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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: Recently, advances in computers and high-speed communication tools have led to enhancements in remote medical consultation research. Laws in some localities require hospitals to encrypt patient information (including images of the patient) before transferring the data over a network. Therefore, developing suitable encryption algorithms is quite important for modern medicine. This paper demonstrates a digital image encryption algorithm based on chaotic mapping, which uses the no-period and no-convergence properties of a chaotic sequence to create image chaos and pixel averaging. Then, the chaotic sequence is used to encrypt the image, thereby improving data security. With this method, the security of…data and images can be improved.
Keywords: Digital image, chaotic sequence, image encryption
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Pneumatic artificial muscles are quite promising actuators for humanoid robots owing to their similar characteristics with human muscles. Moreover, biologically inspired musculoskeletal systems are particularly important for humanoid robots to perform versatile dynamic tasks. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to develop a pneumatic musculoskeletal biped robot, and its controller, to realize human-like walking. METHODS: According to the simplified musculoskeletal structure of human lower limbs, each leg of the biped robot is driven by nine muscles, including three pairs of monoarticular muscles which are arranged in the flexor-extensor form, as well as three biarticular…muscles which span two joints. To lower cost, high-speed on/off solenoid valves rather than proportional valves are used to control the muscles. The joint trajectory tracking controller based on PID control method is designed to achieve the desired motion. Considering the complex characteristics of pneumatic artificial muscles, the control model is obtained through parameter identification experiments. RESULTS: Preliminary experimental results demonstrate that the biped robot is able to walk with this control strategy. CONCLUSION: The proposed musculoskeletal structure and control strategy are effective for the biped robot to achieve human-like walking.
Keywords: Biped robot, musculoskeletal structure, pneumatic artificial muscles, PID control
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) has been widely used in diagnosis and interventional treatment of cardiac vessel diseases. The coronary artery IVUS images are usually polluted by motion artifacts caused by cardiac motion, pulsatile blood and catheter twist during continuous pullback acquisition. OBJECTIVE: Strategies for rigid and elastic registration of coronary artery IVUS studies are developed to suppress the longitudinal motion and misalignment between successive frames. METHODS: Rigid registration is performed by searching for the optimal matching for each frame in other cycles based on the cyclic variation of gray-scale features. The image sequence…is gated to properly identify the frames in each cardiac phase. Then, elastic registration between frames is achieved through an optimization algorithm based on thin plate spline (TPS) to correct the misalignment of successive slices. RESULTS: Experimental results with in vivo image data shows that the rigid registration performs better than the offline ECG gating. The elastic mapping relation between lumen contours in successive frames is smooth and continuous. CONCLUSION: The serrated vessel wall borders in longitudinal cuts are smoothed after rigid registration while image segmentation and feature extraction are required. The point-to-point correspondence between lumen contours detected from two matched frames is obtained with elastic registration.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the most common cause of parturient death worldwide . However, most cases of PPH can be avoided. OBJECTIVE: This paper employs statistical methods to screen risk factors of PPH and calculate relevant parameters. METHODS: Multivariable logistic regression analysis was applied to obtain the regression equation and odds ratio (OR) value. The determined risk factors were assigned comprehensive and reasonable scores according to scientific relevance and reasoning according to the OR value. PPPH values were calculated in order to assess the morbidity of PPH. RESULTS:…The scores of pregnant women could be intuitively used to show the risk of getting PPH. CONCLUSIONS: Through the above methods, a comprehensive risk evaluation method of detecting PPH was developed.
