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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: Functional recovery of the plegic upper limb in post-stroke patients may be enhanced by sequentially applying a myoelectrically controlled FES (MeCFES), which allows the patient to voluntarily control the muscle contraction during a functional movement, and robotic therapy which allows many repetitions of movements. OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the efficacy of MeCFES followed by robotic therapy compared to standard care arm rehabilitation for post-stroke patients. METHODS: Eighteen stroke subjects (onset ⩾ 3 months, age 60.1 ± 15.5) were recruited and randomized to receive an experimental combination of MeCFES…during task-oriented reaching followed by robot therapy (MRG) or same intensity conventional rehabilitation care (CG) aimed at the recovery of the upper limb (20 sessions/45 minutes). Change was evaluated through Fugl-Meyer upper extremity (FMA-UE), Reaching Performance Scale and Box and Block Test. RESULTS: The experimental treatment resulted in higher improvement on the FMA-UE compared with CG (P = 0.04), with a 10-point increase following intervention. Effect sizes were moderate in favor of the MRG group on FMA-UE, FMA-UE proximal and RPS (0.37–0.56). CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings indicate that a combination of MeCFES and robotic treatment may be more effective than standard care for recovery of the plegic arm in persons > 3 months after stroke. The mix of motor learning techniques may be important for successful rehabilitation of arm function.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Thyroid metabolism involves iodine, which allows us to use radioactive iodine for diagnostic and therapy purposes. The efficiency of radioiodine therapy depends on several parameters; the ability of thyroid tissue to uptake radioactive iodine is one of them. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this work is to quantify the radioactive iodine uptake on thyroid tissue. METHODS: In this work, we developed a method to quantify the in vivo uptake of iodine-131 on sections of thyroid glands removed by thyroidectomies. We performed an analysis of histological sections of the thyroid tissue by beta…imaging. We had the opportunity to quantify the fixed radioactivity and to analyze its distribution in the thyroid gland, thanks to the good spatial resolution available with the type of detector used. RESULTS: The results gave a high image resolution showing the heterogeneity of iodine-131 fixation by the thyroid tissue. We were able to quantify the tissue radioactivity in mega Becquerel (MBq) per volume unit. CONCLUSION: This work has shown that the direct quantification of the thyroid tissue uptake is possible using the beta imaging system.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Orthodontic force is often statically measured in general, and only the initial force derived from appliances can be assessed. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate a technological method for measuring dynamic force using tooth movement simulation. METHODS: Tooth movement was simulated in a softened wax model. A canine tooth was selected for evaluation and divided into the crown and root. A force transducer was plugged in and fixed between the two parts for measuring force. Forces on this tooth were derived by ordinary nickel–titanium (Ni–Ti) wire, hyperelastic Ni–Ti wire, low-hysteresis (LH) Ti–Ni wire…and self-made glass fibre-reinforced shape memory polyurethane (GFRSMPU) wire. These forces were measured after the tooth movement. RESULTS: The canine tooth moved to the desired location, and only a 0.2 mm deviation remained. The changing trends and magnitudes of forces produced by the wires were consistent with the data reported by other studies. The tooth had a higher moving velocity with ordinary Ni–Ti wires in comparison to the other wires. Force attenuation for the GFRSMPU wire was the lowest (40.17%) at the end of the test, indicating that it provided light but continuous force. CONCLUSIONS: Mimicked tooth movements and dynamic force measurements were successfully determined in tooth movement simulation. These findings could help with estimating treatment effects and optimising the treatment plan.
