Technology and Health Care - Volume Pre-press, issue Pre-press
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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: To evaluate the clinical effects of individual placement of intramedullary nail guided by digital technique in the treatment of tibial fractures. METHODS: Thirty-two cases of unilateral tibial fractures treated with individual placement of intramedullary nail guided by digital technique or conventional surgery were collected from October 2010 to October 2012. In the experimental group, the size of intramedullary nail, as well as the distance between the insertion point of tibial…intramedullary nail and the line perpendicular to the tibial plateau of the tibial tubercle were measured by digital technology preoperatively to select suitable intramedullary nail and appropriate insertion point. RESULTS: The operative time and bone healing time of the experimental group didn't change significantly (P > 0.05). There were statistically significant differences in the number of X-ray examinations and the distance between actual and planned nail placement point between experimental group and control group. The excellent and good rate of functional recovery for the experimental and the control group was 100% and 87.50%, respectively. CONCLUSION: Compared with the conventional surgery, individual placement of intramedullary nail guided by digital technique in tibial fractures might have superior outcomes.
Abstract: Involuntary human tremor due to clinical disorders may inhibit daily activities and can severely restrict lifestyle. Such tremor is associated with rhythmic movement of one or more body parts, where muscles contract and relax, causing twitching or sudden movement. Symptoms are most commonly the result of a psychological illness that causes the muscles to act involuntarily. Medical treatments to human tremor may pose harmful side effects, including hallucinations, and drugs used for treatment have varying degrees of success in reducing the symptoms of the illness. Our research provides a new, assistive technology that minimizes the effects of hand tremor, as…a substitute for drug-related therapy. The device is intended for use in creative art; a paint brush attachment, for application in painting. The engineering solution promises greater application for attachment to a variety of aids, such as for writing, eating or instructional, for device stabilization as used by persons suffering from hand tremor, irrespective of medical cause.
Keywords: Hand tremor, Parkinson's, active cancellation, activity aid, SMA wires, smart device
Abstract: Indoor flight, obstacle avoidance and client-server communication of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) raises several unique research challenges. This paper examines current methods and associated technologies adapted within the literature toward autonomous UAV flight, for consideration in a proposed system for indoor healthcare administration with a quadcopter. We introduce Healthbuddy , a unique research initiative towards overcoming challenges associated with indoor navigation, collision detection and avoidance, stability, wireless drone-server communications and automated decision support for patient care in a GPS-denied environment. To address the identified research deficits, a drone-based solution is presented. The solution is preliminary as we develop and…refine the suggested algorithms and hardware system to achieve the research objectives.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The acetabular component orientation during total hip arthroplasty (THA) impacts future hip function and early revision. Correcting pelvic obliquity may improve outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To correct pelvic obliquity in the lateral position by applying a gradienter and plumb during THA using fluoroscopy. METHODS: Fifty patients undergoing THA were randomized and divided into 2 groups. In controls, acetabular components were placed using traditional methods. In experimental patients, acetabular components were placed after correcting pelvic obliquity. We measured pelvic obliquity and recorded intra-operative and post-operative abduction angles, comparing abduction angle bias between post-operative measurements and…intra-operation estimations. RESULTS: Before correction, the average pelvic obliquity was - 1.647 ∘ ± 4.512 ∘ in experimental patients. The average abduction angle in experimental patients was 42.685 ∘ ± 3.355 ∘ postoperatively, differing by 1.962 ∘ ± 1.515 ∘ from intra-operative estimates, while in control patients, it was 44.534 ∘ ± 4.844 ∘ postoperatively, differing by 4.244 ∘ ± 3.042 ∘ from intra-operative estimates. The bias of the abduction angle was much greater in control than in experimental patients (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: The pelvic obliquity in the lateral position affects surgeon judgment during THA. By correcting pelvic obliquity with a gradienter and plumb, the abduction angle bias can be reduced.
Abstract: BACKGROUND : Fractures of the talus often lead to permanent restrictions of the affected limb. Possible alterations after these fractures in gait have not been evaluated yet. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate possible alterations of gait by pedybarography after talar fractures. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective single-centre study at a level I trauma center. Twenty patients with operatively treated talar fractures were followed up. Objective and subjective function of the ankle was measured using range of motion, clinical scores and dynamic pedobarography (emed-M; Novel, Germany). RESULTS: There were 11 talar neck and 9…talar body fractures. All patients received screw fixation. There was a significant reduction in range of motion. The outcome was moderate to satisfying and the severity of the injury correlated with the clinical outcome and the range of motion. The presence of posttraumatic arthritis and joint incongruity lead to a decreased function of ankle and subtalar joint and resulted in a worse clinical outcome. AVN rate was associated to initial displacement. Dynamic pedobarography showed no significant changes in gait pattern. CONCLUSIONS: Fractures of the talus lead to dissatisfaction, pain and malfunction. However, a change in gait pattern could not be proved.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The gait ability of stroke patients is highly related with trunk control. Studies that addressed the effects of trunk control training using visual feedback on gait parameters of stroke patients are lacking. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of smartphone-based visual feedback trunk control training for improvement of trunk control and spatio-temporal gait parameter in stroke patients. METHODS: Twenty-four stroke patients participated in this study. Participants were randomly allocated to the experimental and control groups. Both groups completed conventional rehabilitation over 4 weeks. The experimental group additionally…received smartphone-based visual feedback trunk control training for 4 weeks. The primary outcome of this study was evaluated by trunk impairment scale and spatio-temporal gait parameters. RESULTS: The trunk impairment scale in the experimental group was significantly improved compared to the control group (P < 0.05). The spatio-temporal gait parameters are significantly more different in the experimental group than in the control group (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Additional smartphone-based visual feedback trunk control training may improve trunk control and spatio-temporal gait parameter in chronic stroke patients.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Clinicians routinely encounter the endodontically treated teeth with wide flared canals and mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) repair on the canal wall. OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of customized glass reinforced composite (FRC) post and reshaped root canal along with different acid etching protocol of MTA surface on push-out bond strength (PBS) in flared, MTA repaired root canal. METHODS: Ninety recently extracted single-rooted premolar teeth were sequentially subjected to root canal obturation, post space preparation, flaring, and MTA application. The samples were randomly divided into 3 groups of control, customized FRC post by…relining with self-adhesive resin cement and reshaping the canal with flowable composite. Each group was subdivided into 3 subgroups (n = 10) as control, 37% H 3 PO 4 and 19% EDTA etching of MTA surface. Teeth samples cemented with FRC post were sectioned into 2 mm and push-out testing. RESULTS: Control group had the lowest PBS at 1.988 N. The PBS values for the groups with customized post relining were 8.489 N, 8.888 N and 7.911 N for control, H 3 PO 4 etch and EDTA etch. The corresponding PBS values for root canal reshaping were 7.323 N, 8.318 N and 7.785 N. CONCLUSIONS: Customized FRC post with 37% H 3 PO 4 etching is advised for the flared and MTA repaired root canals.