Keywords: Postpartum hemorrhage, high risk factors, comprehensive scores
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Fetal electrocardiography (FECG) places electrodes on the maternal abdomen to convert the fetal electrocardiosignals into fetal heart rate (FHR), improving the accuracy and comfort of pregnant woman. At the same time, FECG simplifies the procedure of long term monitoring in the perinatal period. OBJECTIVE: Investigating the influence of gestational age and time of day on FHR features to distinguish between non-stress test (NST) normal fetuses and NST suspicious fetuses. METHODS: A novel method of FHR baseline estimation was presented; then baseline value and fetal heart rate variation (FHRV) were analyzed in the…time domain using FHR signals recorded from 52 fetuses. RESULTS: Baseline values in 1:00, 2:00, 4:00, 5:00 and heart rate variation (HRV) distribution showed a significant difference (p< 0.05) between NST normal fetuses and NST suspicious fetuses. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that NST normal and suspicious fetuses had same outcome and different FHR features. Accurately distinguishing normal fetuses and suspicious fetuses is important for lowering the false positive rate and reducing unnecessary clinical intervention.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There are two major classes of cardiac tissue models: the ionic model and the FitzHugh-Nagumo model. During computer simulation, each model entails solving a system of complex ordinary differential equations and a partial differential equation with non-flux boundary conditions. The reproducing kernel method possesses significant applications in solving partial differential equations. The derivative of the reproducing kernel function is a wavelet function, which has local properties and sensitivities to singularity. Therefore, study on the application of reproducing kernel would be advantageous. OBJECTIVE: Applying new mathematical theory to the numerical solution of the ventricular muscle model…so as to improve its precision in comparison with other methods at present. METHODS: A two-dimensional reproducing kernel function inspace is constructed and applied in computing the solution of two-dimensional cardiac tissue model by means of the difference method through time and the reproducing kernel method through space. RESULTS: Compared with other methods, this method holds several advantages such as high accuracy in computing solutions, insensitivity to different time steps and a slow propagation speed of error. It is suitable for disorderly scattered node systems without meshing, and can arbitrarily change the location and density of the solution on different time layers. CONCLUSIONS: The reproducing kernel method has higher solution accuracy and stability in the solutions of the two-dimensional cardiac tissue model.
Abstract: Urethral ultrasonography is non-invasive and able to indicate the urethral lumen clearly, as well as the surrounding tissues of the posterior urethra, without contrast agent or X-ray irradiation. In this paper, we evaluate the reliability of urethral ultrasonography in the diagnosis of dysuria following bipolar transurethral plasma kinetic prostatectomy (TUPKP). A total of 120 benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) patients with dysuria undergoing TUPKP were enrolled in this study, with a mean age of 72.8 years. All the patients received urethral ultrasonography, urethroscopy and bladder neck urethra stenosis oulectomy. Among the 120 cases, there were 22 cases of bladder neck closure,…20 bladder orifice stricture, 60 urethral stricture, 10 prostate remnants, 2 calculi in prostatic urethra, 4 dysfunction of bladder detrusor muscle and 2 flap of internal urethral orifice. χ2 -test was used for the comparison of ultrasonography and urethral cystoscopy in the diagnosis of dysuria following TRPKP, and no significant difference was found between two diagnostic tools (χ 2 = 0.94, P > 0.05). Urethral ultrasonography is a reliable and minimally invasive diagnostic tool for dysuria following TUPKP and is conducive to early treatment of dysuria following prostatectomy.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Vascularized bone grafting was used in the treatment of osteonecrosis femoral head, which may directly influence the pathologic event of femoral head. OBJECTIVE: This paper evaluates hemodynamic changes in osteonecrosis treatment of the femoral head (ONFH) with iliac bone flaps from the lateral femoral circumflex artery ascending branches via digital subtraction angiography. METHODS: A total of 48 patients, (31 males and 17 females; 38 at stage II and 10 at stage III), were treated with iliac bone flaps pedicled with the ascending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery. DSA…was performed on all 48 patients preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively, and 10 years postoperatively on 1 patient. RESULTS: Six months after surgery, femoral head blood supplies were distinctly visualized in the selective DSA in 44 cases. 4 patients showed poor or failed vessel pedicle filling in the transplanted bone flaps. Total hip arthroplasty was performed on these 4 patients. DSA was conducted 10 years post-operation in 1 case; the subject showed normal blood supply of the femoral head. CONCLUSIONS: The anatomical position of the ascending branch of the lateral femoral circumflex artery was constant. Digital subtraction angiography successfully examined hemodynamic changes in osteonecrosis treatment of the femoral head with vascularized bone flaps.
Keywords: Femoral head necrosis, digital subtraction angiography, bone remodelling