Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 42523

Health and Medical Engineering

The Impact of Inpatient New Boarding Policy on Emergency Department Overcrowding: A Discrete Event Simulation Study
In this study, we investigate the effect of a new boarding policy - short stay, on the overcrowding efficiency in emergency department (ED). The decision variables are no. of short stay beds for least acuity ED patients. The performance measurements used are national emergency department overcrowding score (NEDOCS) and ED retention rate (the percentage that patients stay in ED over than 48 hours in one month). Discrete event simulation (DES) is used as an analysis tool to evaluate the strategy. Also, common random number (CRN) technique is applied to enhance the simulation precision. The DES model was based on a census of 6 months' patients who were treated in the ED of the National Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin Branch. Our results show that the new short-stay boarding significantly impacts both the NEDOCS and ED retention rate when the no. of short stay beds is more than three.
The Effect of Smart Phones on Human Health Relative to User's Addiction: A Study on Wide Range of Audiences in Jordan
The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of the excessive use of smartphones. Smartphones have enormous effects on the human body in that some musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and health problems might evolve. These days, there is a wide use of the smartphones among all age groups of the society, thus, the focus on smartphone effects on human behavior and health, especially on young and elderly people, becomes a crucial issue. This study was conducted in Jordan on smartphone users for different genders and ages, by collecting a survey to collect data related to symptoms and MSDs that are resulted from excessive use of smartphones. A total of 357 responses were used in the analysis. Results show that the important factors were the time of smartphone use that cause vision problems. The main related symptoms were numbness, fingers pain, and pain in arm, all linked to age and gender for comparative reasons.
Measuring the Role of Stakeholder Engagement in Quality Improvement Initiatives in Strategic Clinical Networks: A Theory of Planned Behaviour Study
Background: Worldwide, Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) are learning, and knowledge environments developed to improve patient safety, quality of care, and evidence-based healthcare practices. Stakeholder engagement plays a key role in enhancing quality improvement (QI) initiatives within SCNs; however, little is known about what factors affect engagement within these networks. Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as the theoretical framework, this study aimed to assess which factors were most predictive of stakeholders’ intention to engage within these networks in a Canadian healthcare setting. Method: Survey questions were developed using the TPB constructs intention, attitude, subjective norms, descriptive norms, and perceived behavioural control (PBC). Twelve experts and clinicians with knowledge of SCN development and functioning in Alberta, Canada, reviewed and modified the survey. A total of 1,668 surveys were sent to members and stakeholders from nine SCNs (i.e., healthcare providers, policy makers, patients, and administrative/departmental support). Score validity was established through content, internal structure (reliability), and relationships with other variables (using exploratory factor analysis and multiple regression). Results: 385 surveys were used for the final evaluation (23% response rate). Content validity was gathered through expert and clinician panel reviews on survey items and overall structure. Exploratory factor analysis for direct measures identified 20 items loading on to five factors for the survey: intention, attitude, subjective norm, descriptive norm, and PBC. Belief-based measures were reduced to nine items (from 19) loading onto three factors, labeled: attitude, subjective norm, and PBC. Reliability of the scores for four of the five subscales and total questionnaire were good to excellent (Cronbach’s alpha =.70 to .96). Summary scores for all factors were significantly correlated. Based on the regression analysis, scores for attitude and subjective norm were most predictive for intention to engage in quality improvement projects within the SCNs. Conclusion: Results provide preliminary evidence for the utility of the tool to measure engagement within networks in Alberta. Outcomes suggest that interventions (e.g., refining communications strategies within and between network members; creating opportunities for real-time dialogue with leadership; increasing knowledge management and IT support structures, etc.) targeted at enhancing stakeholder attitudes and subjective norms could increase engagement in SCN project work in the future. Specifically, in order to increase engagement, interventions could focus on communicating direct clinical impacts of quality improvement projects (attitudes), and evidence-based strategies and tools for supervisors and other SCN members to support involvement in SCN project work (subjective norms).
The Bioequivalent: A Medical Drug Search Tool Based on a Collaborative Database
During the last couple of years, the Ministry of Health have been developing new health policies in order to regulate and improve in benefit of the patient the pharmaceutical system in our country. However, there are still some deficiencies in how medicines have been accessed, distributed, and sold. Therefore, it is necessary to empower the patient by offering new instances to improve access to drug information. This work introduces ‘the bioequivalent’ a medical drug search tool created to increase both diffusion and getting information about the therapeutic equivalence of medicines for the patient. The development of the search tool started with a study on the availability of sources of drug information accessible to the patient where advantages and disadvantages were analyzed. The information obtained was used to feed the functional design of the new tool. The design of the new tool shows an external interface that includes a header, body, sidebar and footer. The header has a menu containing ‘Home,’ ‘Who we are,’ and ‘Mission and vision.’ The Body contains the medical drug search tool, and the Sidebar is for the user logging in. It could be anonym, registered user, as well as, administrator. Anonym user could only use the tool. Registered users could add some information on existing medicines in the database; however, adding information will be restricted and limited to specific items and subject to administrator approval because the information added must be endorsed by the Chilean Public Health Institute. On the other hand, the administrator will have all the privileges, including creating or deleting drugs or information about them. The Bioequivalent was tested on different mobile devices, and no fails have been found. Moreover, a small survey was answered by ten people who tested the tool, and all of them agree that the tool was useful to get information about bioequivalent drugs, and they would recommend the tool to others. Nevertheless, an 80% of people who tested the tool says it was easy to use, and a 70% indicates that additional help is not required. These results are evidence that ‘the Bioequivalent’ may contribute to the knowledge about the therapeutic bioequivalence and bioequivalent drugs existing in Chile. As future work, the tool will be developed to make it available to the public for a first testing stage in a more massive scenario.
