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ISSN 0928-7329 (P)
Impact Factor 2023: 1.6
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: Several studies have continuously investigated FFRs using binaural beat (BB) stimulations and their related effects. However, only a few studies have investigated the differences in BB stimulation effects according to basic demographic characteristics, such as gender and age. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the alpha wave activity after a 10-Hz BB stimulation and subsequently identify differences according to gender across all brain areas (frontal, central, parietal, temporal, and occipital areas). METHODS: A total of 23 healthy adults (11 male and 12 female), aged 20–29, participated in the study. For the 10-Hz…BB stimulation, pure tone auditory stimuli of 250 and 260 Hz were given to the left and right ear, respectively. Through a power spectrum analysis of the phase-excluding BBs (non-BBs) and phase-including 10-Hz BBs (α -BBs), the alpha power at each brain area was estimated. These values were compared using a mixed-design ANOVA. RESULTS: With the exception of the temporal area, all other brain areas showed a significant increase in alpha power for α -BBs compared to those of non-BBs. However, the difference according to gender was not significant. CONCLUSION: The results indicated the lack of gender effects in alpha wave generation through a 10-Hz BB stimulation.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Currently, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) significantly impacts patients’ quality of life and survival as it has a high morbidity and mortality rate. COPD progression is associated with infiltration of adaptive inflammatory immune cells that form lymphatic follicles into the lung. OBJECTIVE: The rapid development of single-cell RNA sequencing technology (scRNA-seq) provided us with powerful tools for studying the classification of cell subtypes. Additionally, it is known that COPD is closely related to the abnormal function of long-chain non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and scRNA-seq can help to study the expression of lncRNA from a single cell…level. METHODS: We reanalyzed the scRNA-seq data of peripheral blood mononuclear cells of COPD patients downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, and performed the mRNA-based and lncRNA-based single cell clustering to compare the cell subsets in COPD and controls without COPD. Furthermore, we performed Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis for the top ranked differentially expressed genes and target genes of differentially expressed lncRNAs in different cell subtypes for COPD and controls respectively. RESULTS: Differences in cell subtypes were found between COPD and controls. CONCLUSION: This study may help us to further understand the mechanism of the human adaptive immune cell response of COPD.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In the absence of contraindications to implants, implant repair is the preferred method to treat mandibular second molar loss. OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical effects of a traditional implant guide and digital implant guide in the early implant restoration of second molars. METHODS: The study included 35 patients with second molar loss randomly divided into two groups. Eighteen patients in the experimental group had an implant procedure using a computer-aided design/computer-assisted manufacturing (CAD/CAM) digital implant guide, and 17 patients in the control group had the procedure using a traditional film pressing implantation…guide. Then, the surgical procedure was completed using the two different implant guides. At 3 months after surgery, four parameters including screw hole exit position, coronal deviation of the implant site, disease improvement rate, and clinical effects, which included marginal adaptation, anatomic form, marginal discoloration, postoperative sensitivity, surface roughness, and secondary caries of the upper prosthesis were compared between the two groups. RESULTS: The screw hole exit position in the experimental group was directed to the functional cusp of the opposite jaw, and there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups. There was no statistically significant difference in the rate of disease improvement and the clinical effect of the upper prosthesis between the two groups. There was no statistically significant difference in the bilateral coronal deviation and deviation direction of implants in the two groups. The bilateral coronal deviation of the experimental group was smaller than that of the control group. CONCLUSION: The digital implant guide can effectively reduce the deviation of the screw hole and the upper prosthesis in the restoration of the second molar. The prosthesis used in the experimental group had a good clinical outcome, which provides a theoretical basis for the restoration of the posterior molar.
