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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: With the rapid development of modern medical imaging technology, medical image classification has become more important for medical diagnosis and treatment. OBJECTIVE: To solve the existence of polysemous words and synonyms problem, this study combines the word bag model with PLSA (Probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis) and proposes the PLSA-BOW (Probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis-Bag of Words) model. METHODS: In this paper we introduce the bag of words model in text field to image field, and build the model of visual bag of words model. RESULTS: The method enables the word…bag model-based classification method to be further improved in accuracy. CONCLUSIONS: The experimental results show that the PLSA-BOW model for medical image classification can lead to a more accurate classification.
Keywords: Medical image classification, bag of words model, PLSA
Abstract: In this paper, an Archimedean planar spiral antenna for the application of thermotherapy was designed. This type of antenna was chosen for its compact structure, flexible application and wide heating area. The temperature field generated by the use of this Two-armed Spiral Antenna in a muscle-equivalent phantom was simulated and subsequently validated by experimentation. First, the specific absorption rate (SAR) of the field was calculated using the Finite Element Method (FEM) by Ansoft's High Frequency Structure Simulation (HFSS). Then, the temperature elevation in the phantom was simulated by an explicit finite difference approximation of the bioheat equation (BHE). The temperature…distribution was then validated by a phantom heating experiment. The results showed that this antenna had a good heating ability and a wide heating area. A comparison between the calculation and the measurement showed a fair agreement in the temperature elevation. The validated model could be applied for the analysis of electromagnetic-temperature distribution in phantoms during the process of antenna design or thermotherapy experimentation.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: As two of the new biological electrical impedance tomography (EIT), magneto-acoustic tomography (MAT) and magneto-acousto-electrical tomography (MAET) achieve both the high contrast property of EIT and the high spatial resolution property of sonography through combining EIT and sonography. As both MAT and MAET contain a uniform magnetic field, vibration and electrical current density, there is a secondary process both in MAT and in MAET, which is MAET and MAT respectively. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the effect of the secondary process on mass point vibration velocity (MPVV) propagation in MAT and MAET. METHODS: By…analyzing the total force to the sample, the wave equations of MPVV in MAT and MAET - when the secondary processes were considered - were derived. The expression of the attenuation constant in the wave number was derived in the case that the mass point vibration velocity propagates in the form of cylindrical wave and plane wave. Attenuations of propagation of the MPVV in several samples were quantified. RESULTS: Attenuations of the MPVV after propagating for 1 mm in copper or aluminum foil, and for 5 cm in gel phantom or biological soft tissue were less than 1%. CONCLUSION: Attenuations of the MPVV in MAT and MAET due to the secondary processes are relatively minor, and effects of the secondary processes on MPVV propagation in MAT and MAET can be ignored.
Keywords: Magneto-acoustic tomography, magneto-acousto-electrical tomography, wave equation of mass point vibration velocity, linear damping
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To study the safety and effectiveness of the Heart-Gallbladder acupuncture treatment for motor aphasia after stroke via clinical studies. METHODS: Sixty valid patients were divided into two groups randomly with a ratio of 1:1. The treatment group was the Heart-Gallbladder acupuncture group and the control group was the conventional acupuncture group. The two groups underwent testing before and after treatments, which included: the Aphasia Battery of Chinese (ABC), the Chinese functional communication profile (CFCP), and the Boston diagnostic aphasia examination (BDAE). RESULTS: All the BDAE, CFCP and ABC results showed…a significant difference between the two groups after treatment (P< 0.05), indicating that the Heart-Gallbladder acupuncture treatment for motor aphasia after stroke can reduce the degree of aphasia and improve patients' daily communication skills more than the conventional acupuncture treatment. The Heart-Gallbladder acupuncture treatment is better than the conventional acupuncture treatments for motor aphasia after stroke, with significantly improved scores for fluency, repetition, naming, and reading. CONCLUSIONS: Both the Heart-Gallbladder acupuncture and the conventional acupuncture are effective in the treatment of motor aphasia after stroke. Nevertheless, when compared to the conventional acupuncture, the Heart-Gallbladder acupuncture had better efficacy and it is safe as well.
Keywords: Motor aphasia, stroke, Heart-Gallbladder treatment, tongue acupuncture
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Lasers are advantageous in some applications to stimulate a small target area and is used in various fields such as optogenetic, photoimmunological and neurophysiological studies. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to implement a non-contact sense of touch without damaging biological tissues using laser. METHODS: Various laser parameters were utilized in safety range to induce a sense of touch and investigate the human responses. With heat distribution simulation, the amount of changes in the temperature and the tendency in laser parameters of sensory stimulation were analyzed. RESULTS: The…results showed the identified tactile responses in safety range with various laser parameters and temperature distribution for the laser stimulus was obtained through the simulation. CONCLUSIONS: This study can be applied to the areas of sensory receptor stimulation, neurophysiology and clinical medicine.