Incorporating Information Gain in Regular Expressions Based Classifiers
A regular expression consists of sequence characters which allow describing a text path. Usually, in clinical research, regular expressions are manually created by programmers together with domain experts. Lately, there have been several efforts to investigate how to generate them automatically. This article presents a text classification algorithm based on regexes. The algorithm named REX was designed, and then, implemented as a simplified method to create regexes to classify Spanish text automatically. In order to classify ambiguous cases, such as, when multiple labels are assigned to a testing example, REX includes an information gain method Two sets of data were used to evaluate the algorithm’s effectiveness in clinical text classification tasks. The results indicate that the regular expression based classifier proposed in this work performs statically better regarding accuracy and F-measure than Support Vector Machine and Naïve Bayes for both datasets.
A Case Study of Clinicians' Perceptions of Enterprise Content Management at Tygerberg Hospital
Healthcare is a human right. The sensitivity of health issues has necessitated the introduction of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) at district hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The objective is understanding clinicians’ perception of ECM at their workplace It is a descriptive case study design of constructivist paradigm. It employed a phenomenological data analysis method using a pattern matching deductive based analytical procedure. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting participants. Clinicians expressed concerns and frustrations using ECM such as non-integration with other hospital systems. Inadequate access points to ECM. Incorrect labelling of notes and bar-coding causes more time wasted in finding information. System features and/or functions (such as search and edit) are not possible. Hospital management and clinicians are not constantly interacting and discussing. Information turnaround time is unacceptably lengthy. Resolving these problems would involve a positive working relationship between hospital management and clinicians. In addition, prioritising the problems faced by clinicians in relation to relevance can ensure problem-solving in order to meet clinicians’ expectations and hospitals’ objective. Clinicians’ perception should invoke attention from hospital management with regards technology use. The study’s results can be generalised across clinician groupings exposed to ECM at various district hospitals because of professional and hospital homogeneity.
Ethical Decision-Making by Healthcare Professionals during Disasters: Izmir Province Case
Disasters could result in many deaths and injuries. In these difficult times, accessible resources are limited, demand and supply balance is distorted, and there is a need to make urgent interventions. Disproportionateness between accessible resources and intervention capacity makes triage a necessity in every stage of disaster response. Healthcare professionals, who are in charge of triage, have to evaluate swiftly and make ethical decisions about which patients need priority and urgent intervention given the limited available resources. For such critical times in disaster triage, 'doing the greatest good for the greatest number of casualties' is adopted as a code of practice. But there is no guide for healthcare professionals about ethical decision-making during disasters, and this study is expected to use as a source in the preparation of the guide. This study aimed to examine whether the qualities healthcare professionals in Izmir related to disaster triage were adequate and whether these qualities influence their capacity to make ethical decisions. The researcher used a survey developed for data collection. The survey included two parts. In part one, 14 questions solicited information about socio-demographic characteristics and knowledge levels of the respondents on ethical principles of disaster triage and allocation of scarce resources. Part two included four disaster scenarios adopted from existing literature and respondents were asked to make ethical decisions in triage based on the provided scenarios. The survey was completed by 215 healthcare professional working in Emergency-Medical Stations, National Medical Rescue Teams and Search-Rescue-Health Teams in Izmir. The data was analyzed with SPSS software. Chi-Square Test, Mann-Whitney U Test, Kruskal-Wallis Test and Linear Regression Analysis were utilized. According to results, it was determined that 51.2% of the participants had inadequate knowledge level of ethical principles of disaster triage and allocation of scarce resources. It was also found that participants did not tend to make ethical decisions on four disaster scenarios which included ethical dilemmas. They stayed in ethical dilemmas that perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, manage limited resources and make decisions to die. Results also showed that participants who had more experience in disaster triage teams, were more likely to make ethical decisions on disaster triage than those with little or no experience in disaster triage teams(p < 0.01). Moreover, as their knowledge level of ethical principles of disaster triage and allocation of scarce resources increased, their tendency to make ethical decisions also increased(p < 0.001). In conclusion, having inadequate knowledge level of ethical principles and being inexperienced affect their ethical decision-making during disasters. So results of this study suggest that more training on disaster triage should be provided on the areas of the pre-impact phase of disaster. In addition, ethical dimension of disaster triage should be included in the syllabi of the ethics classes in the vocational training for healthcare professionals. Drill, simulations, and board exercises can be used to improve ethical decision making abilities of healthcare professionals. Disaster scenarios where ethical dilemmas are faced should be prepared for such applied training programs.
Iot-Based Interactive Patient Identification and Safety Management System
We believe that it is possible to provide a solution to reduce patient safety accidents by displaying correct medical records and prescription information through interactive patient identification. Our system is based on the use of smart bands worn by patients and these bands communicate with the hybrid gateways which understand both BLE and Wifi communication protocols. Through the convergence of low-power Bluetooth (BLE) and hybrid gateway technology, which is one of short-range wireless communication technologies, we implement ‘Intelligent Patient Identification and Location Tracking System’ to prevent medical malfunction frequently occurring in medical institutions. Based on big data and IOT technology using MongoDB, smart band (BLE, NFC function) and hybrid gateway, we develop a system to enable two-way communication between medical staff and hospitalized patients as well as to store locational information of the patients in minutes. Based on the precise information provided using big data systems, such as location tracking and movement of in-hospital patients wearing smart bands, our findings include the fact that a patient-specific location tracking algorithm can more efficiently operate HIS (Hospital Information System) and other related systems. Through the system, we can always correctly identify patients using identification tags. In addition, the system automatically determines whether the patient is a scheduled for medical service by the system in use at the medical institution, and displays the appropriateness of the medical treatment and the medical information (medical record and prescription information) on the screen and voice. This work was supported in part by the Korea Technology and Information Promotion Agency for SMEs (TIPA) grant funded by the Korean Small and Medium Business Administration (No. S2410390).
