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Journal of Healthcare Engineering provides a vehicle for the exchange of advanced knowledge, emerging technologies, and innovative ideas related to all aspects of engineering involved in healthcare delivery processes and systems.
Chief Editor, Professor Zollo, has research expertise in neuro-robotics and biomedical technologies for neuroscience, rehabilitation and assistance robotics, and robotic and mechatronic devices for personal assistance and service robotics.
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Application of Multispectral Imaging in the Human Tympanic Membrane
Multispectral imaging has recently shown good performance in determining information about physiology, morphology, and composition of tissue. In the endoscopy field, many researches have shown the ability to apply multispectral or narrow-band images in surveying vascular structure based on the interaction of light wavelength with tissue composition. However, there has been no mention to assess the contrast between other components in the middle ear such as the tympanic membrane, malleus, and the surrounding area. Using CT, OCT, or ODT can clearly describe the tympanic membrane structure; nevertheless, these approaches are expensive, more complex, and time-consuming and are not suitable for most common middle ear diagnoses. Here, we show the potential of using the multispectral imaging technique to enhance the contrast of the tympanic membrane compared to the surrounding tissue. The optical absorption and scattering of biological tissues constituents are not the same at different wavelengths. In this pilot study, multiwavelength images of the tympanic membrane were captured by using the otoscope with LED light source at three distinct spectral regions: 450 nm, 530 nm, and 630 nm. Subsequently, analyses of the intensity images as well as the histogram of these images point out that the 630 nm illumination image features an evident contrast in the intensity of the tympanic membrane and malleus compared to the surrounding area. Analysis of such images could facilitate the boundary determination and segmentation of the tympanic membrane (TM) with high precision.
Theoretical Background to Automated Diagnosing of Oral Leukoplakia: A Preliminary Report
Oral leukoplakia represents the most common oral potentially malignant disorder, so early diagnosis of leukoplakia is important. The aim of this study is to propose an effective texture analysis algorithm for oral leukoplakia diagnosis. Thirty-five patients affected by leukoplakia were included in this study. Intraoral photography of normal oral mucosa and leukoplakia were taken and processed for texture analysis. Two features of texture, run length matrix and co-occurrence matrix, were analyzed. Difference was checked by ANOVA. Factor analysis and classification by the artificial neural network were performed. Results revealed easy possible differentiation leukoplakia from normal mucosa (). Neural network discrimination shows full leukoplakia recognition (sensitivity 100%) and specificity 97%. This objective analysis in the neural network revealed that involving 3 textural features into optical analysis of the oral mucosa leads to proper diagnosis of leukoplakia. Application of texture analysis for leukoplakia is a promising diagnostic method.
Augmented Reality Interface for Complex Anatomy Learning in the Central Nervous System: A Systematic Review
The medical system is facing the transformations with augmentation in the use of medical information systems, electronic records, smart, wearable devices, and handheld. The central nervous system function is to control the activities of the mind and the human body. Modern speedy development in medical and computational growth in the field of the central nervous system enables practitioners and researchers to extract and visualize insight from these systems. The function of augmented reality is to incorporate virtual and real objects, interactively running in a real-time and real environment. The role of augmented reality in the central nervous system becomes a thought-provoking task. Gesture interaction approach-based augmented reality in the central nervous system has enormous impending for reducing the care cost, quality refining of care, and waste and error reducing. To make this process smooth, it would be effective to present a comprehensive study report of the available state-of-the-art-work for enabling doctors and practitioners to easily use it in the decision making process. This comprehensive study will finally summarise the outputs of the published materials associate to gesture interaction-based augmented reality approach in the central nervous system. This research uses the protocol of systematic literature which systematically collects, analyses, and derives facts from the collected papers. The data collected range from the published materials for 10 years. 78 papers were selected and included papers based on the predefined inclusion, exclusion, and quality criteria. The study supports to identify the studies related to augmented reality in the nervous system, application of augmented reality in the nervous system, technique of augmented reality in the nervous system, and the gesture interaction approaches in the nervous system. The derivations from the studies show that there is certain amount of rise-up in yearly wise articles, and numerous studies exist, related to augmented reality and gestures interaction approaches to different systems of the human body, specifically to the nervous system. This research organises and summarises the existing associated work, which is in the form of published materials, and are related to augmented reality. This research will help the practitioners and researchers to sight most of the existing studies subjected to augmented reality-based gestures interaction approaches for the nervous system and then can eventually be followed as support in future for complex anatomy learning.
