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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: BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death worldwide and are characterized by arrhythmia (i.e. irregular rhythm of heartbeat). Arrhythmia occasionally happens under certain conditions, such as stress. Therefore, it is difficult to be diagnosed using electrocardiogram (ECG) devices available in hospitals for just a few minutes. Constant diagnosis and monitoring of heartbeat is required to reduce death caused by cardiovascular diseases. OBJECTIVE: Mobile healthcare system has emerged as a potential solution to assist patients in monitoring their own heart condition, especially those who are isolated from the reference hospital. This paper proposes a…self-diagnostic electrocardiogram system for mobile healthcare that has the capability to perform a real-time ECG diagnostic. METHODS: The self-diagnostic capability of a real-time ECG signal is achieved by implementing a detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) method. The result obtained from DFA is used to display the patient's health condition on a smartphone anytime and anywhere. If the health condition is critical, the system will alert the patient and his medical practitioner for further diagnosis. RESULTS: Experimental results verified the validity of the developed ECG diagnostic application on a smartphone. CONCLUSION: The proposed system can potentially reduce death caused by cardiovascular diseases by alerting the patient possibly undergoing a heart attack.
Keywords: Detrended fluctuation analysis, electrocardiogram, mobile healthcare, self-diagnostic, android smartphone
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hemocompatibility is highly affected by the flow field in Left Ventricular Assistant Devices (LVAD). OBJECTIVE: An asymmetric inflow and outflow channel arrangement with a 45° intersection angle with respect to the blood chamber is proposed to approximate the vascular structure of the aorta and left atrium on the left ventricle. The structure is expected to develop uninterruptible vortex flow state which is similar to the flow state in human left ventricle. METHODS: The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) asymmetric model is simulated using ANSYS workbench. To validate the velocity field calculated by CFD,…a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) experiment is conducted. RESULTS: The CFD results show that the proposed blood chamber could generate a shifting vortex flow that would be redirected to the aorta during ejection to form a persistent recirculating flow state, which is similar to the echocardiographic flow state in left ventricle. Both the PIV and the CFD results show the development of a persistent vortex during the pulsatile period. Comparison of the qualitative flow pattern and quantitative probed velocity histories in a pulsatile period shows a good agreement between the CFD and PIV data. CONCLUSION: The goal of developing persistent quasi intra-ventricle vortex flow state in LVAD is realized.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Nowadays, more and more traffic accidents occur because of driver fatigue. OBJECTIVE: In order to reduce and prevent it, in this study, a calculation method using PERCLOS (percentage of eye closure time) parameter characteristics based on machine vision was developed. It determined whether a driver's eyes were in a fatigue state according to the PERCLOS value. METHODS: The overall workflow solutions included face detection and tracking, detection and location of the human eye, human eye tracking, eye state recognition, and driver fatigue testing. The key aspects of the detection system incorporated the…detection and location of human eyes and driver fatigue testing. The simplified method of measuring the PERCLOS value of the driver was to calculate the ratio of the eyes being open and closed with the total number of frames for a given period. RESULTS: If the eyes were closed more than the set threshold in the total number of frames, the system would alert the driver. CONCLUSION: Through many experiments, it was shown that besides the simple detection algorithm, the rapid computing speed, and the high detection and recognition accuracies of the system, the system was demonstrated to be in accord with the real-time requirements of a driver fatigue detection system.
Keywords: Driver fatigue detecting, eyes detecting and locating, PERCLOS
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The temporal lobe in conjunction with the hippocampus is responsible for memory processing. The gamma wave is involved with this process. To develop a human brain protocol, a better understanding of the relationship between gamma and long-term memory is vital. OBJECTIVE: A more comprehensive understanding of the human brain and specific analogue waves it uses will support the development of a human brain protocol. METHODS: Fifty-eight participants aged between 6 and 60 years participated in long-term memory experiments. It is envisaged that the brain could be stimulated through binaural beats (sound…frequency) at 40 Hz (gamma) to enhance long-term memory capacity. EEG recordings have been transformed to sound and then to an information standard, namely ASCII. RESULTS: Statistical analysis showed a proportional relationship between long-term memory and gamma activity. Results from EEG recordings indicate a pattern. The pattern was obtained through the de-codification of an EEG recording to sound and then to ASCII. CONCLUSIONS: Stimulation of gamma should enhance long term memory capacity. More research is required to unlock the human brains' protocol key. This key will enable the processing of information directly to and from human memory via gamma, the hippocampus and the temporal lobe.
