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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: Knowledge of the pressure distribution around human thorax in blast help to understand the injury mechanisms and their assessment. To investigate the transmission mechanism of the pressure on human thorax in blast, a three dimension surface model of human thorax was constructed in this work. To increase the precious of this model, tetrahedron element division method was applied to transfer the rough 3D surface model to hexahedral elements model. Using this model, the high pressure duration was computationally solved using numerical simulation of the hexahedral elements. Simulation results showed that the apex of lungs was subjected to the largest stress…in a blast. In order to verify this result, an animal experiment was performed on a dog. The animal experimental results was shown to have a same variation tendency with the calculation results based on our numerical model of human thorax, which made this model reliable for the blast injury research.
Keywords: Finite element model, human thorax, blast injury, numerical simulation
Abstract: Dental stem cells isolated for human dental pulp are an excellent source for regenerative medicine and dentistry. Simulation of clinical scenario is one of the crucial challenges for evaluation of the efficacy of DPSCs in various regenerative therapies. In this study we evaluated the viability of DPSCs after treatment with artificial bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) as the main component responsible for inducing inflammatory response in majority of the inflammatory conditions in clinical scenario. Although a number of studies have previously treated stem cells with LPS from bacteria, however the accuracy level of the outcome was not established. Here we have analyzed…the outcome using adaptive neuro-fuzzy inferences system (ANFIS) to predict the viability of human DPSCs after treatment with bacterial LPS.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Each year, on average 1.26 million students face physical injuries at German schools and universities. Implementation of systematic prevention programs against school-associated injuries in adolescents is poor. Part of the reason might be a lack of data on nature and frequency of common school-associated injuries. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to obtain qualitative and quantitative data that might help to develop prevention or protection strategies against sport-associated injuries at school. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted on all patients between the ages of 10 and 16 years admitted from January 1 st…, 2009 to December 31 st , 2013 to the emergency room of an academic teaching hospital for school-associated injuries (n = 901). For injuries associated with school sports, time of injury, type of sports and injured body region were analyzed. RESULTS: A significant part of school-associated injuries occurred in school sports (55.7%). The frequency of school sport-associated injuries per school day did not differ between months or seasons of the school year. Most injuries occurred between the ages of thirteen to fifteen. Ball sports were associated with 41% of all sport-associated injuries, particularly with soccer (22%). Distal extremities like hands (38.4%) and feet/ankle (30.3%) were predominantly injured, but only 5% of cases needed surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Most school-associated injuries occur in school sport, particularly with ball sports. Mostly, distal extremities were injured. Implementation of systematic prevention strategies for a reduction in finger injuries should be subject of future research.
Keywords: School-associated injury, sport-associated injury, physical education, adolescence, school sport
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: This study aims to compare the curative effect of different treatment methods of hypertensive putamen hemorrhage, in order to determine an ideal method of treatment; and to explore the curative effect of the application of soft channel technology-minimally invasive liquefaction and drainage of intracerebral hematoma in the treatment of hypertensive putamen hemorrhage. METHODS: Patients with hypertensive cerebral hemorrhage, who were treated in our hospital from January 2015 to January 2016, were included into this study. Patients were divided into three groups: minimally invasive drainage group, internal medical treatment group and craniotomy group. In the minimally…invasive drainage group, puncture aspiration and drainage were performed according to different hematoma conditions detected in brain CT, the frontal approach was selected for putamen and intracerebral hemorrhage, and drainage was reserved until the hematoma disappeared in CT detection. Drug therapy was dominated in the internal medical treatment group, while surgery under general anesthesia was performed to remove the hematoma in the craniotomy group. RESULTS: Post-treatment neurological function defect scores in minimally invasive drainage group and internal medical group were 16.14 ± 11.27 and 31.43 ± 10.42, respectively; and the difference was remarkably significant (P < 0.01). Post-treatment neurological function defect scores in the minimally invasive drainage group and craniotomy group were 16.14 ± 11.27 and 24.20 ± 12.23, respectively; and the difference was statistically significant (P < 0.05). There was a remarkable significant difference in ADL1-2 level during followed-up in survival patients between the minimally invasive drainage group and internal medical treatment group (P < 0.01), and there was a significant difference in followed-up mortality between these two groups (P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Clinical observation and following-up results revealed that minimally invasive drainage treatment was superior to internal medical treatment and craniotomy.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: TNF-α regulates immune cells and acts as an endogenous pyrogen. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is one of the most commonly used methods for gene expression analysis. Among the alternatives to PCR, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) shows good potential in terms of specificity and sensitivity. OBJECTIVE: However, few studies have compared RT-PCR and LAMP for human gene expression analysis. Therefore, in the present study, we compared one-step RT-PCR, two-step RT-LAMP and one-step RT-LAMP for human gene expression analysis. METHODS: We compared three gene expression analysis methods using the…human TNF-α gene as a biomarker from peripheral blood cells. Total RNA from the three selected febrile patients were subjected to the three different methods of gene expression analysis. RESULTS: In the comparison of three gene expression analysis methods, the detection limit of both one-step RT-PCR and one-step RT-LAMP were the same, while that of two-step RT-LAMP was inferior. One-step RT-LAMP takes less time, and the experimental result is easy to determine. CONCLUSIONS: One-step RT-LAMP is a potentially useful and complementary tool that is fast and reasonably sensitive. In addition, one-step RT-LAMP could be useful in environments lacking specialized equipment or expertise.