A Multicenter Assessment on Psychological Well-Being Status among Medical Residents in the United Arab Emirates
Objective: Healthcare transformation from traditional to modern in the country recently prompted the need to address career choices, accreditation perception and satisfaction among medical residents. However, a concerted nationwide study to understand and address burnout in the medical residency program has not been conducted in the UAE and the region. Methods: A nationwide, multicenter, cross-sectional study was designed to evaluate professional burnout and depression among medical residents in order to address the gap. Results: Our results indicate that 75.5% (216/286) of UAE medical residents had moderate to high emotional exhaustion, 84% (249/298) had high depersonalization, and 74% (216/291) had a low sense of personal accomplishment. In aggregate, 70% (212/302) of medical residents were considered to be experiencing at least one symptom of burnout based on a high emotional exhaustion score or a high depersonalization score. Depression ranging from 6-22%, depending on the specialty was also striking given the fact the Arab culture lays high emphasis on family bonding. Interestingly 83% (40/48) of medical residents who had high scores for depression also reported burnout. Conclusion: Our data indicate that burnout and depression among medical residents is epidemic. There is an immediate need to address burnout through effective interventions at both the individual and institutional levels. It is imperative to reconfigure the approach to medical training for the well-being of the next generation of physicians in the Arab world.
Synthesis of Beetosan's Hydrogels with Yellow Tea
The aim of the study was to select the best conditions for the synthesis of Beetosan's hydrogels with yellow tea. The study determined recipe hydrogel matrix by selecting the appropriate ratio of substrates and to investigate the effect of yellow tea, on the structure and properties of the hydrogel materials. The scope of the research included both to obtain of raw materials required for the synthesis of hydrogel materials, as well as an assessment of their properties. In the first stage of research Beetosan (chitosan derived from bees), and extract the yellow tea China Kekecha was obtained. The second stage was synthesis hydrogels modified by yellow tea. The synthesis of polymeric matrix was preparation under UV radiation. Obtained hydrogel materials were investigated extensively using incubation investigations, absorption capacity, and spectroscopic (FT-IR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods. Moreover, there was also performed the surface wettability test and a photomicrograph of the structure using scanning electron microscope. Analysis of the obtained results confirms that presence of yellow tea does not significantly affect the behavior of the hydrogels in the incubation fluids. The results show that hydrogel materials exhibit compatibility with the incubatory solutions and they also retain the stability in the tested liquids. Hydrogels obtained in this method might be applied in the cosmetics industry and in the field of medicine. This is possible due to the many interesting properties of tea and biocompatibility and non-toxicity hydrogel materials. The authors would like to thank the The National Centre for Research and Development (Grant no: LIDER/033/697/L-5/13/NCBR/2014) for providing financial support to this project.
Effect of Goat Milk Kefir and Soy Milk Kefir on IL-6 in Diabetes Mellitus Wistar Mice Models Induced by Streptozotocin and Nicotinamide
Hyperglycemia in Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is an important factor in cellular and vascular damage, which is caused by activation of C Protein Kinase, polyol and hexosamine track, and production of Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGE). Those mentioned before causes the accumulation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Oxidative stress increases the expression of proinflammatory factors IL-6 as one of many signs of endothelial disfunction. Genistein in soy milk has a high immunomodulator potential. Goat milk contains amino acids which have antioxidative potential. Fermented kefir has an anti-inflammatory activity which believed will also contribute in potentiating goat milk and soy milk. This study is a quasi-experimental posttest-only research to 30 Wistar mice. This study compared the levels of IL-6 between healthy Wistar mice group (G1) and 4 DM Wistar mice with intervention and grouped as follows: mice without treatment (G2), mice treated with 100% goat milk kefir (G3), mice treated with combination of 50% goat milk kefir and 50% soy milk kefir (G4), and mice treated with 100% soy milk kefir (G5). DM animal models were induced with Streptozotocin & Nicotinamide to achieve hyperglycemic condition. Goat milk kefir and soy milk kefir are given at a dose of 2 mL/kg body weight/day for four weeks to intervention groups. Blood glucose was analyzed by the GOD-POD principle. IL-6 was analyzed by enzyme-linked sandwich ELISA. The level of IL-6 in DM untreated control group (G2) showed a significant difference from the group treated with the combination of 50% goat milk kefir and 50% soy milk kefir (G3) (p=0,006) and the group treated with 100% soy milk kefir (G5) (p=0,009). Whereas the difference of IL-6 in group treated with 100% goat milk kefir (G3) was not significant (p=0,131). There is also synergism between glucose level and IL-6 in intervention groups treated with combination of 50% goat milk kefir and 50% soy milk kefir (G3) and the group treated with 100% soy milk kefir (G5). Combination of 50 % goat milk kefir and 50% soy milk kefir and administration of 100% soy milk kefir alone can control the level of IL-6 remained low in DM Wistar mice induced with streptozocin and nicotinamide.
