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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: Interaction of mucus simulant with airflow in a rectangular channel is investigated experimentally. Two different viscoelastic gel mucus simulants are prepared by cross linking Borax with Locust Bean Gum (LBG) solution; liquid-like (LM) with lower storage modulus and semi-solid (SM). The rheological difference between LM and SM represent the qualitative change from liquid-like healthy mucus to the one with higher storage modulus found in a person with lung disease. The study concentrates on the effect of viscoelastic layer thickness and rheology on the wave formation and clearance due to its interaction with airflow. The results indicate that the onset air…velocity for wave initiation reduces by increasing layer thickness. This effect is more pronounced for SM. Slowly propagating waves initiate at a lower air velocity for LM compared to SM for thinner layer thickness and this behavior reverses for a thicker layer. Although SM clears at a critical air velocity, LM does not show clearance behavior, defined as separation of layer section from rest and movement in the downstream flow direction. This seems to suggest that thicker mucus with higher elastic modulus, similar to the mucus for a person with lung disease, may clear easier with a two-phase air-liquid flow, as in cough.
Abstract: According to the everyday use of ultrasound in the whole field of paediatric surgery we would like to define its potential role in the assessment of congenital hand malformation (CHM). We therefore tested it for several diagnoses like digitus saltans, camptodactylism, triphalangeal thumb and syndrome-associated malformations in comparison as well as in addition to clinical and x-ray findings. All soft and bony tissue details could be displayed reasonable giving the paediatric surgeon additional information. Additional information that is available at the bedside, non-invasive, less costly and does not use ionising radiation.
Abstract: Buying or creating a virtual reality (VR) software is very costly. A less expensive alternative could be to modify already existing 3D computer games. The goal of this study is to assess the effectiveness of in virtuo exposure in the treatment of arachnophobia using modified 3D games. Participants were 10 women and 1 man. Virtual worlds were created using the game editor of a 3D computer game (Half-Life™), modified to offer graduals hierarchies of fearful stimuli (spiders). Analyses revealed significant improvement between pre and post results on the behavioral avoidance test, the Spider Beliefs Questionnaire, and perceived self-efficacy. These promising…results suggest that therapy using virtual reality exposure via a modified computer game is useful in the treatment of arachnophobia.
Keywords: Virtual reality, exposure, specific phobia, games
Abstract: This paper aims at investigating a new technique of time-domain analysis of heart variability (R-R interval (RRI)) for the screening of patients with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). This method is based on the Statistical Signal Characterization (SSC) of the analytical signal that is generated using Hilbert transformation of the RRI data. The four SSC parameters are: amplitude mean, period mean, amplitude deviation and period deviation. These parameters and their maximum and minimum values are determined over sliding segments of 300-samples, 32-samples and 16-samples for both the instantaneous amplitudes and the instantaneous frequencies derived from the analytical signal of the RRI…data. Data used in this work are drawn from MIT database. Threshold values used in the identification of CHF patients from normal records are selected using the Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curves on trial data. This new technique correctly classifies 31/33 of trial data and 65/70 of test data.
Abstract: A conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) titled “Translating Civilian and Defense Technologies for Pediatric Critical Care and Rehabilitation Research” was held on May 16th and 17th, 2005 in Rockville, Maryland. A summary of presentations from the conference is provided. Topics presented addressed: advances in monitoring and imaging devices used in the pediatric intensive care unit, regulatory issues and recent technological developments relating to medical devices for children, the new role that virtual reality is playing in rehabilitation medicine, and the evolving future of assistive devices for rehabilitation.
Keywords: Pediatrics, critical care, rehabilitation, medical technology