Abstract: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: With the rise of autonomous e-mental health applications, virtual agents can play a major role in improving trustworthiness, therapy outcome and adherence. In these applications, it is important that patients adhere in the sense that they perform the tasks, but also that they adhere to the specific recommendations on how to do them well. One important construct in improving adherence is psychoeducation , information on the why and how of therapeutic interventions. In an e-mental health context, this can be delivered in two different ways: verbally by a (virtual) embodied conversational agent or just via text…on the screen. The aim of this research is to study which presentation mode is preferable for improving adherence. METHODS : This study takes the approach of evaluating a specific part of a therapy, namely psychoeducation. This was done in a non-clinical sample, to first test the general constructs of the human-computer interaction. We performed an experimental study on the effect of presentation mode of psychoeducation on adherence. In this study, we took into account the moderating effects of attitude towards the virtual agent and recollection of the information. Within the paradigm of expressive writing, we asked participants (n = 46) to pick one of their worst memories to describe in a digital diary after receiving verbal or textual psychoeducation. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: We found that both the attitude towards the virtual agent and how well the psychoeducation was recollected were positively related to adherence in the form of task execution. Moreover, after controlling for the attitude to the agent and recollection, presentation of psychoeducation via text resulted in higher adherence than verbal presentation by the virtual agent did.
Keywords: Virtual health agent, conversational agent, relational agent, e-mental health, e-health, psychoeducation, adherence, persuasion, mode of presentation, expressive writing
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate effects on the transmission channel caused by heterogeneous distribution in tissues and joint characteristics. METHOD: Human arm section scans were taken using CT technology, and zoned, following which, a circumference measurement experiment was performed to analyze the effect of inhomogeneous distribution of tissues. In order to analyze the arm joint’s effect on channel transmission, we proposed a piecewise modeling method in combination with connection conditions. CONCLUSIONS: It can be seen from the experiment that, in the quasi-static mode, the communication channel error caused by the inhomogeneous distribution…of tissues is small enough to be negligible. The error between calculated and experimental results is reduced by 3.93 dB in this experiment relative to models that did not include joint characteristics, and the average error is lowered by 0.73 dB. The variation curve fit to experimental data is also improved in this method. As such, it can be quantitatively determined that a channel model with joint characteristics is superior to models excluding joint characteristics.
Keywords: Inhomogeneous distribution, quasi-static, communication channel, joint
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The adrenal tumor will disturb the secreting function of adrenocortical cells, leading to many diseases. Different kinds of adrenal tumors require different therapeutic schedules. OBJECTIVE: In the practical diagnosis, it highly relies on the doctor’s experience to judge the tumor type by reading the hundreds of CT images. METHODS: This paper proposed an automatic computer aided analysis method for adrenal tumors detection and classification. It consisted of the automatic segmentation algorithms, the feature extraction and the classification algorithms. These algorithms were then integrated into a system and conducted on the graphic interface…by using MATLAB Graphic user interface (GUI). RESULTS: The accuracy of the automatic computer aided segmentation and classification reached 90% on 436 CT images. CONCLUSION: The experiments proved the stability and reliability of this automatic computer aided analytic system.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In nanomachine applications towards targeted drug delivery, drug molecules released by nanomachines propagate and chemically react with tumor cells in aqueous environment. If the nanomachines release drug molecules faster than the tumor cells react, it will result in loss and waste of drug molecules. It is a potential issue associated with the relationship among reaction rate, release rate and efficiency. OBJECTIVE: This paper aims to investigate the relationship among reaction rate, release rate and efficiency based on two drug reception models. We expect to pave a way for designing a control method of drug release.…METHODS: We adopted two analytical methods that one is drug reception process based on collision with tumors and another is based on Michaelis Menten enzymatic kinetics. To evaluate the analytical formulations, we used the well-known simulation framework N3Sim to establish simulations. RESULTS: The analytical results of the relationship among reaction rate, release rate and efficiency is obtained, which match well with the numerical simulation results in a 3-D environment. CONCLUSIONS: Based upon two drug reception models, the results of this paper would be beneficial for designing a control method of nanomahine-based drug release.
Keywords: Nanomachine, targeted drug delivery, molecular diffusion
Abstract: A needle-free vaccine/drug injector that works by virtue of the impulse of a moving shock wave is presented in this communication. The device can deliver controlled micro-volumes of liquid vaccines into skin and soft tissue targets in human with minimal invasion. The operation of the injector was investigated by delivering a dyed liquid into human skin samples and soft tissue models. The depth of penetration of the liquid was examined by histology of the targeted human skin samples. The delivery mechanics and the depth of penetration were analyzed theoretically with an elastic model for the skin and a viscoelastic model…for the soft tissue targets, and a good agreement with experiments was observed. The current liquid vaccine/drug delivery technique can reduce pain, trauma and contamination, and can offer a cost-effective, needle-free, health-care solution.