Sexual Quality of Life in Women with Gynecological Cancer
The aim of this study is to investigate sexual quality of life in women with gynecological cancer. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 37 women with gynecological cancer and 39 control women (in menopausal term) at the Gynecooncology and Menopause Clinics of Trakya University Medical Faculty between January and July 2015. Women who had sexual active and willing to participate in the study filled an information form inquiring socio-demographic characteristics and Sexual Quality of Life Questionnaire-Female (SQLQ-F). Data were analyzed by Mann-Whitney-U test and Kruskal-Wallis test. The average age of the women was 52.7 ± 7.6 (51.2 ± 8.7 in women with gynecological cancer, 54.3 ± 6.0 in controls). The SQOL-F scores in women with gynecologic cancer (60.8 ± 22.4) was lower than controls (63.5 ± 20.7), however, there was no statistically significant difference (p = 0.759). Women with gynecological cancer who had vaginal dryness and pain during sexual intercourse (45.7 ± 21.3) were lower SQOL-F total score than control group (66.0 ± 21.7) (p = 0.014). The SQOL-F scores in women who took chemotherapy treatment (55.7 ± 17.8) were lower than in women who had not chemotherapy treatment (86.8 ± 16.6) (p = 0.005). In conclusion, taking chemotherapy treatment and occurring vaginal dryness and pain complaints during sexual intercourse in women with gynecological cancer reduces sexual quality of life. Therefore, sexual quality of life in women with gynecological cancer should be evaluated, and they should be supported in order to improve their sexual quality of life.
Using the Smith-Waterman Algorithm to Extract Features in the Classification of Obesity Status
Text categorization is the problem of assigning a new document to a set of predetermined categories, on the basis of a training set of free-text data that contains documents whose category membership is known. To train a classification model, it is necessary to extract characteristics in the form of tokens that facilitate the learning and classification process. In text categorization, the feature extraction process involves the use of word sequences also known as N-grams. In general, it is expected that documents belonging to the same category share similar features. The Smith-Waterman (SW) algorithm is a dynamic programming algorithm that performs a local sequence alignment in order to determine similar regions between two strings or protein sequences. This work explores the use of SW algorithm as an alternative to feature extraction in text categorization. The dataset used for this purpose, contains 2,610 annotated documents with the classes Obese/Non-Obese. This dataset was represented in a matrix form using the Bag of Word approach. The score selected to represent the occurrence of the tokens in each document was the term frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF). In order to extract features for classification, four experiments were conducted: the first experiment used SW to extract features, the second one used unigrams (single word), the third one used bigrams (two word sequence) and the last experiment used a combination of unigrams and bigrams to extract features for classification. To test the effectiveness of the extracted feature set for the four experiments, a Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier was tuned using 20% of the dataset. The remaining 80% of the dataset together with 5-Fold Cross Validation were used to evaluate and compare the performance of the four experiments of feature extraction. Results from the tuning process suggest that SW performs better than the N-gram based feature extraction. These results were confirmed by using the remaining 80% of the dataset, where SW performed the best (accuracy = 97.10%, weighted average F-measure = 97.07%). The second best was obtained by the combination of unigrams-bigrams (accuracy = 96.04, weighted average F-measure = 95.97) closely followed by the bigrams (accuracy = 94.56%, weighted average F-measure = 94.46%) and finally unigrams (accuracy = 92.96%, weighted average F-measure = 92.90%).
Fast and Accurate Model to Detect Ictal Waveforms in Electroencephalogram Signals
Visual inspection of electroencephalogram (EEG) signals to detect epileptic signals is very challenging and time-consuming task even for any expert neurophysiologist. This problem is most challenging in under-developed and developing countries due to shortage of skilled neurophysiologists. In the past, notable research efforts have gone in trying to automate the seizure detection process. However, due to high false alarm detections and complexity of the models developed so far, have vastly delimited their practical implementation. In this paper, we present a novel scheme for epileptic seizure detection using empirical mode decomposition technique. The intrinsic mode functions obtained were then used to calculate the standard deviations. This was followed by probability density based classifier to discriminate between non-ictal and ictal patterns in EEG signals. The model presented here demonstrated very high classification rates ( > 97%) without compromising the statistical performance. The computation timings for each testing phase were also very low ( < 0.029 s) which makes this model ideal for practical applications.
Cultural Collisions, Ethics and HIV: On Local Values in a Globalized Medical World
In 1988, parts of the scientific community still heralded findings to support that AIDS was likely to remain largely a ‘gay disease’. The value-ladden terminology of some of the articles suggested that rectum and fragile urethra are not sufficiently robust to provide a barrier against infectious fluids, especially body fluids contaminated with HIV while the female vagina, would provide natural protection against injuries and trauma facilitating HIV-infection. Anal sexual intercourse was constituted not only as dangerous but also as unnatural practice, while penile-vaginal intercourse would follow natural design and thus be relatively safe practice minimizing the risk of HIV. Statements like the latter were not uncommon in the early times of HIV/AIDS and contributed to captious certainties and an underestimation of heterosexual risks. Pseudo-scientific discourses on the origin of HIV were linked to local and global health politics in the 1980ies. The pathways of infection were related to normative concepts like deviant, subcultural behavior, cultural otherness, and guilt used to target, tag and separate specific groups at risk from the ‘normal’ population. Controlling populations at risk became the top item on the agenda rather than controlling modes of transmission and the virus. Hence, the Thai strategy to cope with HIV/AIDS by acknowledging social and sexual practices as they were – not as they were imagined – has become a role model for successful prevention in the highly scandalized realm of sexually transmitted disease. By accepting the globalized character of local HIV-risk and projecting the risk onto populations which are neither particularly vocal groups nor vested with the means to strive for health and justice Thailand managed to culturally implement knowledge-based tools of prevention. This paper argues, that pertinent cultural collisions regarding our strategies to cope with HIV/AIDS are deeply rooted in misconceptions, misreadings and scandalizations brought about in the early history of HIV in the 1980ties. The Thai strategy is used to demonstrate how local values can be balanced against globalized health risk and used to effectuated prevention by which knowledge and norms are translated into local practices. Issues of global health and injustice will be addressed in the final part of the paper dealing with the achievability of health as a human right.
