Work-related illnesses and disorders have been a constant aspect of work. Although their nature has changed over time, from musculoskeletal disorders to illnesses related to psychosocial aspects of work, its impact on the life of workers remains significant. Despite significant efforts worldwide to protect workers, the disparity between changes in work legislation and actual benefit for workers’ health has been creating a significant economic burden for social security and health systems around the world. In this context, this study aims to propose, test and validate a modular prototype that allows for work environmental aspects to be assessed, monitored and better controlled. The main focus is also to provide a historical record of working conditions and the means for workers to obtain comprehensible and useful information regarding their work environment and legal limits of occupational exposure to different types of environmental variables, as means to improve prevention of work-related accidents and disorders. We show the developed prototype provides useful and accurate information regarding the work environmental conditions, validating them with standard occupational hygiene equipment. We believe the proposed prototype is a cost-effective and adequate approach to work environment monitoring that could help elucidate the links between work and occupational illnesses, and that different industry sectors, as well as developing countries, could benefit from its capabilities.
Role of fighter planes in modern network centric military warfare scenarios has changed significantly in the recent past. New generation fighter planes have multirole capability of engaging both air and ground targets with high precision. Multirole aircraft undertakes missions such as Air to Air combat, Air defense, Air to Surface role (including Air interdiction, Close air support, Maritime attack, Suppression and Destruction of enemy air defense), Reconnaissance, Electronic warfare missions, etc. Designers have primarily focused on development of technologies to enhance the combat performance of the fighter planes and very little attention is given to human factor aspects of technologies. Unique physical and psychological challenges are imposed on the pilots to meet operational requirements during these missions. Newly evolved technologies have enhanced aircraft performance in terms of its speed, firepower, stealth, electronic warfare, situational awareness, and vulnerability reduction capabilities. This paper highlights the impact of emerging technologies on human factors for various military operations and missions. Technologies such as ‘cooperative knowledge-based systems’ to aid pilot’s decision making in military conflict scenarios as well as simulation technologies to enhance human performance is also studied as a part of research work. Current and emerging pilot protection technologies and systems which form part of the integrated life support systems in new generation fighter planes is discussed. System safety analysis application to quantify the human reliability in military operations is also studied.
The aim of this study is to assesses the lifting capabilities of persons experiencing hypoxia. It also examines the behavior of the physiological response induced through the lifting process related to changing in the hypoxia and lifting frequency variables. For this purpose, the study performed two consecutive tests by using; (1) training and acclimatization; and (2) an actual collection of data. A total of 10 male students from King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were recruited in the study. A two-way repeated measures design, with two independent variables (ambient oxygen (15%, 18% and 21%)) and lifting frequency (1 lift/min and 4 lifts/min) and four dependent variables i.e., maximum acceptable weight of lift (MAWL), Electromyography (EMG) of four muscle groups (anterior deltoid, trapezius, biceps brachii, and erector spinae), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and rating of oxygen feeling (ROF) were used in this study. The results show that lifting frequency has significantly impacted the MAWL and muscles’ activities. The oxygen content had a significant effect on the RPE and ROE. The study has revealed that acclimatization and training sessions significantly reduce the effect of the hypoxia on the human physiological parameters during the manual materials handling tasks.
Seizure is the main factor that affects the quality of life of epileptic patients. The diagnosis of epilepsy, and hence the identification of epileptogenic zone, is commonly made by using continuous Electroencephalogram (EEG) signal monitoring. Seizure identification on EEG signals is made manually by epileptologists and this process is usually very long and error prone. The aim of this paper is to describe an automated method able to detect seizures in EEG signals, using knowledge discovery in database process and data mining methods and algorithms, which can support physicians during the seizure detection process. Our detection method is based on Artificial Neural Network classifier, trained by applying the multilayer perceptron algorithm, and by using a software application, called Training Builder that has been developed for the massive extraction of features from EEG signals. This tool is able to cover all the data preparation steps ranging from signal processing to data analysis techniques, including the sliding window paradigm, the dimensionality reduction algorithms, information theory, and feature selection measures. The final model shows excellent performances, reaching an accuracy of over 99% during tests on data of a single patient retrieved from a publicly available EEG dataset.
