International Science Index
Cardiac Biosignal and Adaptation in Confined Nuclear Submarine Patrol
Isolated and confined environments (ICE) present several challenges which may adversely affect human’s psychology and physiology. Submariners in Sub-Surface Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN) mission exposed to these environmental constraints must be able to perform complex tasks as part of their normal duties, as well as during crisis periods when emergency actions are required or imminent. The operational and environmental constraints they face contribute to challenge human adaptability. The impact of such a constrained environment has yet to be explored. Establishing a knowledge framework is a determining factor, particularly in view of the next long space travels. Ensuring that the crews are maintained in optimal operational conditions is a real challenge because the success of the mission depends on them. This study focused on the evaluation of the impact of stress on mental health and sensory degradation of submariners during a mission on SSBN using cardiac biosignal (heart rate variability, HRV) clustering. This is a pragmatic exploratory study of a prospective cohort included 19 submariner volunteers. HRV was recorded at baseline to classify by clustering the submariners according to their stress level based on parasympathetic (Pa) activity. Impacts of high Pa (HPa) versus low Pa (LPa) level at baseline were assessed on emotional state and sensory perception (interoception and exteroception) as a cardiac biosignal during the patrol and at a recovery time one month after. Whatever the time, no significant difference was found in mental health between groups. There are significant differences in the interoceptive, exteroceptive and physiological functioning during the patrol and at recovery time. To sum up, compared to the LPa group, the HPa maintains a higher level in psychosensory functioning during the patrol and at recovery but exhibits a decrease in Pa level. The HPa group has less adaptable HRV characteristics, less unpredictability and flexibility of cardiac biosignals while the LPa group increases them during the patrol and at recovery time. This dissociation between psychosensory and physiological adaptation suggests two treatment modalities for ICE environments. To our best knowledge, our results are the first to highlight the impact of physiological differences in the HRV profile on the adaptability of submariners. Further studies are needed to evaluate the negative emotional and cognitive effects of ICEs based on the cardiac profile. Artificial intelligence offers a promising future for maintaining high level of operational conditions. These future perspectives will not only allow submariners to be better prepared, but also to design feasible countermeasures that will help support analog environments that bring us closer to a trip to Mars.
Evaluation of Gingival Hyperplasia Caused by Medications
Purpose: Drug gingival hyperplasia is an uncommon pathology encountered during routine work in dental units. The purpose of this paper is to present the clinical appearance of gingival hyperplasia caused by medications. There are already three classes of medications that cause hyperplasia and based on data from the literature, the clinical cases encountered and included in this study have been compared. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in a total of 311 patients, out of which 182 patients were included in our study, meeting the inclusion criteria. After each patient's history was recorded and it was found that patients were in their knowledge of chronic illness, undergoing treatment of gingivitis hypertrophic drugs was performed with a clinical examination of oral cavity and assessment by vertical and horizontal evaluation according to the periodontal indexes. Results: Of the data collected during the study, it was observed that 97% of patients with gingival hyperplasia are treated with nifedipine. 84% of patients treated with selected medicines and gingival hyperplasia in the oral cavity has been exposed at time period for more than 1 year and 1 month. According to the GOI, in the first rank of this index are about 21% of patients, in the second rank are 52%, in the third rank are 24% and in the fourth grade are 3%. According to the horizontal growth index of gingival hyperplasia, grade 1 included about 61% of patients and grade 2 included about 39% of patients with gingival hyperplasia. Bacterial index divides patients by degrees: grading 0 - 8.2%, grading 1 - 32.4%, grading 2 - 14% and grading 3 - 45.1%. Conclusions: The highest percentage of gingival hyperplasia caused by drugs is due to dosing of nifedipine for a duration of dosing and application for systemic healing for more than 1 year.