Keywords: Flared root canal, mineral trioxide aggregate, customized fiber post, root canal reshaping
Abstract: Analysis of human brain activity is an important topic in human neuroscience. Human brain activity can be studied by analyzing the electroencephalography (EEG) signal. In this way, scientists have employed several techniques that investigate nonlinear dynamics of EEG signals. Fractal theory as a promising technique has shown its capabilities to analyze the nonlinear dynamics of time series. Since EEG signals have fractal patterns, in this research we analyze the variations of fractal dynamics of EEG signals between four datasets that were collected from healthy subjects with open-eyes and close-eyes conditions, patients with epilepsy who did and patients who did not…face seizures. The obtained results showed that EEG signal during seizure has greatest complexity and the EEG signal during the seizure-free interval has lowest complexity. In order to verify the obtained results in case of fractal analysis, we employ approximate entropy, which indicates the randomness of time series. The obtained results in case of approximate entropy certified the fractal analysis results. The obtained results in this research show the effectiveness of fractal theory to investigate the nonlinear structure of EEG signal between different conditions.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Heart rate variability (HRV) can reflect the relationship between heart rhythm and sleep structure. OBJECTIVE: In order to study the effect of support vector machine (SVM) on the results of automatic sleep staging and improve the effectiveness of heart rate variability (HRV) as a sleep structure biomarker, thereby realize long term and non-contact monitoring of sleep quality. METHODS: Two kinds of parameter optimization methods are applied to stage sleep experiments when the known SVM can be used for automatic sleep staging. By factor analysis of the time domain, frequency domain, and nonlinear…dynamic characteristics of subjects’ HRV signals, the accuracy of the cross-validation method (K-CV) is used as the fitness function value in genetic algorithm (GA) and particle swarm optimization (PSO). Furthermore, GA and PSO are used to optimize the SVM parameters. RESULTS: The results show that the accuracy rate of sleep stage is 64.44% when parameters are not optimized, the accuracy rate based on PSO is improved to 78.89% and the accuracy rate based on GA is improved to 84.44%. CONCLUSION: Both optimization algorithms can improve the accuracy of SVM for sleep staging and better results based on GA in the experiment.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Wet age-related macular degeneration (Wet AMD) has been treated clinically by intravitreal injection of bevacizumab, which is a kind of the anti-VEGF antibody drug. Nevertheless, because of the short half-life and frequent injections, the use of this treatment is limited. OBJECTIVE: To confirm whether mPEG-PLGA-BOX can be considered as a VEGF drug-delivery system to inhibit retinal angiogenesis. METHODS: A thermo-responsive hydrogel of methoxy-poly (ethylene glycol)-block-poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (mPEG-PLGA-BOX) was synthesized. The thermo-responsive hydrogel mPEG-PLGA-BOX was able to have sol-gel phase transition upon stimulation by the body temperature with improved biocompatibility and biodegradation.…The bevacizumab released from mPEG-PLGA-BOX inhibited RF/6A cells according to a JC-1 assay, which indicated that the released bevacizumab was active to be able to suppress the growth of new blood vessels. In an animal study, retinal laser photocoagulation was performed to induce angiogenesis in the eyes of Rex rabbits using an 810-mm laser. RESULTS: The retina was penetrated when the laser power was more than 500 mW and the exposure time was more than 500 ms. New blood vessels were created at the 28th day after retinal laser photocoagulation. At this time, intravitreal 0.05-mL injections of mPEG-PLGA-BOX (bevacizumab) solution were administered. The bevacizumab released from mPEG-PLGA-BOX (bevacizumab) solution suppressed the angiogenesis. In an in vivo study, the histomorphology of the rabbit retina also indicated that mPEG-PLGA-BOX after intravitreal injection is not toxic to the rabbit retina. CONCLUSIONS: Bevacizumab released from mPEG-PLGA-BOX (bevacizumab) solution suppressed angiogenesis, and mPEG-PLGA-BOX can be considered as a novel thermo-responsive hydrogel with potential as a gelling carrier for extended bevacizumab drug release to treat intraocular neovascular diseases.