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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: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is not easily detected. The difficulty in detecting GDM is largely due to the late onset of clinical symptoms as well as the various complications that result from GDM . OBJECTIVE: GDM greatly influences both mother and child. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to reduce the morbidity of GDM. METHODS: In this study, risk factors that influence GDM were selected through statistical analysis. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to obtain the regression equation and Odds Ratio (OR) value. The risk score of…each factor was obtained according to the OR value. RESULTS: The score of every pregnant woman could be very intuitively used to show the risk of getting GDM. CONCLUSION: Through the above methods, a comprehensive risk evaluation method of detecting GDM was developed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Esophageal reconstruction is the key issue in esophageal surgery. However, currently there is no satisfied technique to repair esophagus after surgery. OBJECTIVE: To combine an inner chitosan stent and a muscle tissue with vascular pedicle to repair the esophageal defect in cervical segment. METHODS: Esophageal defect was repaired using the combination of a muscle tissue flap and a chitosan tube stent in experimental group while only muscle tissue flap was utilized in controls for comparison. One animal in each group was sacrificed at week 3, 6 and 9 after operation…respectively to exam the healing status. Barium X-ray was used to evaluate the esophageal status in 12 weeks. RESULTS: Histology showed the inflammatory response in 3 weeks after surgery, the chitosan stent was partially absorbed in 6 weeks, and there was no obvious fibrotic proliferation in experimental group; while the fibrotic proliferation and esophageal stenosis were obvious in controls, the chitosan stent was completely absorbed in 9 weeks, and squamous epidermis cells were observed. Twelve weeks later, the barium swallow went smoothly through the esophagus with noticeable peristalsis in the experimental group; esophageal stenosis without peristalsis was observed in controls. CONCLUSION: The combination of chitosan stent and muscle tissue flap is feasible to reconstruct a partial defect in esophagus.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To relieve large airway obstruction in a patient with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by injecting the mouse-human chimeric monoclonal antibody radiolabeled with iodine 131 chimeric tumor necrotic treatment (131 I-chTNT) and to study the irradiation absorption in the tumor and critical organs. METHODS: A 50-year-old patient with NSCLC was treated with radioimmunotherapy. His airway was still obstructed in spite of intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy.131 I-chTNT was injected into the tumor at the right bronchus through a fiberscope. A131 I scan was performed during treatment, and a computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest…and fiberscope were performed pre- and post-treatment.131 I-chTNT distribution in tissues was followed for up to 4 weeks using gamma camera imaging. RESULTS: The radiation material accumulated notably in the tumor, relieving the patient's symptoms by suppressing the tumor. Recanalization of the airway was achieved so that the patient was able to breathe easily and cough. CONCLUSION: As a new type of radioimmunotherapy,131 I-chTNT may be helpful in treatment of advanced lung cancer.
Abstract: Revised high-heeled shoes (HHSs) were designed to improve the shortcomings of standard HHSs. This study was conducted to compare revised and standard HHSs with regard to joint angles and electromyographic (EMG) activity of the lower extremities during standing. The participants were five healthy young women. Data regarding joint angles and EMG activity of the lower extremities were obtained under three conditions: barefoot, when wearing revised HHSs, and when wearing standard HHSs. Lower extremity joint angles in the three dimensional plane were confirmed using a VICON motion capture system. EMG activity of the lower extremities was measured using active bipolar surface…EMG. Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance by rank applied to analyze differences during three standing conditions. Compared with the barefoot condition, the standard HHSs condition was more different than the revised HHSs condition with regard to lower extremity joint angles during standing. EMG activity of the lower extremities was different for the revised HHSs condition, but the differences among the three conditions were not significant. Wearing revised HHSs may positively impact joint angles and EMG activity of the lower extremities by improving body alignment while standing.