Manual Pit Emptiers and Their Heath: Profiles, Determinants and Interventions
The global sanitation workforce bridges the gap between sanitation infrastructure and the provision of sanitation services through essential public service work. Manual pit emptiers often perform the work at the cost of their dignity, safety, and health as their work requires repeated heavy physical activities such as lifting, carrying, pulling, and pushing. This exposes them to occupational and environmental health hazards and risking illness, injury, and death. The study will extend the studies by presenting occupational health risks and suggestions for improvement in informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya. This is a qualitative study conducted among sanitation stakeholders in Korogocho, Mukuru and Kibera informal settlements in Nairobi. Data were captured using digital voice recorders, transcribed and thematically analysed. The discussion notes were further supported by observational notes made during the interviews. These formed the basis for a robust picture of occupational health of manual pit emptiers; a lack or inappropriate use of protective clothing, and prolonged duration of working hours were described to contribute to the occupational health hazard. To continue working, manual pit emptiers had devised coping strategies which include working in groups, improvised protective clothing, sharing the available protective clothing, working at night and consuming alcohol drinks while at work. Many of these strategies are detrimental to their health. Occupational health hazards among pit emptiers are key for effective working and is as a result of a lack of collaboration amongst stakeholders linked to health, safety and lack of PPE of pit emptiers. Collaborations amongst sanitation stakeholders is paramount for health, safety, and in ensuring the provision and use of personal protective devices.
Pain and Lumbar Muscle Activation before and after Functional Task in Nonspecific Chronic Low Back Pain
Individuals with non-specific chronic low back pain may present altered movement patterns during functional activities. However, muscle behavior before and after performing a functional task with different load conditions is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study is to analyze lumbar muscle activity before and after performing the functional task of picking up and placing an object on the ground (with and without load) in individuals with nonspecific chronic low back pain. 20 subjects with nonspecific chronic low back pain and 20 healthy subjects participated in this study. A surface electromyography was performed in the ilio-costal, longissimus and multifidus muscles to evaluate lumbar muscle activity before and after performing the functional task of picking up and placing an object on the ground, with and without load. The symptomatic participants had greater lumbar muscle activation compared to the asymptomatic group, more evident in performing the task without load, with statistically significant difference (p = 0,033) between groups for the right multifidus muscle. This study showed that individuals with nonspecific chronic low back pain have higher muscle activation before and after performing a functional task compared to healthy participants.
Early Depression Detection for Young Adults with a Psychiatric and AI Interdisciplinary Multimodal Framework
During COVID-19, the depression rate has increased dramatically. Young adults are most vulnerable to the mental health effects of the pandemic. Lower-income families have a higher ratio to be diagnosed with depression than the general population, but less access to clinics. This research aims to achieve early depression detection at low cost, large scale, and high accuracy with an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating clinical practices defined by American Psychiatric Association (APA) as well as multimodal AI framework. The proposed approach detected the nine depression symptoms with Natural Language Processing sentiment analysis and a symptom-based Lexicon uniquely designed for young adults. The experiments were conducted on the multimedia survey results from adolescents and young adults and unbiased Twitter communications. The result was further aggregated with the facial emotional cues analyzed by the Convolutional Neural Network on the multimedia survey videos. Five experiments each conducted on 10k data entries reached consistent results with an average accuracy of 88.31%, higher than the existing natural language analysis models. This approach can reach 300+ million daily active Twitter users and is highly accessible by low-income populations to promote early depression detection to raise awareness in adolescents and young adults and reveal complementary cues to assist clinical depression diagnosis.
Mnemotopic Perspectives: Communication Design as Stabilizer for the Memory of Places
The ancestral relationship between humans and geographical environment has long been at the center of an interdisciplinary dialogue, which sees one of its main research nodes in the relationship between memory and places. Given its deep complexity, this symbiotic connection continues to look for a proper definition that appears increasingly negotiated by different disciplines. Numerous fields of knowledge are involved, from anthropology to semiotics of space, from photography to architecture, up to subjects traditionally far from these reasonings. This is the case of Design of Communication, a young discipline, now confident in itself and its objectives, aimed at finding and investigating original forms of visualization and representation, between sedimented knowledge and new technologies. In particular, Design of Communication for the Territory offers an alternative perspective to the debate, encouraging the reactivation and reconstruction of the memory of places. Recognizing mnemotopes as a cultural object of vertical interpretation of the memory-place relationship, design can become a real mediator of the territorial fixation of memories, making them increasingly accessible and perceptible, contributing to build a topography of memory. According to a mnemotopic vision, Communication Design can support the passage from a memory in which the observer participates only as an individual to a collective form of memory. A mnemotopic form of Communication Design can, through geolocation and content map-based systems, make chronology a topography rooted in the territory and practicable; it can be useful to understand how the perception of the memory of places changes over time, considering how to insert them in the contemporary world. Mnemotopes can be materialized in different format of translation, editing and narration and then involved in complex systems of communication. The memory of places, therefore, if stabilized by the tools offered by Communication Design, can make visible ruins and territorial stratifications, illuminating them with new communicative interests that can be shared and participated.
