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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: This paper presents the employment of LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics as core component of low cost multidisciplinary platform for assisting elderly and visually impaired people. LEGO Mindstorms system offers a plug-and-play programmable robotics toolkit, incorporating construction guides, microcontrollers and sensors, all connected via a comprehensive programming language. It facilitates, without special training and at low cost, the use of such device for interpersonal communication and for handling multiple tasks required for elderly and visually impaired people in-need. The research project provides a model for larger-scale implementation, tackling the issues of creating additional functions in order to…assist people in-need. The new functions were built and programmed using MATLAB through a user friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI). Power consumption problem, besides the integration of WiFi connection has been resolved, incorporating GPS application on smart phones enhanced the guiding and tracking functions. We believe that developing and expanding the system to encompass a range of applications beyond the initial design schematics to ease conducting a limited number of pre-described protocols. However, the beneficiaries for the proposed research would be limited to elderly people who require assistance within their household as assistive-robot to facilitate a low-cost solution for a highly demanding health circumstance.
Abstract: Over the past decade, there have been massive advances in technology. These advances in technology have significantly transformed various aspects of healthcare. The advent of E-health and its influence on healthcare practice also implies that there is a paradigm shift in the way healthcare professionals work. Conventionally, healthcare professionals would have to refer to books and journals for updates in treatment algorithms, but with the advent of technology, they could access this information via the web or via various smartphone applications on the go. In the field of Psychiatry, one of the commonest mental health disorder to date, with significant…morbidity and mortality is that of Major depressive disorder. Routinely, clinicians and healthcare professionals are advised to refer to standard guidelines in guiding them with regards to their treatment options. Given the high prevalence of conditions like Major Depressive Disorder, it is thus of importance that whatever guidelines that clinicians and healthcare professionals refer to are constantly kept up to date, so that patients could benefit from latest evidence based therapy and treatment. A review of the current literature highlights that whilst there are a multitude of smartphone applications designed for mental health care, previous systematic review has highlighted a paucity of evidence based applications. More importantly, current literature with regards to provision of treatment information to healthcare professionals and patients are limited to web-based interventions. It is the aim of this technical note to highlight a methodology to which the authors have conceptualized in the implementation of an evidence based mental health guideline applications, known as the `Wiki Guidelines' smartphone application. The authors hope to illustrate the algorithms behind the development of the application, and how it could be easily updated by the guidelines working group.
Keywords: Smartphone, mobile phone, applications, psychiatry, treatment algorithms
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Among vital signs of acutely ill hospital patients, respiratory rate (RR) is a highly accurate predictor of health deterioration. OBJECTIVE: This study proposes a system that consists of a passive and non-invasive single-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) acquisition module and an ECG-derived respiratory (EDR) algorithm in the working prototype of a mobile application. METHOD: Before estimating RR that produces the EDR rate, ECG signals were evaluated based on the signal quality index (SQI). The SQI algorithm was validated quantitatively using the PhysioNet/Computing in Cardiology Challenge 2011 training data set. The RR extraction algorithm was…validated by adopting 40 MIT PhysioNet Multiparameter Intelligent Monitoring in Intensive Care II data set. RESULTS: The estimated RR showed a mean absolute error (MAE) of 1.4 compared with the ``gold standard'' RR. The proposed system was used to record 20 ECGs of healthy subjects and obtained the estimated RR with MAE of 0.7 bpm. CONCLUSION: Results indicate that the proposed hardware and algorithm could replace the manual counting method, uncomfortable nasal airflow sensor, chest band, and impedance pneumotachography often used in hospitals. The system also takes advantage of the prevalence of smartphone usage and increase the monitoring frequency of the current ECG of patients with critical illnesses.
Keywords: Respiratory rate, single-lead ECG, algorithm, e-health system, mobile applications
Abstract: Dominques et al. in their recent article described how low-cost sensors, such as Microsoft Kinect could be utilized for the measurement of various anthropometric measures. With the recent advances in sensors and sensor based technology, along with the rapid advancement in E-health, Microsoft Kinect has been increasingly recognized by researchers and bioengineers to be a low-cost sensor that could help in the collation of various measurements and various data. A recent systematic review done by Da Gama et al. (2015) have looked into the potential of Kinect in terms of motor rehabilitation. The systematic review highlighted the tremendous potential of…the sensors and has clearly stated that there is a need for further studies evaluating its potential for rehabilitation. Zhang et al. (2015) in their recent article have advocated several reasons as to why biosensors are pertinent for stroke rehabilitation. Of note, recent studies done by the World Health Organization have highlighted that stroke is a growing epidemic. Aside to the utilization of smartphone based sensors for stroke rehabilitation, as proposed by Zhang et al. (2015), researchers have also investigated the use of other low cost alternatives, such as Kinect, to facilitate the rehabilitation of stroke survivors. Whilst it may seemed like that has been quite extensive evaluation of the Kinect sensor for stroke rehabilitation, one core area that bio-engineers and researchers have not looked into is that of the psychiatric and mental health issues that might at times arise following a stroke. It is thus the aim of this letter to address how such a sensor could be tapped upon for psychiatric rehabilitation amongst stroke survivors. To this end, the authors have thus conceptualized a game that could help in the cognitive remediation for stroke survivors using low cost Kinect sensors.
Abstract: The amount of data that is being generated in health care is enormous, especially with the widespread availability of multimedia devices. However, the data keeping in developing countries is still unstructured. Lots of this Big Data is therefore vulnerable to loss. In the current report we highlight the problem and suggest the need for cost effective solution.