Keywords: Laser stimuli, pulse laser, perception, skin temperature simulation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Nowadays, stroke is a leading cause of disability in adults. Assessment of motor performance has played an important role in rehabilitation for post stroke patients. Therefore, it is quite important to develop an automatic assessment system of motor function. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to assess the performance of the single task upper-limb movements quantitatively among stroke survivors. METHODS: Eleven normal subjects and thirty-five subjects with stroke were involved in this study. The subjects, who were wearing the micro-sensor motion capture system, performed shoulder flexion in a sitting…position. The system recorded three-dimensional kinematics data of limb movements in quaternions. By extracting the significant features from these data, we built a linear model to acquire the functional assessment score (FAS). RESULTS: All of the kinematics features have a significant statistical difference (P < 0.05) between patients and healthy people, while the feature values have a high correlation with Fugl-Meyer (FM) scores (r > 0.5, p < 0.05), indicating that these features are able to reflect the level of motion impairment. Furthermore, most samples of the linear model locate in the confidence interval after regression, with the residual approaching a normal distribution. These results show that the FAS is capable of motor function assessment for stroke survivors. CONCLUSION: These findings represent an important step towards a system that can be utilized for precise single task motor evaluation after stroke, applicable to clinical research and as a tool for rehabilitation.
Keywords: Stroke, rehabilitation, motor assessment, upper-limb, micro-sensor
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to design and fabricate an anthropopathic abdominal phantom for accuracy evaluation of deformable image registration (DIR) algorithms in adaptive radiation therapy. The constructed deformable organs, including the liver, kidney, spleen and stomach, are made of mixture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and softener dioctyl terephthalate, while the rigid structures, i.e. vertebrae, are made of white cement. Relation between the PVC-softener blending ratio and organ CT number is studied, and three-dimensional printing technic is employed to create highly anthropopathic organs in terms of organ shape and density. Detailed steps for phantom construction, landmark point placement…and choice of phantom ingredients and construction recipe are introduced. Preliminary results of the mechanical properties of the fabricated organs are also presented. The experimental results indicate that the constructed phantom has satisfactory elastic characteristics and close CT number with corporal organs, and can potentially be applied to simulate real abdominal organ deformation in geometric accuracy validation of DIR algorithms.
Keywords: Three-dimensional deformable phantom, deformable image registration, PVC, phantom construction
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Doctors who practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnose using four methods - inspection, auscultation and olfaction, interrogation, and pulse feeling/palpation. The shape and shape changes of the moon marks on the nails are an important indication when judging the patient's health. There are a series of classical and experimental theories about moon marks in TCM, which does not have support from statistical data. OBJECTIVE: To verify some experiential theories on moon mark in TCM by automatic data-processing equipment. METHODS: This paper proposes the equipment that utilizes image processing technology to…collect moon mark data of different target groups conveniently and quickly, building a database that combines this information with that gathered from the health and mental status questionnaire in each test. RESULTS: This equipment has a simple design, a low cost, and an optimized algorithm. The practice has been proven to quickly complete automatic acquisition and preservation of key data about moon marks. CONCLUSION: In the future, some conclusions will likely be obtained from these data; some changes of moon marks related to a special pathological change will be established with statistical methods.
Keywords: Moon mark, Traditional Chinese Medicine, real time tracking
Abstract: Magneto-Acousto-Electrical Tomography (MAET) is a novel hybrid modality that can provide a high spatial resolution in determining the electrical conductivity of biological tissue. The present paper primarily analyzes the existing basic formulations with the MAET, derives the propagation equations of the sound wave when the mass density of the biological tissues are variable, and then solves the respective current density and potential difference in an inhomogeneous and homogeneous density medium based on the sound speeds obtained. Finally, numerical simulations are performed. As is shown, sound waves affect magneto-acousto-electrical tomography while varying the biological tissue mass density.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Efficient mid-range wireless power transfer between transmitter and the receiver has been achieved based on the magnetic resonant coupling method. The influence of electromagnetic field on the human body due to resonant wireless power transfer system (RWPT) should be taken into account during the design process of the system. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the transfer performance of the RWPT system and the change rules of the specific absorption rate (SAR) in the human head model due to the RWPT system. METHODS: The circuit-field coupling method for a RWPT system with consideration of the…displacement current was presented. The relationship between the spiral coil parameters and transfer performance was studied. The SAR in the human head model was calculated under two different exposure conditions. RESULTS: A system with output power higher than 10 W at 0.2 m distance operating at a frequency of approximately 1 MHz was designed. The FEM simulation results show the peak SAR value is below the safety limit which appeared when the human head model is in front of the transmitter. CONCLUSION: The simulation results agreed well with the experimental results, which verified the validity of the analysis and design.
Keywords: Wireless power transfer, SAR, resonant coupling, field-circuit coupling method, FEM