Keywords: Electroencephalography (EEG), signal processing, brain protocol, long-term memory, hippocampus
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Evaluation of joint movements is essential to choose an appropriate rehabilitation protocol for a patient. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to suggest an alternative optical technique for measurement of joint angle which is convenient, inexpensive, and can be operated in real time. METHODS: According to the principle of the triangulation method, position sensitive detector (PSD) converts reflected light signals into distance-related voltages. Various parameters were investigated to increase detection range and resolution of joint angle measurements. RESULTS: The accuracy of the suggested optical sensor was verified…by comparing with a commercial goniometer and 3D motion capture system. CONCLUSIONS: This method can be applied to monitor recovery progress for the patient in rehabilitation and sport science.
Keywords: Human joint angle, optical goniometer, position sensitive detector, rehabilitation, range of motion
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has become the main cause of morbidity and mortality world-wide. OBJECTIVE: In order to obtain the potential function of cardiovascular system information further, the parameters of the coupling relationship between Electrocardiogram (ECG) signal and Pulse Wave (PW) signal are proposed. METHODS: In this paper, we detected the peaks of ECG and PW signal synchronously from the Fantasia database using Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) algorithm, and analyzed the interval between different age groups in the same domain, then calculating the Euclidean distance to characterize the coupling relationship.…RESULTS: Via the experimental results of 20 subjects, the parameters of the old group were always larger than the young group. Thus the synchronization and consistency for PW following the ECG are weaker than the young group, which is in keeping with the clinical rule. CONCLUSIONS: The conclusion is that there is a certain representation for the cardiovascular system with the coupling relationship parameter proposed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Crackles are very common abnormal breath sounds in the lung and can be used to diagnose pulmonary diseases. OBJECTIVE: In this study, a method is proposed for the detection of adventitious transient sounds from normal breath sounds. METHODS: This method automatically recognizes crackles based on the extraction and analysis of spectral information from digitally recorded lung sounds. Various mathematical morphology feature sets were extracted through wavelet spectrogram analysis on pulmonary signals. In order to evaluate the effects of different wavelets types on crackle detection, different wavelets were tested. RESULTS:…The results showed that the proposed method achieved an 86% accuracy in the detection of crackles. CONCLUSIONS: The spectrograms of the crackles in the lung exhibit irregular ellipse image features. For lung sound analysis, this is a useful feature that can be used for the immediate recognition and analysis of crackles.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Genioglossus myoelectric activity is of great significance in evaluating clinical respiratory function. However, there is a tradeoff in genioglossus EMG measurement with respect to accuracy versus convenience. OBJECTIVE: This paper presents a way to separate the characteristics of genioglossus myoelectric activity from multi-channel mandible sEMG through independent component analysis. METHODS: First, intra-oral genioglossus EMGgenioglossus EMG and three-channel mandible sEMG were recorded simultaneously. The FastICA algorithm was applied to three independent components from the sEMG signals. Then the independent components with the intra-oral genioglossus EMG were compared by calculating the Pearson correlation…coefficient between them. RESULTS: An examination of 60 EMG samples showed that the FastICA algorithm was effective in separating the characteristics of genioglossus myoelectric activity from multi-channel mandible sEMG. The results of analysis were coincident with clinical diagnosis through intra-oral electrodes. CONCLUSIONS: Genioglossus myoelectric activity can be evaluated accurately by multi-channel mandible sEMG, which is non-invasive and easy to record.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The widespread access to portable medical devices or new personal devices is boosting the amount of biomedical data. These devices provide a growing massive data that far exceeds the analytical ability of a professional doctor. The computer-assisted analysis of biomedical data has become an essential tool in medicine diagnosis. OBJECTIVE: Due to the advantages of discrete, noise elimination and dimensionality reduction, symbolic representation of biomedical data has attracted great interest. The symbolization results provide efficiently performing at data mining, such as pattern discovery, anomaly detection and association rules mining, so we want to use…the method to improving the biomedical data classification. METHODS: In this paper, we introduce a novel symbolic representation method, called Trend Feature Symbolic Approximation (TFSA). RESULTS: The TFSA focuses on retaining most of the original series' trend features, and it also very suitable for subsequent mining work, such as association rules mining. CONCLUSION: The TFSA provides the lower bounding guarantee and the experimental results show that comparing with some existing methods, its classification accuracy is improved.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The evaluation and control of lighting is crucial in physiological, biomedical, and industrial fields. Many kinds of lighting techniques based on LED have been developed due to its advantages. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to develop the multi-colored LED system for healing purposes. METHODS: Light source with three-color chip LEDs was investigated to detect the dominant wavelength. RESULTS: The results show that the additive principle by three-color LEDs can be successfully applied to lighting system by generating a variety of colors. CONCLUSIONS: The…results are expected to be useful in the field of light therapy and medicine. Applications of the developed light system are lighting therapies such as stimulating blood circulation and digestive processes, and controlling inflammation.
Keywords: Additive principals, light emitting diode, color combination, color information, color space