Keywords: Digital guide, implant, restoration, second molar
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In the present scenario, there is no unified measurement standard for the five basic requirements of the Tuina manipulation, such as “lasting, uniform, gentle, powerful and penetrating”, and the descriptions that are solely based on the words are difficult to interpret. As a result, a quantitative study of the Tuina manipulation can aid in the development of a unified standard for Tuina manipulation, thereby assisting the transmission and advancement of the Tuina science. OBJECTIVE: Using the Tuina manipulation data gloves and data collection system, and taking Ding’s rolling manipulation as the research object, the present…study explored the necessity and significance of quantitative research on the inheritance and development of traditional Tuina manipulation. METHODS: Using the Tuina experts as the research object, the manipulation characteristics and parameter signs of Ding’s rolling manipulation were collected and analyzed by employing the “Tuina manipulation data gloves and data collecting system”. RESULTS: ⟀ The force waveforms, peaks and minima of each detection point altered regularly, and the force values of the front and back pendulum waveforms varied significantly with small differences in the waveform height. ⟁ The Tuina force values of the experts were concentrated in 0.70–0.85 kg, the frequency was concentrated at 120–160 times/min, and the period was about 0.4 s. ⟂ The peak, minimum, and mean of the ai1 channel was greater than ai4, all of which were statistically significant (P < 0.05). The ai6 peak, minimum, and mean were greater than ai3 and statistically significant (P < 0.05). The ai2 peak was greater than ai5, which was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). The ai2 minimum was greater than ai5, and the ai2 mean was less than ai5, all of which were statistically significant (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: It was found that the objectification studies of the experts performing Tuina practices should be based on real clinical process. Furthermore, the results of the quantitative study can present the quantitative characteristics of the expert’s parameters, as well as the details of the manipulation process. Thus, the quantitative study of the parameters is of great significance in the transmission and development of the expert’s manipulation.
Keywords: Tuina manipulation, quantitative research, data collection and analysis
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Abdominal wall desmoid-type fibromatoses (AWDF) are occasionally encountered in clinical work, but related CT reports are rare, and most cases were misdiagnosed as malignant tumors. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine the diagnostic value of multislice computed tomography (MSCT) in relation to the clinical diagnosis of AWDF. METHODS: The medical records of 14 patients whose pathology results provided initial confirmation of AWDF were reviewed, and data describing their clinical characteristics, tumors’ MSCT characteristics, and the condition of the surrounding tissues were analyzed and summarized retrospectively. Intraobserver and interobserver reproducibilities were evaluated.…RESULTS: AWDF tended to occur in women of childbearing age (24–32 years). They occurred more frequently during the first year following pregnancy. The mean disease duration was 5.64 ± 3.78 months. All isolated tumors were growing along the musculoaponeurotic layer, and their maximum diameters were between 32 and 76 mm. Tumors’ capsules were incomplete, and although the tumors infiltrated the surrounding muscles, the surrounding fat tissue and vessels were not infiltrated. None of the patients’ tumors showed cystic degeneration, calcification, necrosis, or peritumoral edema. The tumors had slightly lower densities on the pre-contrast enhancement scans and mild-to-moderate enhancement after contrast enhancement. All tumors contained ribbon-like structures, and approximately 65% of the tumors encircled vascular structures. CONCLUSION: Dual-phase contrast-enhanced MSCT scans were associated with a high level of diagnostic efficacy for AWDF. The abdominal wall masses grew along the musculoaponeurotic layer, which, together with the ribbon-like structures within the tumors, should prompt clinicians to consider the presence of AWDF.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Patient data in current computed tomography scanner machines are transferred through several communication channels, such as WiFi, to the mobile channel platform. Therefore, patient information is an important security concern. Medical imaging must be protected using various methods. OBJECTIVE: The current hardware-dependent method for generating random bits exhibits predictable or inconvenient physical characteristics. Therefore, a more flexible random-bit generation technique is to be devised. METHODS: We propose a deterministic random bit generation algorithm that uses a mathematical periodic function. RESULTS: After randomizing the image using the proposed random bit,…the performance is analyzed and compared with that of the processed image. CONCLUSION: The random bit generation method using a mathematical algorithm shows higher entropy than the random bit generated by hardware.