Inhalation hazards are associated with potentially injurious exposure and increased risk for lung diseases, within the bauxite mining industry, especially for the smelter workers. Smoking is related to decreased lung function and leads to chronic lung diseases. This study had the objective to evaluate whether smoking is related to functional and radiographic respiratory changes in retired bauxite mining workers. Methods: This was a retrospective and cross-sectional study involving the analysis of database information of 140 retired bauxite mining workers from Poços de Caldas-MG evaluated at Worker’s Health Reference Center and at the Social Security Brazilian National Institute, from July 1st, 2015 until June 30th, 2016. The workers were divided into three groups: non-smokers (n = 47), ex-smokers (n = 46), and smokers (n = 47). The data included: age, gender, spirometry results, and the presence or not of pulmonary pleural and/or parenchymal changes in chest radiographs. Chi-Squared test was used (p < 0,05). Results: In the smokers’ group, 83% of spirometry tests and 64% of chest x-rays were altered. In the non-smokers’ group, 19% of spirometry tests and 13% of chest x-rays were altered. In the ex-smokers’ group, 35% of spirometry tests and 30% of chest x-rays were altered. Most of the results were statistically significant. Results demonstrated a significant difference between smokers’ and non-smokers’ groups in regard to spirometric and radiographic pulmonary alterations. Ex-smokers’ and non-smokers’ group demonstrated better results when compared to the smokers’ group in relation to altered spirometry and radiograph findings. These data may contribute to planning strategies to enhance smoking cessation programs within the bauxite mining industry.
This paper presents an overview of the accessibility, design, and functioning of health insurance plans launched by state governments in India. In recent years, the governments of several states in India have come forward to provide health insurance coverage for the low-income group and rural population to reduce the out of pocket expenditure (OPE) on healthcare. Different health insurance schemes have different structures and offerings which differ in the different demographic factors. This study will portray a comparative analysis of the various health insurance schemes by analyzing different offerings and finance generation of the schemes. The comparative analysis will explain the lesson to be learned from these schemes and extend the existing knowledge of the health insurance in India. This would help in recognizing tension between various drivers and identifying issues pertaining to the sustainability of health insurance schemes in India.
The collaboration among physicians during episodes of care for a hospitalised patient has a significant contribution towards effective health outcome. This research aims at improving this health outcome by analysing the attributes of patient-sharing physician collaboration network (PCN) on hospital data. To accomplish this goal, we present a research framework that explores the impact of several types of attributes (such as clique and clan) of PCN on hospitalisation cost and hospital length of stay. We use electronic health insurance claim dataset to construct and explore PCNs. Each PCN is categorised as ‘low’ and ‘high’ in terms of hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The results from the proposed model show that the clique and clan of PCNs affect the hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The clique and clan of PCNs show the difference between ‘low’ and ‘high’ PCNs in terms of hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The findings and insights from this research can potentially help the healthcare stakeholders to better formulate the policy in order to improve quality of care while reducing cost.
Radiologists routinely make follow-up imaging recommendations, usually based on established clinical practice guidelines, such as the Fleischner Society guidelines for managing lung nodules. In order to ensure optimal care, it is important to make guideline-compliant recommendations, and also for patients to follow-up on these imaging recommendations in a timely manner. However, determining such compliance rates after a specific finding has been observed usually requires many time-consuming manual steps. To address some of these limitations with current approaches, in this paper we discuss a methodology to automatically detect finding-specific follow-up recommendations from radiology reports and create a visualization for relevant subsequent exams showing the modality transitions. Nearly 5% of patients who had a lung related follow-up recommendation continued to have at least eight subsequent outpatient CT exams during a seven year period following the recommendation. Radiologist and section chiefs can use the proposed tool to better understand how a specific patient population is being managed, identify possible deviations from established guideline recommendations and have a patient-specific graphical representation of the imaging pathways for an abstract view of the overall treatment path thus far.
