Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. succeeded in a test use of its 2.4-gigabit-per-second fiber-optic line for long-distance fetal diagnosis and therapy by linking medical specialists in Tokyo and San Francisco, according to NTT officials.

In February, doctors at Japan’s National Center for Child Health and Development transmitted three-dimensional images of a fetus with problems to Michael Harrison, a professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of California, through NTT’s optical network that was linked to a U.S. network used for academic research.

The Japanese doctors used a three-dimensional scanner and other sophisticated diagnostic equipment that enabled Harrison, one of the world’s leading doctors in fetus therapy, to diagnose and provide instructions to the Japanese doctors, the officials said.

Fetal surgical or internal medicines could save fetuses at around 20 to 30 weeks of pregnancy with life-threatening abnormalities.

But because the number of medical specialists in this area is limited, many pregnant mothers who have trouble with their babies have difficulty finding help.

Conventional Internet-based remote-controlled therapy and treatment systems have often been deficient in allowing doctors to make an accurate diagnosis because of video-quality problems.

Stable and speedy transmission of high-quality images is indispensable for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Japan’s telecom giant is willing to work further for the utilization of optical communication lines in order to expand advanced medical treatment further.

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