Keywords: Computed tomography scanner, random bit, digital periodic function
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Breast diseases are a significant health threat for women. With the fast-growing BSGI data, it is becoming increasingly critical for physicians to accurately diagnose benign as well as malignant breast tumors. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to diagnose benign and malignant breast tumors utilizing the deep learning model, with the input of breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI). METHODS: A benchmark dataset including 144 patients with benign tumors and 87 patients with malignant tumors was collected and divided into a training dataset and a test dataset according to the ratio of 8:2.…The convolutional neural network ResNet18 was employed to develop a new deep learning model. The model proposed was compared with neural network and autoencoder models. Accuracy, specificity, sensitivity and ROC were used to evaluate the performance of different models. RESULTS: The accuracy, specificity and sensitivity of the model proposed are 99.1%, 98.8% and 99.3% respectively, which achieves the best performance among all methods. Additionally, the Grad-CAM method is used to analyze the interpretability of the diagnostic results based on the deep learning model. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the proposed deep learning method could help physicians diagnose benign and malignant breast tumors quickly as well as reliably.
Keywords: Breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI), deep learning, convolutional neural network, breast tumor
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The inverse problem algorithm (IPA) uses mathematical calculations to estimate the expectation value of a specific index according to patient risk factor groups. The contributions of particular risk factors or their cross-interactions can be evaluated and ranked by their importance. OBJECTIVE: This paper quantified the potential risks from multiple biological factors by integrated case studies in clinical diagnosis via the IPA technique. Acting as artificial intelligence field component, this technique constructs a quantified expectation value from multiple patients’ biological index series, e.g., the optimal trigger timing for CTA, a particular drug in blood concentration data,…the risk for patients with clinical syndromes. METHODS: Common biological indices such as age, body surface area, mean artery pressure, and others are treated as risk factors upon their normalization to the range from - 1.0 to + 1.0, with a non-dimensional zero point 0.0 corresponding to the average risk factor index. The patients’ quantified indices are re-arranged into a large data matrix. Next, the inverse and column matrices of the compromised numerical solution are constructed. RESULTS: This paper discusses quasi-Newton and Rosenbrock analyses performed via the STATISTICA program to solve the above inverse problem, yielding the specific expectation value in the form of a multiple-term nonlinear semi-empirical equation. The extensive background, including six previous publications of these authors’ team on IPA, was comprehensively re-addressed and scrutinized, focusing on limitations, stumbling blocks, and validity range of the IPA approach as applied to various tasks of preventive medicine. Other key contributions of this study are detailed estimations of the effect of risk factors’ coupling/cross-interactions on the IPA computations and the convergence rate of the derived semi-empirical equation viz. the final constant term. CONCLUSION: The main findings and practical recommendations are considered useful for preventive medicine tasks concerning potential risks of patients with various clinical syndromes.
Keywords: Clinical syndrome, inverse problem algorithm, biological index series, risk factors, column matrix, nonlinear semi-empirical equation, artificial intelligence
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The human body model in the virtual surgery system is generally nested by multiple complex models and each model has quite complex tangent and curvature change. In actual rendering, if all details of the human body model are rendered with high performance, it may cause the stutter due to insufficient hardware performance. If the human body model is roughly rendered, the details of the model cannot be well represented. OBJECTIVE: In order to realize the real-time rendering of complex models in virtual surgical systems, this paper proposes an improved adaptive tessellation rendering algorithm, which includes…offline and online parts. METHODS: The offline part mainly completes data reading and data structure constructing. The online part performs the surface subdivision operation in-real time for each frame, which includes the subdivision operation of the control points and surface evaluation. The offline part simplifies the subdivision step by recording the surface subdivision hierarchy using a quadtree and using control templates to record control point information. RESULTS: The online part reduces computation time by using a matrix to record topological relationships between vertices and vertex weights. The online part can compress the time complexity of traversing the quadtree of different subdivision levels to O ( n log n ) by establishing an association with the quadtree of each subdivision level and using the greedy algorithm to complete the traversal of the quadtree. Finally, the adaptive tessellation rendering algorithm proposed in this paper is compared with other commonly used tessellation algorithms. CONCLUSION: The algorithm has advantages in computational efficiency and graphical display.