In this study, hyaluronic acid (HA) microgels were developed for the goal of protein delivery. First, a hyaluronic acid-tyramine conjugate (HA-TA) was synthesized with a degree of substitution of 13 TA moieties per 100 disaccharide units. Then, HA-TA microdroplets were produced using a water in oil emulsion method and crosslinked in the presence of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Loading capacity and the release kinetics of lysozyme and BSA, as model proteins, were investigated. It was shown that lysozyme, a cationic protein, can be incorporated efficiently in the HA microgels, while the loading efficiency for BSA, as a negatively charged protein, is low. The release profile of lysozyme showed a sustained release over a period of one month. The results demonstrated that the HA-TA microgels are a good carrier for spatial delivery of cationic proteins for biomedical applications.
Diagnosis error problem is frequent and one of the most important safety problems today. One of the main objectives of our work is to propose an ontological representation that takes into account the diagnostic criteria in order to improve the diagnostic. We choose pneumonia disease since it is one of the frequent diseases affected by diagnosis errors and have harmful effects on patients. To achieve our aim, we use a semi-automated method to integrate diverse knowledge sources that include publically available pneumonia disease guidelines from international repositories, biomedical ontologies and electronic health records. We follow the principles of the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. The resulting ontology covers symptoms and signs, all the types of pneumonia, antecedents, pathogens, and diagnostic testing. The first evaluation results show that most of the terms are covered by the ontology. This work is still in progress and represents a first and major step toward a development of a diagnosis decision support system for pneumonia.
The purpose of this research is to construct a watching system that monitors human activity in a room and detects abnormalities at an early stage to prevent unattended deaths of people living alone. In this article, we propose a method whereby highly urgent abnormal conditions of a person are determined by changes in the concentration of CO2 generated from activity and respiration in a room. We also discussed the effects the amount of activity has on the determination. The results showed that this discrimination method is not dependent on the amount of activity and is effective in judging highly urgent abnormal conditions.
Dosimetry is an indispensable and precious factor in patient treatment planning to minimize the absorbed dose in vital tissues. In this study, compartmental model was used in order to estimate the human absorbed dose of 177Lu-DOTATOC from the biodistribution data in wild type rats. For this purpose, 177Lu-DOTATOC was prepared under optimized conditions and its biodistribution was studied in male Syrian rats up to 168 h. Compartmental model was applied to mathematical description of the drug behaviour in tissue at different times. Dosimetric estimation of the complex was performed using radiation absorbed dose assessment resource (RADAR). The biodistribution data showed high accumulation in the adrenal and pancreas as the major expression sites for somatostatin receptor (SSTR). While kidneys as the major route of excretion receive 0.037 mSv/MBq, pancreas and adrenal also obtain 0.039 and 0.028 mSv/MBq. Due to the usage of this method, the points of accumulated activity data were enhanced, and further information of tissues uptake was collected that it will be followed by high (or improved) precision in dosimetric calculations.
The objective of our study is to investigate UV exposure in Finland through sample measurements as a typical case study in summer and winter. We measured UV-BC weighted radiation and calculated a daily dose, which is about 100–150 times the Finnish exposure limit value in summer and 1–6 times in winter. The measured ultraviolet indices varied from 0 to 7 (scale 0–18), which is less than the values obtained in countries that are located farther south from Tampere latitude of 61 degrees. In wintertime, the UV exposure was modest compared to summertime, 50–150 mW/m2 and about 1–5 mW/m2 in summer and winter, respectively. However, technical means to manage UV exposure in Scandinavia are also needed in summer- and springtime.