Analyses of Adverse Drug Reactions Reported of Hospital in Taiwan
Background: An adverse drug reaction (ADR) reported is an injury which caused by taking medicines. Sometimes the severity of ADR reported may be minor, but sometimes it could be a life-threatening situation. In order to provide healthcare professionals as a better reference in clinical practice, we do data collection and analysis from our hospital. Methods: This was a retrospective study of ADRs reported performed from 2014 to 2015 in our hospital in Taiwan. We collected assessment items of ADRs reported, which contain gender and age, occurring sources, Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification of suspected drugs, types of adverse reactions, Naranjo score calculated by Naranjo Adverse Drug Reaction Probability Scale and so on. Results: The investigation included two hundred and seven ADRs reported. Most of ADRs reported were occurring in outpatient department (92%). The average age of ADRs reported was 65.3 years. Less than 65 years of age were in the majority in this study (54%). Majority of all ADRs reported were males (51%). According to ATC classification system, the major classification of suspected drugs were Cardiovascular system (19%) and Antiinfectives for systemic use (18%) respectively. Among the adverse reactions, Dermatologic Effects (35%) were the major type of ADRs. Also, the major Naranjo scores of all ADRs reported ranged from 1 to 4 points (91%), which represents a possible correlation between ADRs reported and suspected drugs. Conclusions: Definitely, ADRs reported is still an extremely important information for healthcare professionals. For that reason, we put all information of ADRs reported into our hospital's computer system and it will improve the safety of medication use. By hospital's computer system, it can remind prescribers to think of information about patient's ADRs reported. No drug is administered without risk. Therefore, all healthcare professionals should have a responsibility to their patients, whom are becoming more aware of problems associated with drug therapy.
Exploring the Spatial Characteristics of Mortality Map: A Statistical Area Perspective
The analysis of geographic inequality heavily relies on the use of location-enabled statistical data and quantitative measures to present the spatial patterns of the selected phenomena and analyze their differences. To protect the privacy of individual instance and link to administrative units, point-based datasets are spatially aggregated to area-based statistical datasets, where only the overall status for the selected levels of spatial units is used for decision making. The partition of the spatial units thus has dominant influence on the outcomes of the analyzed results, well known as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). A new spatial reference framework, the Taiwan Geographical Statistical Classification (TGSC), was recently introduced in Taiwan based on the spatial partition principles of homogeneous consideration of the number of population and households. Comparing to the outcomes of the traditional township units, TGSC provides additional levels of spatial units with finer granularity for presenting spatial phenomena and enables domain experts to select appropriate dissemination level for publishing statistical data. This paper compares the results of respectively using TGSC and township unit on the mortality data and examines the spatial characteristics of their outcomes. For the mortality data between the period of January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2010 of the Taitung County, the all-cause age-standardized death rate (ASDR) ranges from 571 to 1757 per 100,000 persons, whereas the 2nd dissemination area (TGSC) shows greater variation, ranged from 0 to 2222 per 100,000. The finer granularity of spatial units of TGSC clearly provides better outcomes for identifying and evaluating the geographic inequality and can be further analyzed with the statistical measures from other perspectives (e.g., population, area, environment.). The management and analysis of the statistical data referring to the TGSC in this research is strongly supported by the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. An integrated workflow that consists of the tasks of the processing of death certificates, the geocoding of street address, the quality assurance of geocoded results, the automatic calculation of statistic measures, the standardized encoding of measures and the geo-visualization of statistical outcomes is developed. This paper also introduces a set of auxiliary measures from a geographic distribution perspective to further examine the hidden spatial characteristics of mortality data and justify the analyzed results. With the common statistical area framework like TGSC, the preliminary results demonstrate promising potential for developing a web-based statistical service that can effectively access domain statistical data and present the analyzed outcomes in meaningful ways to avoid wrong decision making.
Spectrum of Dry Eye Disease in Computer Users of Manipur India
Computer and video display users might complain about Asthenopia, burning, dry eyes etc. Dry eye disease is a disease of ocular surface attributing to disturbances of the natural function and protective mechanisms of the external eye leading to an unstable tear film during open eye state. It is one of the most frequently encountered diseases in any ophthalmic practice. The management is often not in the lines of the severity of the disease. Following systematic evaluation and grading, dry eye disease is one condition that can be practiced at all levels of ophthalmic care. In these work the different spectrum causing dry eye and prevalence of dry eye disease in computer users of Manipur, India is determined with 600 individuals (300 cases and 300 control). Individuals between 15-50 years who used computers for more than 3 hrs a day since 1 year was included in the present study. Tear break-up time (TBUT) and Schirmer’s test was conducted. It shows 33(20.4%) out of 164 male and 47(30.3%) out of 136 female have dry eye. Possible explanation for the observed result is being discussed. As the use of computer had become universal in higher institutions, subject of prevention of computer vision syndrome and associated discomfort should be worked out of the curriculum in higher institutions.