Kinematic Calibration of a Parallel 2-UPS/RRR Ankle Rehabilitation Robot
In order to better perform rehabilitation training on the ankle joint complex in the direction of dorsiflexion/plantarflexion and inversion/eversion, especially when performing the isokinetic muscle strength exercise, we need to calibrate the kinematic model to improve its control precision. The ankle rehabilitation robot we develop is a parallel mechanism, with its movements in the two directions driven by two linear motors. Inverse solution of positions is deduced and the output lengths of the two UPS kinematic branches are calibrated in the directions of dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, inversion, and eversion, respectively. Motion of each branch in different directions is fitted in high-order form according to experimental data. Variances, standard deviation, and goodness of fit are taken into consideration when choosing the best fitting curve, which ensures that each calibration can match the most appropriate fitting curve. Experiments are conducted to verify the effectiveness of the kinematic calibration after finishing the calibration, and the errors before and after calibration of the two kinematic chains in different directions are compared, respectively, which shows that the accuracy after calibration has been significantly improved.
Situation and Countermeasures of the Management Team of the Elderly Care Institutions from the Perspective of the Combination of Medical and Health Care: A Cross-Sectional Study
Objective. In order to provide evidence for improving the quality of managers in elderly care institutions, this paper explored the situation of managers of elderly care institutions in a city in Central China under the national guidelines for the combination of medical and elderly health care. Design. A cross-sectional study carried out in a city in Central China was designed. Setting. The online questionnaire was distributed to the managers of six elderly care institutions in a city in Central China. Participants. The questionnaire was sent to 61 recipients; from this, 60 responses were obtained. Results. There was a 98% response rate. The study found that most managers in elderly care institutions were middle-aged, with low education level and years of management. The job mobility was high, and 27% of the managers had no relevant certificates. Management years had a significant influence on the rate of certificate holding (). Some managers were less than 30 years old and had college degree or above, which indicated that people with young and high levels of education were more likely to become managers. However, there was no significant difference in educational level among managers of different ages (). 56.6% of the managers have received provincial or municipal training, and few managers have received the national level training. The education level is positively related to the access to training opportunities. More than half of the managers earn less than ¥3000 a month. The study showed that the education level was positively related to the career growth space (). Conclusions. Specialized training and high salary should be provided for managers to improve their elderly care skills and hence the quality of elderly care service. In addition, in order to improve the education level of managers, a long-term continuing education system should be established gradually. Through expanding the enrollment scale of the nursing school, carrying out training about elderly care skills, and issuing vocational skills certificates to those who pass the examination, the number of local nurses for the elderly will be increasing, and the quality of the elderly care service will be improving.
Neural Network-Based Study about Correlation Model between TCM Constitution and Physical Examination Indexes Based on 950 Physical Examinees
Purpose. To establish the correlation model between Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) constitution and physical examination indexes by backpropagation neural network (BPNN) technology. A new method for the identification of TCM constitution in clinics is proposed, which is trying to solve the problem like shortage of TCM doctor, complicated process, low efficiency, and unfavorable application in the current TCM constitution identification methods. Methods. The corresponding effective samples were formed by sorting out and classifying the original data which were collected from physical examination indexes and TCM constitution types of 950 physical examinees, who were examined at the affiliated hospital of Chengdu University of TCM. The BPNN algorithm was implemented using the C# programming language and Google’s AI library. Then, the training group and the test (validation) group of the effective samples were, respectively, input into the algorithm, to complete the construction and validation of the target model. Results. For all the correlation models built in this paper, the accuracy of the training group and the test group of entire physical examination indexes-constitutional-type network model, respectively, was 88% and 53%, and the error was 0.001. For the other network models, the accuracy of the learning group and the test group and error, respectively, was as follows: liver function (31%, 42%, and 11.7), renal function (41%, 38%, and 6.7), blood routine (56%, 42%, and 2.4), and urine routine (60%, 40%, and 2.6). Conclusions. The more the physical examination indexes are used in training, the more accurate the network model is established to predict TCM constitution. The sample data used in this paper showed that there was a relatively strong correlation between TCM constitution and physical examination indexes. Construction of the correlation model between physical examination indexes and TCM constitution is a kind of study for the integration of Chinese and Western medicine, which provides a new approach for the identification of TCM constitution, and it may be expected to avoid the existing problem of TCM constitution identification at present.