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: Recently, health care and disease prevention are more and more important in people’s daily life. Human body communication (HBC) is an emerging short distance wireless communication mode, which is quite suitable for the communication between the wearable human health care equipment. However, most research on HBC mainly focuses on the electromagnetic model and the circuit model of equivalent human and the in vivo experiment is based on the commercial equipment. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to design a circuit device for measuring the attenuation of the human body channel based on a floating-ground-electrode…method. METHODS: This paper proposed a new floating-ground-electrode method so as to solve problems of power and high frequencies interference and impedance matching. A circuit module, including signal generator, analog frontend circuit and MCU, was designed to initially replace the spectrum analyzer to measure the attenuation of the human body channel. The floating-ground-electrode added to the receiving end of the human body channel was connected to the ground of the analog frontend circuit, forming an equal potential circuit. The three-electrodes of the receiving terminal can act as a differential probe, since one electrode is connected to the ground and the other two electrodes achieved signal input and output respectively. RESULTS: The results showed that the experimental data of channel attenuation were similar to the measured value of the spectrum analyzer. The maximum absolute error was 1.148 dB and the relative error was 3.55%. In addition, different sizes of the floating-ground-electrode cannot affect the attenuation path of human body channels. Moreover, the common mode rejection ratio (CMRR) was approximated to the value of the commercial differential probe. CONCLUSION: This paper proposed a new floating-ground-electrode method for measuring the attenuation of the human body channel. It could provide the possibility for the dynamic measurement of attenuation and take the place of the spectrum analyzer and make the process of experiments simple and efficient.
Keywords: Human body communication, galvanic coupling, channel attenuation, floating-ground-electrode
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Spinal metastases are being diagnosed more frequently because of increasing life expectancies and advances in the diagnosis and therapy of primary tumours. OBJECTIVE: This aim of this study was to assess the quality of life (QoL) and functional outcomes after surgical intervention for spinal metastases in a large cohort. METHODS: A single-centre, prospective, observational study was conducted from June 2016 to February 2018. Patients treated surgically for spinal metastasis were included. Primary endpoints were the Core Outcome Measure Index (COMI), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and QoL questionnaire (EuroQoL-5D) scores recorded preoperatively, 6…weeks postoperatively, and 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. RESULTS: Ninety-two patients (mean age, 62.7 ± 12.8 years) were included. The most frequent neoplasms were multiple myeloma (n = 18; 19.6%), lung cancer (n = 16; 17.4%), prostate cancer (n = 14; 15.2%), and breast cancer (n = 11; 12.0%). During the observation period, 44.6% of patients died. The COMI score improved significantly from preoperatively (mean, 7.1; 95% CI, 6.6–7.6) to 3 months (mean, 5.5; 95% CI, 4.8–6.2; p = 0.01) and 12 months (mean, 4.6; 95% CI, 3.7–5.5; p = 0.001) postoperatively. The ODI showed a significant improvement from preoperatively (mean, 52.9; 95% CI, 48.5–57.4) to 6 weeks (mean, 43.4; 95% CI, 37.1–49.6; p = 0.03), 3 months (mean, 37.0; 95% CI, 31.0–42.9) 6 months mean, 40.5; 95% CI, 34.2–46.8; p = 0.01), and 12 months (mean, 31.9; 95% CI, 24.8–39.1; p = 0.005) postoperatively. Improvements in the COMI at 6 weeks (p = 0.05), and 6 months (p = 0.05) postoperatively were not statistically significant. QoL improved from preoperatively to 6 weeks (mean, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.38–0.59; p = 0.002), 3 months (mean, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.38–0.61; p = 0.009), and 12 months (mean, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.51–0.71; p = 0.001) postoperatively. After 6 months, the difference was not significant (p = 0.08). CONCLUSION: Short-term and long-term improvements in functional outcomes and QoL were observed after surgical treatment of spinal metastases. Surgery is a good option for patients with an estimated life expectancy of more than 3 months.
Keywords: Spinal metastases, spine, metastatic spine surgery, quality of life, functional outcome, Core Outcome Measures Index
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Stroke combined with Diabetes Mellitus may cause sensibility and vascular alterations. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether sensitivity and plantar cutaneous temperature of clinically controlled patients with stroke and DM are different from those of patients with stroke only. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional case-control study. The volunteers were assessed for sensitivity by monofilament esthesiometry in their plantar region, and for temperature by infrared thermal imaging. The data was presented as means and standard deviations and comparisons were conducted with the Mann-Whitney statistical test, with statistical significance set at p <…0.05. RESULTS: Five cases and 11 controls were included according to the eligibility and pairing criteria. There were no discrepancies between the plegic and contralateral sides regarding temperature and sensibility of both cases and controls. However, in the control group, there was an observable tendency for different temperatures between the plegic and the contralateral sides, with p < 0.05 in most of the comparisons. CONCLUSIONS: There is no evidence that the cases and controls have different plantar sensibility nor different plantar temperature on their plegic and contralateral sides. However, significant temperature discrepancies between both plegic and contralateral sides were observed in the control group.
Keywords: Stroke, cutaneous sensitivity, body temperature, evaluation, esthesiometry, thermography
Abstract: In the last decade, the attention of the scientific community has been focused on bile acids and their salts as systems for the transportation of drugs; specifically their role as carriers and integration into nanomedicine. Bile acids can play a critical role as drug carriers in the form of chemical conjugates, complexation, mixed micelles formation as well as stabilized bile acid liposomes (bilosomes). The unique molecular structure and interaction of these amphiphilic-steroidal compounds make them an interesting subject of research. This review is based on literature research in order to emphasize the importance of bile acids and their salts as…absorption modulators in order to improve therapeutic potentials of low bioavailability drugs.
Keywords: Bile acids, bilosomes, nano-structures, absorption enhancers, drug delivery