A Comparison of Implant Stability between Implant Placed without Bone Graft versus with Bone Graft Using Guided Bone Regeneration (GBR) Technique: A Resonance Frequency Analysis
This prospective clinical study determined the insertion torque (IT) value and monitored the changes in implant stability quotient (ISQ) values during the 12 weeks healing period from implant placement without bone graft (control group) and with bone graft using the guided bone regeneration (GBR) technique (study group). The relationship between the IT and ISQ values of the implants was also assessed. The control and study groups each consisted of 6 patients with 8 implants per group. The ASTRA TECH Implant System™ EV 4.2 mm in diameter was placed in the posterior mandibular region. In the control group, implants were placed in bone without bone graft, whereas in the study group implants were placed simultaneously with the GBR technique at favorable bone defect. IT (Ncm) of each implant was recorded when fully inserted. ISQ values were obtained from the Osstell® ISQ at the time of implant placement, and at 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks. No difference in IT was found between groups (P = 0.320). The ISQ values in the control group were significantly higher than in the study group at the time of implant placement and at 4 weeks. There was no significant association between IT and ISQ values either at baseline or after the 12 weeks. At 12 weeks of healing, the control and study groups displayed different trends. Mean ISQ values for the control group decreased over the first 2 weeks and then started to increase. ISQ value increases were statistically significant at 8 weeks and later, whereas mean ISQ values in the study group decreased over the first 4 weeks and then started to increase, with statistical significance after 12 weeks. At 12 weeks, all implants achieved osseointegration with mean ISQ values over the threshold value (ISQ>70). These results indicated that implants, in which guided bone regeneration technique was performed during implant placement for treating favorable bone defects, were as predictable as implants placed without bone graft. However, loading in implants placed with the GBR technique for correcting favorable bone defects should be performed after 12 weeks of healing to ensure implant stability and osseointegration.
Assessing the Accessibility to Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
Background: Ensuring patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) access to hospitals that could perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in time is an important concern of healthcare managers. One commonly used the method to assess the coverage of population access to PCI hospital is the use GIS-estimated linear distance (crow's fly distance) between the district centroid and the nearest PCI hospital. If the distance is within a given distance (such as 20 km), the entire population of that district is considered to have appropriate access to PCI. The premise of using district centroid to estimate the coverage of population resident in that district is that the people live in the district are evenly distributed. In reality, the population density is not evenly distributed within the administrative district, especially in rural districts. Fortunately, the Taiwan government released basic statistical area (on average 450 population within the area) recently, which provide us an opportunity to estimate the coverage of population access to PCI services more accurate. Objectives: We aimed in this study to compare the population covered by a give PCI hospital according to traditional administrative district versus basic statistical area. We further examined if the differences between two geographic units used would be larger in a rural area than in urban area. Method: We selected two hospitals in Tainan City for this analysis. Hospital A is in urban area, hospital B is in rural area. The population in each traditional administrative district and basic statistical area are obtained from Taiwan National Geographic Information System, Ministry of Internal Affairs. Results: Estimated population live within 20 km of hospital A and B was 1,515,846 and 323,472 according to traditional administrative district and was 1,506,325 and 428,556 according to basic statistical area. Conclusion: In urban area, the estimated access population to PCI services was similar between two geographic units. However, in rural areas, the access population would be overestimated.
Rural to Urban Migration and Mental Health Consequences in Urbanizing China
The mass rural-urban migrants in China associated with the urbanization processes bear significant implications on public health, which is an important yet under-researched area. Urban social and built environment, such as noise, air pollution, high population density, and social segregation, has the potential to contribute to mental illness. In China, rural-urban migrants are also faced with institutional discrimination tied to the hukou (household registration) system, through which they are denied of full citizenship to basic social welfare and services, which may elevate the stress of urban living and exacerbate the risks to mental illness. This paper aims to link the sociospatial exclusion, everyday life experiences and its mental health consequences on rural to urban migrants living in the mega-city of Shanghai. More specifically, it asks what the daily experience of being a migrant in Shanghai is actually like, particularly regarding sources of stress from housing, displacement, service accessibility, and cultural conflict, and whether these stresses affect mental health? Secondary data from literature review on migration, urban studies, and epidemiology research, as well as primary data from preliminary field trip observations and interviews are used in the analysis.
Bringing the Confidence Intervals into Choropleth Mortality Map: An Example of Tainan, Taiwan
Background: Choropleth mortality map is commonly used to identify areas with higher mortality risk. However, the use of choropleth map alone might result in the misinterpretation of differences in mortality rates between areas. Two areas with different color shades might not actually have a significant difference in mortality rates. The mortality rates estimated for an area with a small population would be less stable. We suggest of bringing the 95% confidence intervals (CI) into the choropleth mortality map to help users interpret the areal mortality rate difference more properly. Method: In the first choropleth mortality map, we used only three color to indicate standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for each district in Tainan, Taiwan. The red color denotes that the SMR of that district was significantly higher than the Tainan average; on the contrary, the green color suggests that the SMR of that district was significantly lower than the Tainan average. The yellow color indicates that the SMR of that district was not statistically significantly different from the Tainan average. In the second choropleth mortality map, we used traditional sequential color scheme (color ramp) for different SMR in 37 districts in Tainan City with bar chart of each SMR with 95% CI in which the users could examine if the line of 95% CI of SMR of two districts overlapped (nonsignificant difference). Results: The all-causes SMR of each district in Tainan for 2008 to 2013 ranged from 0.77 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.80) in East District to 1.39 Beimen (95% CI 1.25 to 1.52). In the first choropleth mortality map, only 16 of 37 districts had red color and 8 districts had green color. For different causes of death, the number of districts with red color differed. In the first choropleth mortality map we added a bar chart with line of 95% CI of SMR in each district, in which the users could visualize the SMR differences between districts. Conclusion: Through the use of 95% CI the users could interpret the aral mortality differences more properly.