Keywords: Dynamic measurement, orthodontic force, tooth moveable simulation, wax model
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The increased strength of zirconia has resulted in its widespread application in clinical dentistry. Nevertheless, the fracture of veneering porcelains remains one of the key reasons of failure. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare and analyze the influence of surface conditioning methods on the core-veneer bond strength of zirconia restorations. METHODS: Thirty specimens of zirconia core with sizes 10 × 5 × 5 mm were layered with porcelain of sizes 5 × 3 × 3 mm. On the…basis of different surface conditioning methods, four groups were made: Group I: abrasion with airborne alumina particles of 110 μ m size, Group II: sandblasting with silica coated alumina particles of 50 μ m in size, Group III (modified group): alteration with a coating of zirconia powder prior to sintering, and Group IV (control group): metal core specimens. The shear force of all specimens was tested using a universal testing machine with a 0.5 mm/min crosshead speed. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s post hoc pair wise comparison (p = 0.05) were performed to analyze the shear bond strength. A scanning electron microscope was used to assess the fractured specimens. RESULTS: A statistically significant difference was noted between the groups. The mean value of shear bond strength was 40.25 MPa for Group I, 41.93 MPa for Group II, 48.08 MPa for Group III and 47.01 MPa for Group IV. CONCLUSIONS: The modified zirconia group and control group demonstrated a significantly higher mean bond strength than that of Group I, where airborne particle abrasion was used. The scanning electron microscope showed that cohesive fracture in the porcelain veneers was the main problem of failure in altered zirconia. The modified zirconia specimens in Group III demonstrated significantly improved values of shear bond strength.
Keywords: CAD/CAM zirconia, shear bond strength, veneering porcelain, surface treatment
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: This study was performed to illustrate the potential relationship between reduced serum and local LncRNA MALAT1 expressions with disease severity in patients with non-traumatic osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH). METHODS: A total of 104 patients with non-traumatic ONFH and 100 healthy controls were consecutively recruited from our hospital. Serum and local LncRNA MALAT1 expressions were detected using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Radiographic progression was defined by Ficat classification. Clinical severity was evaluated by Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Harris Hip Score (HHS). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was carried out to determine the…diagnostic value of MALAT1 in the radiographic progression. RESULTS: Serum LncRNA MALAT1 expressions were significantly lower in non-traumatic ONFH patients than in healthy controls. In addition, local MALAT1 expressions in non-traumatic ONFH tissue were significantly lower in the affected area than in the non-affected area. Ficat grade 4 has significantly lower serum and local LncRNA MALAT1 expressions in comparison with grade 3, and Ficat grade 3 showed markedly decreased serum and local LncRNA MALAT1 expressions compared with grade 2. Serum and local LncRNA MALAT1 expressions were significantly and negatively associated with VAS and positively related to the HHS. Further ROC curve analysis indicated that serum MALAT1 may act as a decent indicator in the diagnosis of non-traumatic ONFH. CONCLUSIONS: Decreased serum and local MALAT1 expressions may reflect disease severity in non-traumatic ONFH patients.
Keywords: LncRNA MALAT1, non-traumatic osteonecrosis of the femoral head, disease severity
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A variety of prophylactic materials are used in the dental office for the removal of stains and calculus. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate tooth surface changes caused by the application of air abrasive powders (sodium bicarbonate, SBAP and glycine air powder, GPAP) along with scaling and root planing (SRP), under atomic force microscope (AFM) and to analyze the histological soft tissue changes caused by these agents, using light microscopy. METHODS: This study was conducted in two phases: in vitro and in vivo . In the in vitro phase, hard tissue analysis was…done under AFM following air powder polishing. Eighteen extracted teeth were chosen. SRP and tooth sectioning were carried out. Subsequently, each section of the tooth was mounted on a glass plate with self-cure acrylic resin and air polished using SBAP and GPAP. In the vivo phase, the soft tissue was analyzed under a light microscope for surface roughness. A biopsy specimen was taken from patients who had received phase I therapy, and flap surgery was planned using a modified Widman flap technique. RESULTS: This study compared surface changes in enamel and cementum, under AFM, as indicated by R A after SRP, SRP and SBAP, and SRP and GPAP; comparisons were then drawn across the three groups. The mean AFM values were 108.5 and 144.7, 102.7 and 81.7, and 95.6 and 7.4, at the crown and root, for SRP, SRP and SBAP, and SRP and GPAP interventions, respectively. GPAP was the least rough on soft tissues. CONCLUSION: SBAP and GPAP were better than hand instrumentation as indicated by AFM and histological section analysis.