This study aimed to describe procedures that we developed to use in the quantitative, bone-specific SPECT/CT at our hospital. Our procedures included the following questions for choosing imaging protocols, which were based on a clinical doctor's referral: (1) Is she/he a cancer patient or not? (2) Are there any indications of inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis? We performed about 1,106 skeletal scintigraphies over two years. About 394 patients were studied with quantitative bone-specific single-photon emission computed tomography/computerized tomography (SPECT/CT) (i.e., about 36% of all bone scintigraphies). Approximately 64% of the patients were studied using the conventional Anterior-Posterior/Posterior-Anterior imaging. Our procedure has improved efficiency and decreased cycle times.
Erythema Multiforme Exudativum Major (EMEM) is one of the drug allergy diseases. Drug allergies caused by isoniazid rarely causes EMEM. Cutaneous reactions caused by isoniazid were obtained in 0.98% of patients, but the precise occurrence of Steven Johnson’s Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermolisis Necrolisis (TEN) due to isoniazid is not known for certain. We present this case to show hypersensitivity of isoniazid in a child. Based on the history of drug intake, physical diagnostic tests, drug elimination and provocation; we established the diagnosis of isoniazid hypersensitivity. The child showed improvement on skin manifestation after stopped isoniazid therapy.
Background and Objectives: Incidence of thyroid carcinoma has been increasing world-wide. In the present study, we evaluated diagnostic accuracy of Fine needle aspiration (FNA) and its efficiency in early detecting neoplastic lesions of thyroid gland over a 3-year period. Methods: Data have been retrieved from pathology files in King Khalid Hospital. For each patient, age, gender, FNA, site & size of nodule and final histopathologic diagnosis were recorded. Results: Study included 490 cases where 419 of them were female and 71 male. Male to female ratio was 1:6. Mean age was 43 years for males and 38 for females. Cases with confirmed histopathology were 131. In 101/131 (77.1%), concordance was found between FNA and histology. In 30/131 (22.9%), there was discrepancy in diagnosis. Total malignant cases were 43, out of which 14 (32.5%) were true positive and 29 (67.44%) were false negative. No false positive cases could be found in our series. Conclusion: FNA could diagnose benign nodules in all cases, however, in malignant cases, ultrasound findings have to be taken into consideration to avoid missing of a microcarcinoma in the contralateral lobe.
Goals and Objectives: A typical analysis of survival data involves the modeling of time-to-event data, such as the time till death. A frailty model is a random effect model for time-to-event data, where the random effect has a multiplicative influence on the baseline hazard function. This article aims to investigate the use of gamma frailty model with concomitant variable in order to individualize the prognostic factors that influence the liver cirrhosis patients’ survival times. Methods: During the one-year study period (May 2008-May 2009), data have been used from the recorded information of patients with liver cirrhosis who were scheduled for liver transplantation and were followed up for at least seven years in Imam Khomeini Hospital in Iran. In order to determine the effective factors for cirrhotic patients’ survival in the presence of latent variables, the gamma frailty distribution has been applied. In this article, it was considering the parametric model, such as Exponential and Weibull distributions for survival time. Data analysis is performed using R software, and the error level of 0.05 was considered for all tests. Results: 305 patients with liver cirrhosis including 180 (59%) men and 125 (41%) women were studied. The age average of patients was 39.8 years. At the end of the study, 82 (26%) patients died, among them 48 (58%) were men and 34 (42%) women. The main cause of liver cirrhosis was found hepatitis 'B' with 23%, followed by cryptogenic with 22.6% were identified as the second factor. Generally, 7-year’s survival was 28.44 months, for dead patients and for censoring was 19.33 and 31.79 months, respectively. Using multi-parametric survival models of progressive and regressive, Exponential and Weibull models with regard to the gamma frailty distribution were fitted to the cirrhosis data. In both models, factors including, age, bilirubin serum, albumin serum, and encephalopathy had a significant effect on survival time of cirrhotic patients. Conclusion: To investigate the effective factors for the time of patients’ death with liver cirrhosis in the presence of latent variables, gamma frailty model with parametric distributions seems desirable.