Abstract: Telehealth cost analysis has become a crucial issue for governments in recent years. In this study, we examined cases of metabolic syndrome in Hualien County, Taiwan. This research adopted the framework proposed by Marchand to establish a study process. In addition, descriptive statistics, a t test, analysis of variance, and regression analysis were employed to analyze 100 questionnaires. The results of the t$ test revealed significant differences in medical health expenditure, number of clinical visits for medical treatment, average amount of time spent commuting to clinics, amount of time spent undergoing medical treatment, and average number of people accompanying patients…to medical care facilities or assisting with other tasks in the past one month, indicating that offering telehealth care services can reduce health expenditure. The statistical analysis results revealed that customer satisfaction has a positive effect on reducing health expenditure. Therefore, this study proves that telehealth care systems can effectively reduce health expenditure and directly improve customer satisfaction with medical treatment.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The potential mechanism of compression apparel remains unclear to date because of insufficient knowledge on the influence of compressive level on muscular responses. OBJECTIVE: To explore the influence of external leg compression on (a) the muscle force and endurance of the quadriceps femoris and (b) the muscle activation patterns during prolonged muscle actions. METHODS: Twelve male participants performed consecutive maximal concentric muscle actions of the quadriceps in compression garment (CG) and control condition (CON) at two angular velocities on the Contrex. The EMG amplitude and frequency of the rectus femoris (RF), vastus…lateralis (VL), and vastus medialis were quantified during the concentric phase of the knee extension movement. RESULTS: There was no significant compression effect on muscle force and total work during knee extensions. Contrarily, the overall EMG amplitude was significantly lower in CG than in CON at 60 and 300°/s. Additionally, the EMG frequency of the RF and VL was significantly higher in CG than in CON at 60°/s. CONCLUSION: Increased external pressure is associated with changes in EMG time and frequency domain behavior. These effects can potentially relieve muscle fatigue and improve muscle endurance during long-term exercise.
Keywords: External leg compression, muscle contraction, EMG amplitude, EMG frequency
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The goal of a brain-computer interface (BCI) is to enable communication by pure brain activity without neural and muscle control. However, the practical use of BCIs is limited by low information transfer rate. Recently, code modulation visual evoked potential (c-VEP) based BCIs have exhibited great potential in establishing high-rate communication between the brain and the external world. OBJECTIVE: This study aims at exploring a more effective modulation code than the commonly used pseudorandom M sequence for c-VEP based BCIs (c-VEP BCIs) in order to increase the detection accuracy of stimulus targets and the resulting information…transfer rate. METHOD: Golay complementary sequence pair is used for constructing the modulation code of c-VEP BCIs due to their superior autocorrelation property. The modulation code is created by concatenating a pair of Golay complementary sequences. Sixteen target stimuli are modulated by the Golay code and its time shift versions. RESULTS: Through offline analysis on data recorded from seven subjects and online test on five subjects, the Golay code modulated BCI yielded higher detection accuracy and information transfer rate than those achieved by M sequence. CONCLUSION: The Golay code modulated BCI demonstrates a high performance compared with the M sequence modulated systems, and it is applicable to persons with motor disabilities.
Abstract: In this paper, a method for classifying electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings with images as stimulation is introduced, which aims at selecting the target images. EEG recordings to be processed are referred to the onset of the test images with a single stimulation so as to avoid spending extra time on repeating images. Independent component analysis (ICA) is used to reduce the redundancy of EEG recordings, and wavelet packet (WP) analysis is efficient for dealing with the non-stationary character of brain activity. Feature vectors are extracted by a method that combines these two algorithms. The support vector machine is used as a…classifier, carrying out the classification result. The experimental results demonstrate that the accuracy of this method's image classification is affected very little by different classifier parameters. The best result achieves 90% accuracy, which indicts it is feasible for classifying images with a single stimulation.
Keywords: EEG, independent component analysis, wavelet-packet, support vector machine
Abstract: Ultrasound diagnosis is a widely used medical tool. Among the various ultrasound techniques, ultrasonic imaging is particularly relevant. This paper presents an improvement to a two-dimensional (2D) ultrasonic system using measurements taken from perpendicular planes, where digital signal processing techniques are used to combine one-dimensional (1D) A-scans were acquired by individual transducers in arrays located in perpendicular planes. An algorithm used to combine measurements is improved based on the wavelet transform, which includes a denoising step during the 2D representation generation process. The inclusion of this new denoising stage generates higher quality 2D representations with a reduced level of speckling.…The paper includes different 2D representations obtained from noisy A-scans and compares the improvements obtained by including the denoising stage.
Abstract: An abdominal aortic aneurysm doesn't result in specific symptoms, and so providing a successful diagnosis can be challenging. Patients may require surgery for successful treatment, with the risk of aortic rupture being dependent on diameter. In this study, a CT screen of a patient with an aneurysm of the abdominal aorta was processed. In order to provide a more accurate and comfortable diagnosis, and to more easily determine the diameter of the abdominal aortic aneurysm, the Sobel and Top-hat methods were employed. Using a filtered screen overlap for the CT scan, the aortic diameter of a patient could be compared…with the diameter of a healthy individual, thus allowing an immediate and accurate comparison. It was found that with a diameter of more than 40 mm the risk of rupture is higher.