of the therapist and the patient, then puts them together in a virtual space where they can interact. Tracking people’s movements gener- ates large amounts of data, but for telerehabilitation to be successful, there cannot be any latency between action and reaction. Therefore, the researchers created algorithms and software that enable the data to be transmitted in real time from patient to therapist via the Internet. “To transfer all of this data requires a bandwidth greater than 100 megabits per second, which we currently can’t do over the Internet,” said Karthik Venkataraman, who is working on the project at UT Dallas while pursuing a Ph.D . in computer science. US Ignite and the Global Environ- ment for Network Innovations provided the necessary bandwidth, he said. At the Beyond Today’s Internet sum- mit in March, the team conducted a physical therapy session in which a pa- tient and a physical therapist practiced sawing a log, a task that mimics the movements used to help stroke patients recover. Both participants can feel the resistance of the log and the guiding movements of their partner, just as they would at an in-person therapy session. The researchers said this is just one example of what can be achieved with high-speed, low-latency networking. The team is working on extending the telerehabilitation system so one physi- cal therapist or physician could work with multiple patients at the same time. The new system will be deployed in field trials this summer and fall at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. • Veterans to get virtual rehab BY MARK POMERLEAU 8 GCN JULY 2015 • GCN.COM To help government managers plan their IT strategies, Gartner has released a list of this year’s 10 most important technology trends in digital government. Here are the top five: • Digital workplace. In an informa- tion-driven workplace, most employ- ees will be digitally literate — from those on the frontlines to executives. The resulting work environment will be more social, mobile, open and democratic. • Multichannel citizen engagement. Adopting a multichannel strategy for interactions will give citizens and other stakeholders a seamless, transparent and coherent experience. Many states are already revamping their websites and offering mobile services, informa- tion and alerts on multiple platforms. Gartner recommended that agencies redesign their service models by com- bining their existing marketing tools with innovative approaches. • Open data. Governments have already begun opening public data and offering datasets and Web-based ap- plications, but growth has yet to reach maximum utility. As governments dem- onstrate the value of open data, major funding obstacles will recede, and as a result, more than 30 percent of digital government projects will treat all data as open by 2018. • Electronic IDs. People will increas- ingly access public services through a trusted domain accessible via any device — a development that will require trust between government and commercial vendors to ensure that security, privacy and data confidential- ity requirements are maintained. • Edge analytics. As mobile ser- vices with real-time interaction and contextual capabilities become more pervasive, analytics will evolve from a separate business function into an inte- grated aspect of system operations and user experiences. “These strategic technology trends have substantial disruptive potential that is just beginning to material- ize and will reach an inflection point within the next three to five years,” Gartner Research Director Rick Howard said. “Public-sector CIOs can capitalize on the value of these trends by first determining how they will im- pact government program operations or service delivery models, and then by building the organizational capabilities and capacity needed to support them.” The full list is available at is.gd/ GCN_toptrends. • 5 trends that will shape government IT BY AMANDA ZIADEH “ To transfer all of this data requires a bandwidth greater than 100 megabits per second, which we currently can’t do over the Internet.” – KARTHIK VENKATARAMAN, UT DALLAS 0715gcn_006-010.indd 8 7/1/15 1:06 PM