Integrating Geographic Information into Diabetes Disease Management
Background: Traditional chronic disease management did not pay attention to effects of geographic factors on the compliance of treatment regime, which resulted in geographic inequality in outcomes of chronic disease management. This study aims to examine the geographic distribution and clustering of quality indicators of diabetes care. Method: We first extracted address, demographic information and quality of care indicators (number of visits, complications, prescription and laboratory records) of patients with diabetes for the year 2014 from medical information system in a medical center in Tainan City, Taiwan, and the patients’ addresses were transformed into district- and village- level data. We then compared the differences of geographic distribution and clustering of quality of care indicators between townships and villages. Despite the descriptive results, rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for indices of care in order to compare the quality of diabetes care among different areas. Results: A total of 23,588 patients with diabetes were extracted from the hospital data system; whereas 12,716 patients’ information and medical records were included to the following analysis. More than half of the subjects in this study were male and between 60-79 years old. Furthermore, the quality of diabetes care did indeed vary by geographical levels. Thru the smaller level, we could point out clustered areas more specifically. Fuguo Village (of Yongkang District) and Zhiyi Village (of Sinhua District) were found to be ‘hotspots’ for nephropathy and cerebrovascular disease; while Wangliau Village and Erwang Village (of Yongkang District) would be ‘coldspots’ for lowest proportion of ≧ 80% compliance to blood lipids examination. On the other hand, Yuping Village (in Anping District) was the area with the lowest proportion of ≧80% compliance to all laboratory examination. Conclusion: In spite of examining the geographic distribution, calculating rate ratios and their 95% CI could also be a useful and consistent method to test the association. This information is useful for health planners, diabetes case managers and other affiliate practitioners to organize care resources to the areas most needed.
Computer Aided Diagnostic System for Detection and Classification of Brain Tumor through MRI Using Level Set Based Segmentation Technique and ANN Classifier
Due to the acquisition of huge amount of brain tumor magnetic resonance images (MRI) in the clinics, it is very difficult for the radiologists to manually interpret and segment these images within a reasonable span of time. Computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) systems can enhance the diagnostic capabilities of radiologists and reduce the time required for accurate diagnosis. An intelligent computer-aided technique for automatic detection of brain tumor through magnetic resonance images is proposed in this paper. The proposed technique uses following computational methods; the Level Set for segmentation of brain tumor from other brain parts, extraction of features from this segmented tumor portion using gray level co-occurrence Matrix (GLCM), and the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to classify brain tumor images according to their respective types. The whole work is carried out on 50 images having five types of brain tumor. The overall classification accuracy using this method is found to be 98% which is significantly good.
RV Car Clinic as Cost-Effective Health Care
Healthcare in remote areas is one of the major concerns in Indonesia. Building hospitals in a nation of 18.000 islands with a larger-than-life bureaucracy and problems with corruption, a critical shortage of qualified medical professionals and well-heeled patients resigned to traveling abroad for health care is a hard feat to accomplish. To assuring that all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care, a new solution to tackle this problem is with the presence of RV Car Clinic. This car has a concept such as a walking hospital that provides health facilities inside it. All of the health professionals who work in RV Car Clinic will do the rotation for a year in order to the equitable distribution of health workers. We need to advocate the policy makers to help realize RV Car Clinic in remote areas. Health services can be disseminated by the present of RV Car Clinic. Summarily, the local communities can get cost effectively because RV Car Clinic will come to their place and serve the health services.
Role of Moderate Intensity Exercises in the Amelioration of Oxidant-Antioxidant Status and the Levels of Inflammatory Cytokines in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Cytokines and reactive species play an important role in the pathophysiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study was done to determine the levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS), inflammatory cytokines and the markers of protein, DNA and lipid oxidation in the blood of RA patients, with the aim to study the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory role of moderate intensity exercises in the management of RA. RA patients were subdivided into two groups- first group (n=30) received treatment with conventional RA drugs while the second group (n=30) received moderate exercise therapy along with the conventional drugs for a period of 12 weeks. The levels of ROS, RNS, inflammatory cytokines and markers of biomolecule oxidation were monitored before and after 12 weeks of treatment. RA patients showed a marked increase in the levels of ROS, RNS, inflammatory cytokines, lipid, protein and DNA oxidation as compared to the healthy controls. These parameters were ameliorated after treatment with drugs alone and exercise combined with drugs, with the amelioration being more significant in patients given drugs along with the moderate intensity exercise treatment. In conclusion, the role of ROS, RNS and inflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of RA has been confirmed by this study. These may also serve as potential biomarker for assessing the disease severity. Finally, the addition of moderate intensity exercises in the management of RA may be of great value.