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.
Trained medical practitioners are produced from medical colleges serving in public and private sectors. Prime responsibility of teaching faculty is to inculcate required work ethic among the students by serving as role models for them. It is an observed fact that classroom incivility behaviours are providing a friction in achieving these targets. Present study aimed at identification of classroom incivility behaviours observed by teachers and students of public and private medical colleges as per Glasser’s Choice Theory, making a comparison and investigating the strategies being adopted by teachers of both sectors to control undesired class room behaviours. Findings revealed that a significant difference occurs between teacher and student incivility behaviours. Public sector teacher focussed on survival as a strong factor behind in civil behaviours whereas private sector teachers considered power as the precedent for incivility. Teachers of both sectors are required to use verbal as well as non-verbal immediacy to reach a healthy leaning environment.
This study explores the experiences of cross-linguistic medical encounters by patients, and their views of receiving language support therein, with a particular focus on Japanese-English cases. The aim of this study is to investigate the reason for the frequent use of a spouse as a communication mediator from a Japanese perspective, through a comparison with that of English speakers. This study conducts an empirical qualitative analysis of the accounts of informants. A total of 31 informants who have experienced Japanese-English cross-linguistic medical encounters were recruited in Australia and Japan for semi-structured in-depth interviews. A breakdown of informants is 15 English speakers and 16 Japanese speakers. In order to obtain a further insight into collected data, additional interviews were held with 4 Australian doctors who are familiar with using interpreters. This study was approved by the Australian National University Human Research Ethics Committee, and written consent to participate in this study was obtained from all participants. The interviews lasted up to over one hour. They were audio-recorded and subsequently transcribed by the author. Japanese transcriptions were translated into English by the author. An analysis of interview data found that patients value relationship in communication. Particularly, Japanese informants, who have an English-speaking spouse, value trust-based communication interventions by their spouse, regardless of the language proficiency of the spouse. In Australia, health care interpreters are required to abide by the national code of ethics for interpreters. The Code defines the role of an interpreter exclusively to be language rendition and enshrines the tenets of accuracy, confidentiality and professional role boundaries. However, the analysis found that an interpreter who strictly complies with the Code sometimes fails to render the real intentions of the patient and their doctor. Findings from the study suggest that an interpreter should not be detached from the context and should be more engaged in the needs of patients. Their needs are not always communicated by an interpreter when they simply follow a professional code of ethics. The concept of relationship-centred care should be incorporated in the professional practice of health care interpreters.
Through experiences of clinical practices, it is discovered that locations on the body at a level of four fingerbreadth above and below the joints are the points at which muscles connect to tendons, and since the muscles and tendons possess opposite characteristics, muscles are full of blood but lack qi, while tendons are full of qi but lack blood, these points on our body become easily blocked. It is proposed that through doing acupuncture or creating localized pressure to the areas four fingerbreadths above and below our joints, with an elastic bandage, we could help the energy, also known as qi, to flow smoothly in our body and further improve our health. Based on the Four Fingers Theory, we understand that human height is 22 four fingerbreadths. In addition, qi and blood travel through 24 meridians, 50 times each day, and they flow through 6 cun with every human breath. We can also understand the average number of human heartbeats is 75 times per minute. And the function of qi-blood circulation system in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the same as the blood circulation in Western Medical Science. Informed by Four Fingers Theory, this study further examined its applications in acupuncture practices. The research question is how Four Fingers Theory proves what has been mentioned in Nei Jing that there are 66 acupoints under a human’s elbow and knee. In responding to the research question, there are 66 acupoints under a human’s elbow and knee. Four Fingers Theory facilitated the creation of the acupuncture naming and teaching system. It is expected to serve as an approachable and effective way to deliver knowledge of acupuncture to the public worldwide.