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: Analysis of the reactions of different organs to external stimuli is an important area of research in physiological science. OBJECTIVE: In this paper, we investigated the correlation between the brain and facial muscle activities by information-based analysis of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals and electromyogram (EMG) signals using Shannon entropy. METHOD: The EEG and EMG signals of thirteen subjects were recorded during rest and auditory stimulations using relaxing, pop, and rock music. Accordingly, we calculated the Shannon entropy of these signals. RESULTS: The results showed that rock music has a greater…effect on the information of EEG and EMG signals than pop music, which itself has a greater effect than relaxing music. Furthermore, a strong correlation (r = 0.9980) was found between the variations of the information of EEG and EMG signals. CONCLUSION: The activities of the facial muscle and brain are correlated in different conditions. This technique can be utilized to investigate the correlation between the activities of different organs versus brain activity in different situations.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Balance control is a leading component of human motor activities and its impairment is associated with an increased risk of falling, lower back pain due to impaired motor control mechanism. Prolonged sitting position at workplace is one of the risk factors of reduced postural control and lower back pain. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate theta and alpha waves cortical activity, trunk muscles activity and kinematics in static sitting, dynamic sitting on different platforms: simple wobble board (WB) and wobble board on bearing surface (WBB). METHODS: The kinematics of body segments, electromyography of five trunk…muscles, electroencephalography of 32 scalp electrodes were measured during balance tasks in sitting position for 17 subjects with continuous seated position at workplace. RESULTS: Cortical power on WBB1 increase in fronto – central (p < 0.05) region while on WBB2 increase in centro – parietal region (p < 0.05). WBB2 increase more muscles compared with WB2. The amplitude of movement of ASIS, Th10 can be seen lower on WBB compared with WB (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The study shows that WBB can increase personalized sitting and improve trunk motor control during hours of prolonged sitting.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Gait can be affected by diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), which lead to alterations like shuffle gait or loss of balance. PD diagnosis is based on subjective measures to generate a score using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). To improve clinical assessment accuracy, gait analysis can utilise linear and nonlinear methods. A nonlinear method called the Lyapunov exponent (LE) is being used to identify chaos in dynamic systems. This article presents an application of LE for diagnosing PD. OBJECTIVE: The objectives were to use the largest Lyapunov exponents (LaLyEx), sample entropy (SampEn)…and root mean square (RMS) to assess the gait of subjects diagnosed with PD; to verify the applicability of these parameters to distinguish between people with PD and healthy controls (CO); and to differentiate subjects within the PD group according to the UPDRS assessment. METHODS: The subjects were divided into the CO group (n = 12) and the PD group (n = 14). The PD group was also divided according to the UPDRS score: UPDRS 0 (n = 7) and UPDRS 1 (n = 7). Kinematic data of lower limbs were measured using inertial measurement units (IMU) and nonlinear parameters (LaLyEx, SampEn and RMS) were calculated. RESULTS: There were significant differences between the CO and PD groups for RMS, SampEn and the LaLyEx. After dividing the PD group according to the UPDRS score, there were significant differences in LaLyEx and RMS. CONCLUSIONS: The selected parameters can be used to distinguish people with PD from CO subjects, and separate people with PD according to the UPDRS score.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The traditional rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis is very complicated because it uses many clinical and image data. Therefore, there is a need to develop a new method for diagnosing RA using a consolidated set of blood analysis and thermography data. OBJECTIVE: The following issues related to RA are discussed: 1) Which clinical data are significant in the primary diagnosis of RA? 2) What parameters from thermograms should be used to differentiate patients with RA from the healthy? 3) Can artificial neural networks (ANN) differentiate patients with RA from the healthy? METHODS: The…dataset was composed of clinical and thermal data from 65 randomly selected patients with RA and 104 healthy subjects. Firstly, the univariate logistic regression model was proposed in order to find significant predictors. Next, the feedforward neural network model was used. The dataset was divided into the training set (75% of data) and the test set (25% of data). The Broyden-Fletcher-Goldfarb-Shanno (BFGS) and non-linear logistic function to transformation nodes in the output layer were used for training. Finally, the 10 fold Cross-Validation was used to assess the predictive performance of the ANN model and to judge how it performs. RESULT: The training set consisted of the temperature of all fingers, patient age, BMI, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein and White Blood Cells (10 parameters in total). High level of sensitivity and specificity was obtained at 81.25% and 100%, respectively. The accuracy was 92.86%. CONCLUSIONS: This methodology suggests that the thermography data can be considered in addition to the currently available tools for screening, diagnosis, monitoring of disease progression.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP), the most common motor dysfunction is pathological gait. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of measures for an individual CP case. METHODS: The case of one spastic diplegia child has been analyzed. Both lower extremities and spine were examined under three gait conditions: 1) barefoot, 2) with ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) and thoracolumbosacral spinal orthosis (TLSO), and 3) with TLSO only. Spatiotemporal gait and kinematic parameters of the pelvic, hip, knee, ankle joints, and spine were obtained using Vicon Plug-in-Gait model. The difference (Δ ) between…the measured values and normative ranges was calculated to determine the efficiency of the orthoses. RESULTS: Significant differences were found in kinematic and spatiotemporal parameters comparing results between conditions and body sides. The effectiveness of the measures was confirmed by the smallest Δ values in the double and single support time with the AFOs/TLSO and in the stride and stance time with TLSO. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the study results, the best stability of the spine, ankle plantarflexion, and knee hyperextension is achieved with the AFOs/TLSO; therefore, this combination of measures was considered the most effective. However, not only quantitative parameters should be taken into account, but also the child’s willingness and comfort.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The manner in which shooters pull the trigger may significantly affect the shooter’s results. Shooting coaches are often not able to detect incorrect pull because of gun movement during the shot and recoil. OBJECTIVE: Development of the smart-textile based trigger pull monitoring system and demonstration of its ability to distinguish correct and wrong triggering techniques. METHODS: Two separated knitted resistive pressure sensors were integrated over III and II phalanges in the index finger fingerstall; single sensor was integrated over both III and II phalanges of the middle finger fingerstall. Resistance of the…sensors was measured in a course of shots, performed by expert shooter, which simulated typical novice’s trigger pull errors. RESULTS: Sensors’ resistance recordings were made for following erroneous trigger pull motions: pulling of the trigger with index finger’s II phalanx instead of III; fast and jerky trigger pull (trigger tear-off); too fast release of the trigger after shot; and excessive grip force, applied by middle finger. For each type of erroneous movement, recordings waveforms included distinguishable features that characterised a particular type of error. CONCLUSIONS: The developed trigger pull monitoring system provides signals that could be used for recognition of the incorrect trigger pull motions during gun shots.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Disability, especially in children, is a very important and current problem. Lack of proper diagnosis and care increases the difficulty for children to adapt to disabilities. Disabled children have many problems with basic activities of daily living. Therefore, it is very important to support diagnosticians and physiotherapists in recognizing self-care problems in children. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to extract classification and action rules, useful for those who work with children with disabilities. METHODS: First, features and their impact on the accuracy of classification are determined. Then, two models are…built: one with all features and one with selected ones. For these models the classification rules are extracted. Finally, action rules are mined and the next step in treatment process is predicted. RESULTS: Seventeen features with the greatest impact on classifying a child into a particular group of self-care problems were identified. Based on the implemented algorithms, decision and action rules were obtained. CONCLUSIONS: The obtained model, selected attributes and extracted classification and action rules can support the work of therapists and direct their work to those areas of disability where even a minimal reduction of features would be of great benefit to the children.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Monitoring physical activity with consumers wearables is one of the possibilities to control a patient’s self-care and adherence to recommendations. However, clinically approved methods, software, and data analysis technologies to collect data and make it suitable for practical use for patient care are still lacking. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to analyze the potential of patient physical activity monitoring using Fitbit physical activity trackers and find solutions for possible implementation in the health care routine. METHODS: Thirty patients with impaired fasting glycemia were randomly selected and participated for 6 months. Physical activity variability…was evaluated and parameters were calculated using data from Fitbit Inspire devices. RESULTS: Changes in parameters were found and correlation between clinical data (HbA1c, lipids) and physical activity variability were assessed. Better correlation with variability than with body composition changes shows the potential to include nonlinear variability parameters analysing physical activity using mobile devices. Less expressed variability shows better relationship with control of prediabetic and lipid parameters. CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of physical activity variability is essential for patient health, and these methods used to calculate it is an effective way to analyze big data from wearable devices in future trials.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many statistics reveal that violin players suffer most often from musculoskeletal disorders compared to musicians of other instrument groups. A common phenomenon, especially observed in violin beginners, is the tendency to elevate the right shoulder during playing the violin. This can probably lead to serious disorders in long-term practice with repetitive movements. OBJECTIVE: For this reason, this study investigated the relationship between the right shoulder elevation and the force in the right glenohumeral joint during violin playing. It was hypothesized that the forces in the right glenohumeral joint are higher during playing with the right…shoulder raised compared to playing in normal posture. METHODS: Motion capture data from four experienced violinists was recorded and processed by means of musculoskeletal simulation to get the force and elevation angle while playing with raised shoulder and in normal position. RESULTS: The results indicate that the absolute values of the resulting force, as well as the forces in the mediolateral, inferosuperior, and anteroposterior directions, are higher in playing the violin with the shoulder raised than in a normal posture. CONCLUSIONS: Elevating the right shoulder while playing the violin may pose a potential problem.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The usefulness of numerical modelling of a patient’s cardiovascular system is growing in clinical treatment. Understanding blood flow mechanics can be crucial in identifying connections between haemodynamic factors and aortic wall pathologies. OBJECTIVE: This work investigates the haemodynamic parameters of an ascending aorta and ascending aortic aneurysm in humans. METHODS: Two aortic models were constructed from medical images using the SimVascular software. FEM blood flow modelling of cardiac cycle was performed using CFD and CMM-FSI at different vascular wall parameters. RESULTS: The results showed that highest blood velocity was…1.18 m/s in aorta with the aneurysm and 1.9 m/s in healthy aorta model. The largest displacements ware in the aorta with the aneurysm (0.73 mm). In the aorta with the aneurysm, time averaged WSS values throughout the artery range from 0 Pa to 1 Pa. In the healthy aorta, distribution of WSS values changes from 0.3 Pa to 0.6 Pa. CONCLUSIONS: In the case of an ascending aortic aneurysm, the maximum blood velocity was found to be 1.6 times lower than in the healthy aorta. The aneurysm-based model demonstrates a 45% greater wall displacement, while the oscillatory shear index decreased by 30% compared to healthy aortic results.