Towards End-To-End Disease Prediction from Raw Metagenomic Data
Analysis of the human microbiome using metagenomic
sequencing data has demonstrated high ability in discriminating
various human diseases. Raw metagenomic sequencing data require
multiple complex and computationally heavy bioinformatics steps
prior to data analysis. Such data contain millions of short sequences
read from the fragmented DNA sequences and stored as fastq files.
Conventional processing pipelines consist in multiple steps including
quality control, filtering, alignment of sequences against genomic
catalogs (genes, species, taxonomic levels, functional pathways,
etc.). These pipelines are complex to use, time consuming and
rely on a large number of parameters that often provide variability
and impact the estimation of the microbiome elements. Training
Deep Neural Networks directly from raw sequencing data is a
promising approach to bypass some of the challenges associated with
mainstream bioinformatics pipelines. Most of these methods use the
concept of word and sentence embeddings that create a meaningful
and numerical representation of DNA sequences, while extracting
features and reducing the dimensionality of the data. In this paper
we present an end-to-end approach that classifies patients into disease
groups directly from raw metagenomic reads: metagenome2vec. This
approach is composed of four steps (i) generating a vocabulary of
k-mers and learning their numerical embeddings; (ii) learning DNA
sequence (read) embeddings; (iii) identifying the genome from which
the sequence is most likely to come and (iv) training a multiple
instance learning classifier which predicts the phenotype based on
the vector representation of the raw data. An attention mechanism
is applied in the network so that the model can be interpreted,
assigning a weight to the influence of the prediction for each genome.
Using two public real-life data-sets as well a simulated one, we
demonstrated that this original approach reaches high performance,
comparable with the state-of-the-art methods applied directly on
processed data though mainstream bioinformatics workflows. These
results are encouraging for this proof of concept work. We believe
that with further dedication, the DNN models have the potential to
surpass mainstream bioinformatics workflows in disease classification
Effect of Changing Iron Content and Excitation Frequency on Magnetic Particle Imaging Signal: A Comparative Study of Synomag® Nanoparticles
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are widely used to facilitate magnetic particle imaging (MPI) which has the potential to become the leading diagnostic instrument for biomedical imaging. This comparative study assesses the effects of changing iron content and excitation frequency on point-spread function (PSF) representing the effect of magnetization reversal. PSF is quantified by features of interest for MPI: i.e., drive field amplitude and full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM). A superparamagnetic quantifier (SPaQ) is used to assess differential magnetic susceptibility of two commercially available MNPs: Synomag®-D50 and Synomag®-D70. For both MNPs, the signal output depends on increase in drive field frequency and amount of iron-oxide, which might be hampering the sensitivity of MPI systems that perform on higher frequencies. Nevertheless, there is a clear potential of Synomag®-D for a stable MPI resolution, especially in case of 70 nm version, that is independent of either drive field frequency or amount of iron-oxide.
Enhancing Human Mobility Exoskeleton Comfort Using Admittance Controller
Human mobility exoskeletons have been in development for several years and are becoming increasingly efficient. Unfortunately, user comfort was not always a priority design criterion throughout their development. To further improve this technology, exoskeletons should operate and deliver assistance without causing discomfort to the user. For this, improvements are necessary from an ergonomic point of view. The device’s control method is important when endeavoring to enhance user comfort. Exoskeleton or rehabilitation device controllers use methods of control called interaction controls (admittance and impedance controls). This paper proposes an extended version of an admittance controller to enhance user comfort. The control method used consists of adding an inner loop that is controlled by a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller. This allows the interaction force to be kept as close as possible to the desired force trajectory. The force-tracking admittance controller modifies the actuation force of the system in order to follow both the desired motion trajectory and the desired relative force between the user and the exoskeleton.
