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Technology and Health Care is intended to serve as a forum for the presentation of original articles and technical notes, observing rigorous scientific standards. Furthermore, upon invitation, reviews, tutorials, discussion papers and minisymposia are featured.
The following types of contributions and areas are considered:
1. Original articles:
Technology development in medicine: New concepts, procedures and devices associated with the use of technology in medical research and clinical practice are presented to a readership with a widespread background in engineering and/or medicine.
Significance of medical technology and informatics for healthcare: The appropriateness, efficacy and usefulness deriving from the application of engineering methods, devices and informatics in medicine and with respect to public health are discussed.
2. Technical notes:
Short communications on novel technical developments with relevance for clinical medicine.
3. Reviews and tutorials (upon invitation only):
Tutorial and educational articles for persons with a primarily medical background on principles of engineering with particular significance for biomedical applications and vice versa are presented.
4. Minisymposia (upon invitation only):
Under the leadership of a Special Editor, controversial issues relating to healthcare are highlighted and discussed by various authors.
Abstract: Photothermal treatment of tumors of the retina and choroid such as retinoblastomas, malignant melanomas, benign tumors as well as of vascular malformations can be performed by using laser radiation. A number of basic physical laws have to be taken into account in this procedure. Of particular importance thereby are: Arrhenius' law to approximate the kinetics of protein denaturation and photocoagulation, furthermore the electromagnetic radiation field, the distribution of both radiant and thermal energy induced in tumors and vascular structures, the influence of the wavelength and laser pulse duration (exposure time), as well as of the optical properties of the tissue.…Strict confinement of the extent of the photothermal damage is critical since such pathological entities are frequently located close to the macula or optic nerve head. The conditions for tumor destruction are best fulfilled when using radiation in the near-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum such as that emitted from the diode (810 nm) and the Nd: YAG (1064 nm) laser, because of the good optical penetration properties of these radiations in tissue. Short wavelength sources of radiation, such as the argon ion (488, 514 nm) or the freqeuency-doubled Nd: YAG (532 nm) laser are less well suited for the irradiation of large vascular structures due to their poor penetration depths. However, for vascular formations with a small thickness (1 mm or less), short wavelength sources appear to be the most appropriate choice. Optical coupling of radiant energy to the eye by means of indirect ophthalmoscopic systems or positive contact lenses is furthermore of importance. Strong positive lenses may lead to severe constrictions of the laser beam within the anterior segment, that leads to high irradiance increasing the probability for structures to be damaged; with negative contact lenses, such as the -64 D Goldmann type lens, this danger is largely absent.
Abstract: Surgical optimization of the cavopulmonary connection and pharmacological therapy for dysfunctional Fontan physiology continue to advance, but these treatment approaches only slow the progression of decline to end-stage heart failure. The development of a mechanical cavopulmonary assist device will provide a viable therapeutic option in the bridging of patients to transplant or to stabilization. We hypothesize that rotational blood flow, delivered by an implantable axial flow blood pump, could effectively assist the venous circulation in Fontan patients by mimicking vortical blood flow patterns in the cardiovascular system. This study investigated seven new models of mechanical cavopulmonary assistance (single and dual-pump…assist), created combinations of pump designs that deliver counter rotating vortical flow conditions, and analyzed pump performance, velocity streamlines, swirling strength, and energy augmentation in the cavopulmonary circuit for each support scenario. The model having an axial clockwise-oriented impeller in the inferior vena cava and an axial counterclockwise-oriented impeller rotating in the superior vena cava outperformed all of the support scenarios by enhancing the energy of the cavopulmonary circulation an average of 10.3% over the entire flow range and a maximum of 27.4% at %the higher flow rates. This research will guide the development of axial flow blood pumps for Fontan patients and demonstrated the high probability of %a cardiovascular benefit using counter rotating pumps in a dual support scenario, but found that this is dependent upon the patient-specific cavopulmonary anatomy.
Abstract: The incidence of Acute Leukemia (AL) subtypes varies according to geographical distribution and more predominant in developing countries. The aim here was to evaluate the usefulness of cost effective diagnostic tools in characterization of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in resource poor population. One hundred and two AL cases were diagnosed. For diagnosis, cytochemical analysis and immunohistochemistry were performed. Among the children < 12 years, ALL was 64.3% while AML accounted for 30%. In patients > 12 years, ALL was 59.4% and AML was 31.3%. The B-ALL occurred most frequently than T-ALL in both the age groups while based on immunophenotyping…in AML, CD13 was the most commonly expressed antigen. Hence, cost effective diagnostic tools namely the immunophenotyping and cytochemistry are useful and improve accuracy and rapidly risk-stratify patients that were diagnosed with acute leukemia.
