Technology and Health Care - Volume Pre-press, issue Pre-press
Purchase individual online access for 1 year to this journal.
Price: EUR 150.00
Impact Factor 2021: 1.285
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: Trunk control ability is an important component of functional independence after the onset of stroke. Recently, it has been reported that robot-assisted functional training is effective for stroke patients. However, most studies on robot-assisted training have been conducted on upper and lower extremities. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of robot-assisted trunk control training on trunk postural control and balance ability in stroke patients. METHODS: Forty participants with hemiparetic stroke were recruited and randomly divided into two groups: the RT (robot-assisted trunk control training) group (n =…20) and the control group (n = 20). All participants underwent 40 sessions of conventional trunk stabilization training based on the Bobath concept (for 30 minutes, five-times per week for 8 weeks). After to each training session, 15 minutes of robotassisted trunk control training was given in the RT group, whereas the control group received stretching exercise for the same amount of time. Robot-assisted trunk control training was conducted in three programs: sitting balance, sit-to stand, and standing balance using a robot system specially designed to improve trunk control ability. To measure trunk postural control ability, trunk impairment scale (TIS) was used. Center of pressure (COP) distance, limits of stability (LOS), Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and functional reach test (FRT) were used to analyze balance abilities. RESULTS: In TIS, COP distance, LOS, BBS and FRT, there were significant improvements in both groups after intervention. More significant changes were shown in the RT group than the control group (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that robot-assisted trunk control training is beneficial and effective to improve trunk postural control and balance ability in stroke patients. Therefore robot-assisted training may be suggested as an effective intervention to improve trunk control ability in patients with stroke.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The analysis of brain activity in different conditions is an important research area in neuroscience. OBJECTIVE: This paper analyzed the correlation between the brain and skin activities in rest and stimulations by information-based analysis of electroencephalogram (EEG) and galvanic skin resistance (GSR) signals. METHODS: We recorded EEG and GSR signals of eleven subjects during rest and auditory stimulations using three pieces of music that were differentiated based on their complexity. Then, we calculated the Shannon entropy of these signals to quantify their information contents. RESULTS: The results showed that…music with greater complexity has a more significant effect on altering the information contents of EEG and GSR signals. We also found a strong correlation (r = 0.9682) among the variations of the information contents of EEG and GSR signals. Therefore, the activities of the skin and brain are correlated in different conditions. CONCLUSION: This analysis technique can be utilized to evaluate the correlation among the activities of various organs versus brain activity in different conditions.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Electromyographic systems are widely used in scientific and clinical practice. The reproducibility and reliability of these measures are crucial when conducting scientific research and collecting experimental data.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Pulmonary metastasis is the most frequent cause of death in osteosarcoma (OS) patients. Recently, several bioinformatics studies specific to pulmonary metastatic osteosarcoma (PMOS) have been applied to identify genetic alterations. However, the interpretation and reliability of the results obtained were limited for the independent database analysis. OBJECTIVE: The expression profiles and key pathways specific to PMOS remain to be comprehensively explored. Therefore, in our study, three original datasets of GEO database were selected. METHODS: Initially, three microarray datasets (GSE14359, GSE14827, and GSE85537) were downloaded from the GEO database. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs)…between PMOS and nonmetastatic osteosarcoma (NMOS) were identified and mined using DAVID. Subsequently, GO and KEGG pathway analyses were carried out for DEGs. Corresponding PPI network of DEGs was constructed based on the data collected from STRING datasets. The network was visualized with Cytoscape software, and ten hub genes were selected from the network. Finally, survival analysis of these hub genes also used the TARGET database. RESULTS: In total, 569 upregulated and 1238 downregulated genes were filtered as DEGs between PMOS and NMOS. Based on the GO analysis result, these DEGs were significantly enriched in the anatomical structure development, extracellular matrix, biological adhesion, and cell adhesion terms. Based on the KEGG pathway analysis result, these DEGs were mainly enriched in the pathways in cancer, PI3K-Akt signaling, MAPK signaling, focal adhesion, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, and IL-17 signaling. Hub genes (ANXA1 and CXCL12) were significantly associated with overall survival time in OS patient. CONCLUSION: Our results may provide new insight into pulmonary metastasis of OS. However, experimental studies remain necessary to elucidate the biological function and mechanism underlying PMOS.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Current Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are built using different data representation and information models, which makes difficult achieving information exchange. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to propose a scalable architecture that allows the integration of information from different EHR systems. METHODS: A cloud-based EHR interoperable architecture is proposed through the standardization and integration of patient electronic health records. The data is stored in a cloud repository with high availability features. Stakeholders can retrieve the patient EHR by requesting only to the integrated data repository. The OpenEHR two-level approach is applied according to…the HL7-FHIR standards. We validated our architecture by comparing it with 5 different works (CHISTAR, ARIEN, DIRAYA, LLPHR and INEHRIS) using a set of selected axes and a scoring method. RESULTS: The problem was reduced to a single point of communication between each EHR system and the integrated data repository. By combining cloud computing paradigm with selected health informatics standards, we obtained a generic and scalable architecture that complies 100% with interoperability requisites according to the evaluation framework applied. CONCLUSIONS: The architecture allowed the integration of several EHR systems, adapting them with the use of standards and ensuring the availability thanks to cloud computing features.