Identifying Network Subgraph-Associated Essential Genes in Molecular Networks
Essential genes play an important role in the survival of an organism. It has been shown that cancer-associated essential genes are genes necessary for cancer cell proliferation, where these genes are potential therapeutic targets. Also, it was demonstrated that mutations of the cancer-associated essential genes give rise to the resistance of immunotherapy for patients with tumors. In the present study, we focus on studying the biological effects of the essential genes from a network perspective. We hypothesize that one can analyze a biological molecular network by decomposing it into both three-node and four-node digraphs (subgraphs). These network subgraphs encode the regulatory interaction information among the network’s genetic elements. In this study, the frequency of occurrence of the subgraph-associated essential genes in a molecular network was quantified by using the statistical parameter, odds ratio. Biological effects of subgraph-associated essential genes are discussed. In summary, the subgraph approach provides a systematic method for analyzing molecular networks and it can capture useful biological information for biomedical research.
Geometrical Based Unequal Droplet Splitting Using Microfluidic Y-Junction
Among different droplet manipulations, controlled droplet-splitting is of great significance due to its ability to increase throughput and operational capability. Furthermore, unequal droplet-splitting can provide greater flexibility and a wider range of dilution factors. In this study, we developed two-dimensional, time-dependent complex fluid dynamics simulations to model droplet formation in a flow focusing device, followed by splitting in a Y-shaped junction with sub-channels of unequal widths. From the results obtained from the numerical study, we correlated the diameters of the droplets in the sub-channels to the Weber number, thereby demarcating the droplet splitting and non-splitting regimes.
An Effort at Improving Reliability of Laboratory Data in Titrimetric Analysis for Zinc Sulphate Tablets Using Validated Spreadsheet Calculators
The requirement for maintaining data integrity in laboratory operations is critical for regulatory compliance. Automation of procedures reduces incidence of human errors. Quality control laboratories located in low-income economies may face some barriers in attempts to automate their processes. Since data from quality control tests on pharmaceutical products are used in making regulatory decisions, it is important that laboratory reports are accurate and reliable. Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4) tablets is used in treatment of diarrhea in pediatric population, and as an adjunct therapy for COVID-19 regimen. Unfortunately, zinc content in these formulations is determined titrimetrically; a manual analytical procedure. The assay for ZnSO4 tablets involves time-consuming steps that contain mathematical formulae prone to calculation errors. To achieve consistency, save costs, and improve data integrity, validated spreadsheets were developed to simplify the two critical steps in the analysis of ZnSO4 tablets: standardization of 0.1M Sodium Edetate (EDTA) solution, and the complexometric titration assay procedure. The assay method in the United States Pharmacopoeia was used to create a process flow for ZnSO4 tablets. For each step in the process, different formulae were input into two spreadsheets to automate calculations. Further checks were created within the automated system to ensure validity of replicate analysis in titrimetric procedures. Validations were conducted using five data sets of manually computed assay results. The acceptance criteria set for the protocol were met. Significant p-values (p < 0.05, α = 0.05, at 95% Confidence Interval) were obtained from students’ t-test evaluation of the mean values for manual-calculated and spreadsheet results at all levels of the analysis flow. Right-first-time analysis and principles of data integrity were enhanced by use of the validated spreadsheet calculators in titrimetric evaluations of ZnSO4 tablets. Human errors were minimized in calculations when procedures were automated in quality control laboratories. The assay procedure for the formulation was achieved in a time-efficient manner with greater level of accuracy. This project is expected to promote cost savings for laboratory business models.