Keywords: Acute leukemia, cytochemistry, immunophenotyping, CD markers
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) temperatures reaching 45°C in adjacent tissues are cytotoxic to the spinal cord, nerves and surrounding tissues. OBJECTIVE: This study compares different RFA electrodes with regard to the temperature distribution during ablation of spinal metastases. METHODS: In vitro experimental study in isolated lumbar vertebrae of a human cadaveric spine. The temperature distribution of RFA electrodes was measured during ablation in human cadaveric lumbar vertebrae containing a simulated vertebral body lesion. The analysis compared a novel bipolar RFA electrode with two conventional monopolar RFA electrodes. A vertebral metastasis model was prepared…in eight lumbar vertebrae for each electrode. Differences between the electrodes were evaluated with a one-way ANOVA. RESULTS: The lowest temperature at the thermocouples adjacent to the simulated lesion was achieved when using the bipolar RFA electrode (46.4 ± 3.3°C), but temperature difference to the monopolar RFA electrodes was not significant. In the neural foramen and epidural space of lumbar vertebrae the maximal temperature measured when using the bipolar RFA electrode was 37.0 ± 0°C and 37.3 ± 0.7°C, which was significantly lower than during ablation via either of the monopolar RFA electrodes (p ≤ 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Temperatures in areas of adjacent tissue during RFA using a specific for spinal ablation designed electrode with integrated thermocouples were significantly lower compared to other electrodes, potentially reducing temperature related risks during ablation.
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and arm and leg muscle mass to total weight ratios in Korean adults. This was a randomized, controlled, cross-sectional study. Data from 2,383 adults (1,030 men and 1,353 women) were collected from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010-2011. Blood lipid profiles, blood pressure, and anthropometric characteristics, including weight, height, waist circumference, and muscle mass on dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), were evaluated in the participants. MetS was defined according to the criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. The…average mass of both arms and legs was determined using regional muscle analysis by DXA. Afterwards, the arm and leg muscle mass to total body weight ratio was determined and classified into 4 quartiles (i.e., quartile 1 [highest muscle ratio] to quartile 4 [lowest muscle ratio]). According to the arm muscle and leg muscle ratios, there was a higher prevalence of MetS in quartile 4 than in quartile 1 in both men and women. A low arm and leg muscle mass to body weight ratio was associated with a higher prevalence of MetS after adjusting for age, physical activity, frequency of smoking, and frequency of alcohol consumption. In conclusion, MetS patients demonstrated a lower arm and leg muscle mass to body weight ratio. Strength training for the lower and upper extremities is recommended because it can have a positive effect on MetS prevention.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and healthcare costs in Worldwide. Different prevention activities are suggested. By monitoring daily energy expenditure (EE) could be possible make personalized diets and programming physical activity. In this, physical inactivity is one of the most important public health problems. Some studies refer the effort of the international community in promoting physical activities. Physical activity can be promoted only by increasing citizens' empowerment on taking care of their health, and it passes from the improving of individual information. Technology can offer solutions and metrics for monitoring and…measuring daily activity by interacting with individuals, sharing information and feedbacks. OBJECTIVE: In this study we review indicators of total energy expenditure and weaknesses of available devices in assessing these parameters. METHODS : Literature review and technology testing EuNetHta core model. RESULTS: For the clinical aspects, it is fundamental to take into account all the factor that can influence the personal energy expenditure as: heart rate, blood pressure and thermoregulation (influenced by the body temperature). DISCUSSION: In this study we focused the attention on the importance of tools to encourage the physical activity. We made an analysis of the factor that can influence the right analysis of energy expenditure and at the same time the energy regime. A punctual monitoring of the exercise regime could be helpful in Telemedicine application as Telemonitorig. More study are needed to value the impact of physical activity tracker in Telemonitorig protocols. CONCLUSION: On the assessment of the energy expenditure, critical issues are related to the physiological data acquisition. Sensors connected with mobile devices could be important tools for disease prevention and interventions affecting health behaviors. New devices applications are potential useful for telemedicine assistance, but security of data and the related communication protocol limits should be taking into account.
