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Message from the new (Co-)Editor-in-Chief

On behalf of the Editorial Board of Technology and Health Care, its authors and readers, we would like to thank our outgoing (Co-)Editor-in Chief, Prof. em. Dr. Peter Niederer, who was one of the founders and has worked tirelessly for the growth and development of the profile of the journal.

It is a great pleasure to write this letter – to have the opportunity to reflect on the strengths of Technology and Health Care and consider how we can best meet your needs in the years ahead. I’m writing to you to share what you can expect from me as (Co-)Editor-in-Chief, and to call for your feedback and perspective on what we’ve gotten right, and where we can improve.

I am a Biomedical Engineer by training. I received my PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, in 2015 and studied the application of artificial intelligence in healthcare. As a person who is working in two areas, namely business and academia, I have experience with writing grant applications to secure funding for my innovation and research, which I am sure will be familiar to many of you. During this period, I realized that I really love scientific research that can be applied to the practice and considering how pieces of research fit together to advance discoveries.

As a Board Member of the IEEE Technical Committee for Cardiopulmonary Systems and Clinical Engineering Division of the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE), and Advisor for Regulatory Affairs of the European Alliance for Medical and Biological Engineering and Science (EAMBES), I had the privilege to work on the practical realization of many innovations at a global level.

Based on data analysis obtained from measurements from medical devices I was one of the founders of the idea of including medical devices with the measuring function into the legal metrology framework and the establishment of measurement traceability in medical measurements. In 2014, we established one of the most equipped laboratories for testing safety and performance of medical devices in Europe: the Verlab laboratory. The company Verlab established the Verlab Research Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Medical Devices and Artificial Intelligence. As part of the institute we established LabHub, which became EU DIH (European fully operated Digital Innovation Hub).

Parallel with working in the metrology and standards field through Verlab, I hold the position of Professor in the field of General Electronics and Bioengineering at International Burch University in Sarajevo and in the field of Health Informatics at the University of Sarajevo. In 2021, I became an Ordinary Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and International Academy of Sciences and Arts in Bosnia and Herzegovina (IANUBIH).

In 2014, as one of the founders and elected president, we established the Bosnia and Herzegovina Medical and Biological Engineering Society, which is the country representative in IFMBE and EAMBES. Since 2015, the society organizes the International Conference on Medical and Biological Engineering (CMBEBIH), which brings together an average of over 700 participants from about 40 countries.

I am excited to start serving the Technology and Health Care community. With our 29 years old history, few thousands Academic Editors, reviewers, authors and readers who support the journal, we are embedded in a community of scientists and researchers. I am committed to listening to our community to understand how we can best meet your needs and work with you to change scientific communication for the better – always with the principles of openness, transparency, rigor and reproducibility in mind.

The journal has always supported these principles: integrity, flexibility, collaboration and innovation, but also aims to serve as a forum for the presentation of original articles and technical notes, observing rigorous scientific standards. Under Niederer’s leadership, our commitment became increasingly tangible as we worked closely with the global community to develop and keep the main focus of the journal related to the overlapping areas of engineering and medicine. Although our publication times are fairly speedy, this step helps ensure that all research is publicly available as soon as possible. Importantly, pre-prints also offer a way to address some of the current limitations with the peer-review process, including issues around transparency, recognition and trust.

I am proud of what the journal has accomplished in throughout the years. From supporting preprints and other IOS Press initiatives to enabling authors to publish the continuum of research. But there is more to do.

Currently, authors can publish original articles which contain new concepts, procedures and devices associated with the use of technology in medical research and clinical practice. Additionally we offer the possibility of publishing technical notes related to novel technical developments relevant for clinical medicine and short communications which shortly describe clinical applications. Upon invitation, we publish tutorials and educational articles for people with a primarily medical background on principles of engineering with particular significance for biomedical applications and vice versa. Controversial or important topics related to health care are published in minisymposia, overseen by a guest editor.

What matters to me the most is that you feel that your work has a home in Technology and Health Care. Addressing this means building deeper links with our communities – listening to and learning from you, and understanding how we can support you in publishing your research. The steps that we take towards greater transparency, openness and trust in research will be with our community as partners.

It is important that we have a good balance of different article types within the journal. I am keen to encourage publication of high-quality evidence-based guidelines in Technology and Health Care. Such articles are widely read and can have major impact on healthcare practice, and also tend to be highly cited to the benefit of our impact factor (currently 1.285). The journal also has the potential to shape thinking on important artificial intelligence concepts in healthcare, and here ‘new horizon’ articles have a particular role. Finally, I will ensure that we deliver on our commitment to support research into areas around inequity and inequality, while seeking to identify and minimise potential sources of bias in our manuscript-handling practices. Some of this work has already begun, and I look forward to sharing our progress with you.

I will also create opportunities for reviewers and editors to receive credit for their work, and will investigate new avenues for author feedback. We will keep experimenting, keep tweaking and keep refining as we assess ways to make the review process more meaningful and impactful for all involved. The print versions of the journal remain popular amongst readers, and it will remain an important output. However, the use of electronic media is now a vital component of dissemination, providing a vehicle for wider international access to download selected publications, encourage debate and discussion in letters to the editor, and provide a mechanism for publishing complex detailed appendices that are of interest to only a small proportion of readers.

I want you to know how important your feedback is to me and to the journal, and I welcome all comments and suggestions on what we’re doing right and where we can improve. You can find me on LinkedIn as Almir Badnjevic and on Twitter @AlmirBadnjevic, or reach me via email at [email protected].

Thank you so much for your support of Technology and Health Care and IOS Press. I look forward to working with you to continue our mission of collaboration with the global scientific community by publishing content and offering specialized, flexible services that elevate quality, accessibility, and the impact of research.

Almir Badnjevic