Optimization of Polymerase Chain Reaction Condition to Amplify Exon 9 of PIK3CA Gene in Preventing False Positive Detection Caused by Pseudogene Existence in Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a regulated by many genes. Defect in PIK3CA gene especially at position of exon 9 (E542K and E545K), called hot spot mutation induce early transformation of breast cells. The early detection of breast cancer based on mutation profile of this hot spot region would be hampered by the existence of pseudogene, marked by its substitution mutation at base 1658 (E545A) and deletion at 1659 that have been previously proven in several cancers. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, until recently no studies have been reported about pseudogene phenomenon in breast cancer. Here, we reported PCR optimization to to obtain true exon 9 of PIK3CA gene from its pseudogene hence increasing the validity of data. Material and methods: two genomic DNA with Dev and En code were used in this experiment. Two pairs of primer were design for Standard PCR method. The size of PCR products for each primer is 200bp and 400bp. While other primer was designed for Nested-PCR followed with DNA sequencing method. For Nested-PCR, we optimized the annealing temperature in first and second run of PCR, and the PCR cycle for first run PCR (15x versus 25x). Result: standard PCR using both primer pairs designed is failed to detect the true PIK3CA gene, appearing a substitution mutation at 1658 and deletion at 1659 of PCR product in sequence chromatogram indicated pseudogene. Meanwhile, Nested-PCR with optimum condition (annealing temperature for the first round at 55oC, annealing temperatung for the second round at 60,7oC with 15x PCR cycles) and could detect the true PIK3CA gene. Dev sample were identified as WT while En sample contain one substitution mutation at position 545 of exon 9, indicating amino acid changing from E to K. For the conclusion, pseudogene also exists in breast cancer and the apllication of optimazed Nested-PCR in this study could detect the true exon 9 of PIK3CA gene.
Analysis of Stress and Strain in Head Based Control of Cooperative Robots through Tetraplegics
Industrial robots as part of highly automated manufacturing are recently developed to cooperative (light-weight) robots. This offers the opportunity of using them as assistance robots and to improve the participation in professional life of disabled or handicapped people such as tetraplegics. Robots under development are located within a cooperation area together with the working person at the same workplace. This cooperation area is an area where the robot and the working person can perform tasks at the same time. Thus, working people and robots are operating in the immediate proximity. Considering the physical restrictions and the limited mobility of tetraplegics, a hands-free robot control could be an appropriate approach for a cooperative assistance robot. To meet these requirements, the research project MeRoSy (human-robot synergy) develops methods for cooperative assistance robots based on the measurement of head movements of the working person. One research objective is to improve the participation in professional life of people with disabilities and, in particular, mobility impaired persons (e.g. wheelchair users or tetraplegics), whose participation in a self-determined working life is denied. This raises the research question, how a human-robot cooperation workplace can be designed for hands-free robot control. Here, the example of a library scenario is demonstrated. In this paper, an empirical study that focuses on the impact of head movement related stress is presented. 12 test subjects with tetraplegia participated in the study. Tetraplegia also known as quadriplegia is the worst type of spinal cord injury. In the experiment, three various basic head movements were examined. Data of the head posture were collected by a motion capture system; muscle activity was measured via surface electromyography and the subjective mental stress was assessed via a mental effort questionnaire. The muscle activity was measured for the sternocleidomastoid (SCM), the upper trapezius (UT) or trapezius pars descendens, and the splenius capitis (SPL) muscle. For this purpose, six non-invasive surface electromyography sensors were mounted on the head and neck area. An analysis of variance shows differentiated muscular strains depending on the type of head movement. Systematically investigating the influence of different basic head movements on the resulting strain is an important issue to relate the research results to other scenarios. At the end of this paper, a conclusion will be drawn and an outlook of future work will be presented.
Hypertension and Its Association with Oral Health Status in Adults: A Pilot Study in Padusunan Adults Community
The association between general and oral health is clearly important, particularly in adults with medical conditions. Many of the medical systemic conditions are either caused or aggravated by poor oral hygiene and vice versa. Hypertension is one of common medical systemic problem which has been a public health concern worldwide due to its known consequences. Those consequences must be related to oral health status as well, whether it may cause or worsen the oral health conditions. The objective of this study was to find out the association between hypertension and oral health status in adults. This study was an analytical observational study by using cross-sectional method. A total of 42 adults both male and female in Padusunan Village, Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia were selected as subjects by using purposive sampling. Manual sphygmomanometer was used to measure blood pressure and dental examination was performed to calculate the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) scores in order to represent oral health status. The data obtained was analyzed statistically using One Way ANOVA to determine the association between hypertensive adults and their oral health status. The result showed that majority age of the subjects was ranging from 51-70 years (40.5%). Based on blood pressure examination, 57.1% of subjects were classified to prehypertension. Overall, the mean of DMFT score calculated in normal, prehypertension and hypertension group was not considered statistically significant. There was no significant association (p&gt;0.05) between hypertension and oral health status in adults.
Nursing System Development in Patients Undergoing Operation in 3C Ward: Early Ambulation in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer
Background: Srinagarind Hospital Ward 3C has about 180 cases of patients with head and neck cancer per year. Almost all of these patients suffer with pain, fatigue, low self image, swallowing problem and when the tumor is larger they will have breathing problem. Many of them have complication after operation such as pressure sore, pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis. Nursing activity is very important to prevent the complication especially promoting patients early ambulation. The objective of this study was to develop early ambulation protocol for patients with head and neck cancer undergoing operation. Method: this study is one part of nursing system development in patients undergoing operation in Ward 3C. It is a participation action research divided into 3 phases Phase 1 Situation review: In this phase we review the clinical outcomes, process of care, from document such as nurses note and interview nurses, patients and family about early ambulation. Phase 2 Searching nursing intervention about early ambulation from previous study then establish protocol . This phase we have picture package of early ambulation. Phase 3 implementation and evaluation. Result: Patients with head and neck cancer after operation can follow early ambulation protocol 100%, 85 % of patients can follow protocol within 2 days after operation and 100% can follow protocol within 3 days. No complications occur. Patients satisfaction in very good level is 58% and in good level is 42% Length of hospital stay is 6 days in patients with wide excision and 16 day in patients with flap coverage. Conclusion: The early ambulation protocol is appropriate for patients with head and neck cancer who undergo operation. This can restore physical health, reduce complication and increase patients satisfaction.