Keywords: Physical activity, motor activities, psychomotor performance, energy expenditure, energy metabolisms, instruments and apparatus, telemedicine, mobile health, Telehealth
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Combined extra- and intracranial carotid artery stenoses, particularly involving multiple lesions, show complex hemodynamic properties and represent a therapeutic dilemma. We used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to investigate whether insufficient cerebral blood flow (CBF) in a 70-year-old man with tandem stenoses was the cause of aphasia and right hemiparesis after carotid artery stenting (CAS) of the extracranial stenosis. METHOD: Three-dimensional digital subtraction angiography (3D-DSA) was performed before and after balloon angioplasty and CAS in the patient. The geometrical and rheological conditions of the carotid arteries were determined, and computational meshes were generated from the…patient-specific 3D-DSA datasets. CFD analysis was performed, and hemodynamic parameters such as mass flow, pressure, fractional flow reserve, and streamlines were calculated. RESULTS: Post-CAS simulations showed that the percentage of internal carotid artery mass flow from common carotid artery mass flow increased from 9% to 14% and CBF improved by only 5%. CONCLUSIONS: CFD analysis suggested that the neurological complications were caused by insufficient CBF rather than embolic events, and in tandem carotid stenoses, CAS for an extracranial lesion alone may not always sufficiently increase CBF. CFD enabled the noninvasive quantitative estimation of the effects of CAS of each stenotic segment on carotid flow.
Abstract: Human-Body Communication (HBC) is a wireless communication method using the human body tissue as a transmission medium for signals. This paper on the basis of human muscle fiber tissues' characteristics, it is first proposed to establish the analytical model of galvanic coupling human-body communication channel. In this model, the parallel and the transverse electrical characteristics of muscular tissue are fully considered, and the model accurately presents the transmission mechanism of galvanic coupling human-body communication signals in the channel. At last, through compare with the experimental results and calculation results, the maximum error of the model is 22.4% and the average…error is 14.2% within the frequency range.
Keywords: Analytical model, fiber characteristics, galvanic coupling, Human-Body Communication
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hospital real-time location systems (RTLS) are increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs, but room access tags are necessary. OBJECTVE: We developed three iPhone 5 applications for an RTLS and communications using Bluetooth low energy (BLE). METHODS: The applications were: Peripheral device tags, Central beacons, and a Monitor. A Peripheral communicated with a Central using BLE. The Central communicated with a Monitor using sockets on TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) via a WLAN (wireless local area network). To determine a BLE threshold level for the received signal strength indicator (RSSI), relationships between signal…strength and distance were measured in our laboratory and on the terrace. RESULTS: The BLE RSSI threshold was set at -70 dB, about 10 m. While an individual with a Peripheral moved around in a concrete building, the Peripheral was captured in a few 10-sec units at about 10 m from a Central. The Central and Monitor showed and saved the approach events, location, and Peripheral's nickname sequentially in real time. Remote Centrals also interactively communicate with Peripherals by intermediating through Monitors that found the nickname in the event database. CONCLUSIONS: Trial applications using BLE on iPhones worked well for patient tracking, and messaging in indoor environments.
Keywords: Real-time location system, Bluetooth low energy, iPhone application
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Demineralization can be arrested or reversed when remineralization agents are applied to incipient carious or non-cavitated carious lesions. A large number of therapeutic agents including non-fluoridated products have been developed to promote enamel remineralization. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of different bioactive elements containing toothpastes in remineralization of artificial enamel lesions. METHODS: Artificial carious lesions were created on 40 human enamel slabs, and were randomly divided into four groups: (1) control group (no treatment), (2) casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate group (CPP-ACP, GC Tooth Mousse), (3) 8% arginine…and calcium carbonate group (ACC, Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief), (4) calcium sodium phosphosilicate group (CSP, NovaMin® ). All samples were subjected to 15 days of pH-cycling. Subsequently, a one-hour acid resistance test was carried out. Surface hardness of the samples was assessed using the Knoop hardness test, and surface morphology and roughness were assessed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA, Tukey's test and paired t test. RESULTS: The three tested toothpastes exhibited a significantly higher remineralization efficacy compared with the control group (P< 0.05 for all). After pH-cycling, the specimens treated with Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief and NovaMin® showed a significant higher surface hardness (P< 0.001 and P= 0.03, respectively) and lower surface roughness (P< 0.05 for both) compared those treated with GC Tooth Mousse. While after the acid resistance test, all groups showed a significant loss of surface hardness (P< 0.001 for all) and significant increase of surface roughness (P< 0.05). The specimens treated with Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief and NovaMin® still showed a significant higher surface hardness and lower surface roughness in comparison with those treated with GC Tooth Mousse (P< 0.05 for all). No significant difference was found in surface hardness and roughness between Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief and NovaMin® during the pH-cycling test and acid resistance test (P= 0.45 and P= 0.83, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief and NovaMin® present an advantage in enhancing remineralization and inhibiting demineralization for early enamel carious lesions in comparison with GC Tooth Mousse.