Keywords: Electronic health records, Cloud EHR, interoperability, health informatics standards, HL7 FHIR, OpenEHR
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Conventional ultrasound (US) is the most widely used imaging test for thyroid nodule surveillance. OBJECTIVE: We used the color-coded virtual touch tissue imaging (VTI) in the Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI) technique to assess the hardness of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System (TI-RADS) TR3-5 nodules. The ability of color-coded VTI (CV) to discriminate between benign and malignant nodules was investigated. METHODS: In this retrospective study, US and CV were performed on 211 TR3-5 thyroid lesions in 181 consecutive patients. All nodules were operated on to…obtain pathological results. A multivariate logistic regression model was chosen to integrate the data obtained from the US and CV. RESULTS: The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for the model was 0.945 (95% CI, 0.914 to 0.976). The cutoff value of predictive probability for diagnosing malignant thyroid nodules was 10.64%, the sensitivity was 94.43%, and the specificity was 83.12%. Through comparing with US and CV, respectively, it had been observed that the regression model had the best performance (all P < 0.001). However, when the US was compared with CV, the difference was not significant (P = 0.3304). CONCLUSIONS: A combination of US and CV should be recommended for suspected malignant thyroid nodules in clinical practice.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Wearable lower extremity exoskeletons can provide walking assistance for the physical rehabilitation of paralyzed individuals. However, most of the existing exoskeletons require crutches to maintain balance, thus a self-balancing type is needed to improve applicability. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work is to study the kinematic characteristics of a novel lower extremity exoskeleton for crutch-less walking rehabilitation, and evaluate the movement performance through practical experiments. METHODS: Based on the human lower limb structure and movement characteristics, a fully actuated 10 degrees-of-freedom (DoF) lower extremity exoskeleton was proposed. The kinematic characteristics of the…exoskeleton were analyzed by the D-H method and geometric method, and the model validity was verified through simulations and experiments. RESULTS: The closed-form solutions for both forward and inverse kinematics models were obtained. The consistent results of theoretical calculation and numerical simulation have shown the accuracy of the established models. The practical experiments regarding six trials have demonstrated the movement performance of the proposed exoskeleton, including sit, stance, leg extension/flexion, and left/right swing. CONCLUSIONS: The kinematic characteristics of the proposed 10-DoF lower extremity exoskeleton are similar to the human lower limb, and it could meet the motion demands of crutch-less walking rehabilitation.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Simplified and easy-to-use monitoring approaches are crucial for the early diagnosis and prevention of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and its complications. OBJECTIVE: In this study, the OSA detection and arrhythmia classification algorithms based on single-channel photoplethysmography (PPG) are proposed for the early screening of OSA. METHODS: Thirty clinically diagnosed OSA patients participated in this study. Fourteen features were extracted from the PPG signals. The relationship between the number of features as inputs of the support vector machine (SVM) and performance of apnea events detection was evaluated. Also, a multi-classification algorithm based on…the modified Hausdorff distance was proposed to recognize sinus rhythm and four arrhythmias highly related with SA. RESULTS: The feature set composed of meanPP, SDPP, RMSSD, meanAm, and meank1 could provide a satisfactory balance between the performance and complexity of the algorithm for OSA detection. Also, the arrhythmia classification algorithm achieves the average sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 83.79%, 95.91% and 93.47%, respectively in the classification of all four types of arrhythmia and regular rhythm. CONCLUSION: Single channel PPG-based OSA detection and arrhythmia classification in this study can provide a feasible and promising approach for the early screening and diagnosis of OSA and OSA-related arrhythmias.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Intracranial pressure (ICP) and arterial blood pressure (ABP) are related to each other through cerebral autoregulation. Central venous pressure (CVP) is often measured to estimate cardiac filling pressures as an approximate measure for the volume status of a patient. Prior modelling efforts have formalized the functional relationship between CVP, ICP and ABP. However, these models were used to explain short segments of data during controlled experiments and have not yet been used to explain the slowly evolving ICP increase that occurs typically in patients after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). OBJECTIVE: To analyze the functional relationship…between ICP, ABP and CVP recorded from SAH patients in the first five days after aneurysm. METHODS: Two methods were used to elucidate this relationship on the running average of the signals: First, using Spearman correlation coefficients calculated over 30 min segments Second, for each patient, linear state space models of ICP as the output and ABP and CVP as inputs were estimated. RESULTS: The mean and variance of the data and the correlation coefficients between ICP-ABP and ICP-CVP vary over time as the patient progresses through their stay in the ICU. On average, after an SAH event, the models show that a) ABP is the bigger driver of changes in ICP than CVP and that increasing ABP leads to reduction in ICP and (b) increasing CVP leads to an increase in ICP. CONCLUSIONS: Finding a) agrees with the hypothesis that patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage have defective autoregulation, and b) agrees with the positive correlation observed between central venous pressure and intracranial pressure in the literature.
Keywords: Intracranial pressure, arterial blood pressure, central venous pressure, relationship, correlation, state space models
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Increased cognitive workload, sometimes known as mental strain or mental effort, has been associated with reduced performance. OBJECTIVE: The use of physiological monitoring was investigated to predict cognitive workload and performance. METHODS: Twenty-one participants completed a 10-minute seated rest, a visuospatial learning task modeled after crane operation, and the Stroop test, an assessment that measures cognitive interference. Heart rate, heart rate variability, electrodermal activity, skin temperature, and electromyographic activity were collected. RESULTS: It was found that participants’ ability to learn the simulated crane operation task was inversely correlated with…self-reported frustration. Significant changes were also found in physiological metrics in the simulation with respect to rest, including an increase in heart rate, electrodermal activity, and trapezius muscle activity; heart rate and muscle activity were also correlated with simulation performance. The relationship between physiological measures and self-reported workload was modeled and it was found that muscle activity and high frequency power, a measure of heart rate variability, were significantly associated with the workload reported. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the use of physiological monitoring to inform real time decision making (e.g., identifying individuals at risk of injury) or training decisions (e.g., by identifying individuals that may benefit from additional training even when no errors are observed).
Keywords: Cognitive workload, visuospatial learning, wearable sensors, physiological monitoring, health and wellbeing