Keywords: Periodontics, dentistry, tooth surface, atomic force microscope (AFM)
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Estimated continuous cardiac output (esCCO), a non-invasive technique for continuously measuring cardiac output (CO), is based on modified pulse wave transit time, which is determined by pulse oximetry and electrocardiography. OBJECTIVE: We examined the ability of esCCO to detect stroke volume index (SVI) and changes in SVI compared with currently available arterial waveform analysis methods. METHODS: We retrospectively reanalysed 15 of the cases from our previous study on esCCO measurement. SVI was calculated using an esCCO system, measured using the arterial pressure-based CO (APCO) method, and compared with a corresponding intermittent bolus…thermodilution CO (ICO) method. Percentage error measurement and statistical methods, including concordance analysis and polar plot analysis, were performed. RESULTS: The difference in the SVI values between esCCO and ICO was - 3.0 ± 8.8 ml (percentage error, 33.5%). The mean angular bias was 0.8 and the radial limits of agreement were ± 27.3. The difference in the SVI values between APCO and ICO was 0.9 ± 11.2 ml (percentage error, 42.6%). The mean angular bias was - 6.8 and the radial limits of agreement were ± 44.1. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that the accuracy, precision, and dynamic trend of esCCO are better than those of APCO.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The frequencies that can evoke strong steady state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP) are limited, which leads to brain-computer interface (BCI) instruction limitation in the current SSVEP-BCI. To solve this problem, the visual stimulus signal modulated by trinary frequency shift keying was introduced. OBJECTIVE: The main purpose of this paper is to find a more reliable recognition algorithm for SSVEP-BCI based on trinary frequency shift keying modulated stimuli. METHODS: First, the signal modulated by trinary frequency shift keying is simulated by MATLAB. At different noise levels, the empirical mode decomposition, singular value decomposition,…and synchrosqueezing with the short-time Fourier transform are used to extract the characteristic frequency and reconstruct the signal. Then, the coherent method is used to demodulate the reconstructed signal. Second, in the paradigm of BCI using trinary frequency shift keying modulated stimuli, the three methods mentioned above are used to reconstruct EEG signals, and canonical correlation analysis and coherent demodulation are used to recognize the BCI instructions. RESULTS: For simulated signals, it is found that synchrosqueezing with short-time Fourier transform has a better effect on extracting the characteristic frequencies. For the EEG signal, it is found that the method combining synchrosqueezing with short-time Fourier transform and coherent demodulation has a higher accuracy and information translate rate than other methods. CONCLUSION: The method combining synchrosqueezing with short-time Fourier transform and coherent demodulation proposed in this paper can be applied in the SSVEP system based on trinary frequency shift keying modulated stimuli.
Keywords: Steady state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP), trinary frequency shift keying (TFSK), synchrosqueezing with the short-time Fourier transform (SSTFT), canonical correlation analysis (CCA), coherent demodulation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The advances in experimental psychology in the last decade have led to a greater understanding of cognitive bias, and the investigation of cognitive bias modifications as a therapeutic option. Whilst conventionally such interventions are delivered in a laboratory, technological advances are changing the potential modes of delivery of these interventions. Whereas mobile delivery of interventions might seem to increase accessibility and encourage compliance, this might not be the case for cognitive bias modification interventions. To reduce boredom, researchers have investigated whether gamification of the task could help reduce repetitiveness, and the diminished motivation that participants had over time.…In a prior review of cognitive bias modification interventions, a collaboration between academics and developers was recommended to ensure that the developed product is evidence-based. With the increased recognition of the importance of participatory action research, participants could better help conventional intervention to meet their needs. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this article was to describe the iterative steps in the conceptualization of the co-designed gamified cognitive bias modification intervention for individuals with opioid use disorders. METHODS AND RESULTS: A multidisciplinary team worked through the differences in the perspectives offered by healthcare professionals and patient participants, and jointly worked with a developer to conceptualize a new co-designed gamified attention bias modification intervention. The methods shared in this article could be considered and applied to future conceptualization of co-designed interventions.