Exploring the Perspective of Service Quality in mHealth Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The impact of COVID-19 has a significant effect on all sectors of society globally. Health information technology (HIT) has become an effective health strategy in this age of distancing. In this regard, Mobile Health (mHealth) plays a critical role in managing patient and provider workflows during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the users' perception of service quality about mHealth services plays a significant role in shaping confidence and subsequent behaviors regarding the mHealth users' intention of use. This study's objective was to explore levels of user attributes analyzed by a qualitative method of how health practitioners and patients are satisfied or dissatisfied with using mHealth services; and analyzed the users' intention in the context of Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research explores the experienced usability of a mHealth services during the Covid-19 pandemic. This study uses qualitative methods that include in-depth and semi-structured interviews that investigate participants' perceptions and experiences and the meanings they attribute to them. The five cases consisted of health practitioners, clinic staff, and patients' experiences using mHealth services. This study encourages participants to discuss issues related to the research question by asking open-ended questions, usually in one-to-one interviews. The findings show the positive and negative attributes of mHealth service quality. Hence, the significant importance of patients' and health practitioners' issues on several dimensions of perceived service quality is system quality, information quality, and interaction quality. A concept map for perceptions regards to emergency uses' intention of mHealth services process is depicted. The findings revealed that users pay more attention to "Medical care", "ease of use" and "utilitarian benefits" and have less importance for "Admissions and Convenience" and "Social influence". To improve mHealth services, the mHealth providers and health practitioners should better manage users' experiences to enhance mHealth services. This research contributes to the understanding of service quality issues in mHealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Developing Manufacturing Process for the Graphene Sensors
Biosensors play a significant role in the healthcare
sectors, scientific and technological progress. Developing electrodes
that are easy to manufacture and deliver better electrochemical
performance is advantageous for diagnostics and biosensing. They
can be implemented extensively in various analytical tasks such as
drug discovery, food safety, medical diagnostics, process controls,
security and defence, in addition to environmental monitoring.
Development of biosensors aims to create high-performance
electrochemical electrodes for diagnostics and biosensing. A
biosensor is a device that inspects the biological and chemical
reactions generated by the biological sample. A biosensor carries
out biological detection via a linked transducer and transmits the
biological response into an electrical signal; stability, selectivity,
and sensitivity are the dynamic and static characteristics that affect
and dictate the quality and performance of biosensors. In this
research, a developed experimental study for laser scribing technique
for graphene oxide inside a vacuum chamber for processing of
graphene oxide is presented. The processing of graphene oxide (GO)
was achieved using the laser scribing technique. The effect of the
laser scribing on the reduction of GO was investigated under two
conditions: atmosphere and vacuum. GO solvent was coated onto a
LightScribe DVD. The laser scribing technique was applied to reduce
GO layers to generate rGO. The micro-details for the morphological
structures of rGO and GO were visualised using scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy so that they could
be examined. The first electrode was a traditional graphene-based
electrode model, made under normal atmospheric conditions, whereas
the second model was a developed graphene electrode fabricated
under a vacuum state using a vacuum chamber. The purpose was
to control the vacuum conditions, such as the air pressure and the
temperature during the fabrication process. The parameters to be
assessed include the layer thickness and the continuous environment.
Results presented show high accuracy and repeatability achieving low
Multiple Approaches for Ultrasonic Cavitation Monitoring of Oxygen-Loaded Nanodroplets
Ultrasound (US) is widely used in medical field for
a variety diagnostic techniques but, in recent years, it has also
been creating great interest for therapeutic aims. Regarding drug
delivery, the use of US as an activation source provides better
spatial delivery confinement and limits the undesired side effects.
However, at present there is no complete characterization
at a fundamental level of the different signals produced by
sono-activated nanocarriers. Therefore, the aim of this study
is to obtain a metrological characterization of the cavitation
phenomena induced by US through three parallel investigation
approaches. US was focused into a channel of a customized
phantom in which a solution with oxygen-loaded nanodroplets
(OLNDs) was led to flow and the cavitation activity was
monitored. Both quantitative and qualitative real-time analysis
were performed giving information about the dynamics of
bubble formation, oscillation and final implosion with respect
to the working acoustic pressure and the type of nanodroplets,
compared with pure water. From this analysis a possible
interpretation of the observed results is proposed.
A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study on the Prevalence and Factors Associated with Virological Non-Suppression among HIV-Positive Adult Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy in Woliso Town, Oromia, Ethiopia
Background: HIV virological failure still remains a problem in HV/AIDS treatment and care. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and identify the factors associated with viral non-suppression among HIV-positive adult patients on antiretroviral therapy in Woliso Town, Oromia, Ethiopia. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted among 424 HIV-positive patient’s attending antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Woliso Town during the period from August 25, 2020 to August 30, 2020. Data collected from patient medical records were entered into Epi Info version 22.214.171.124 and exported to SPSS version 21.0 for analysis. Logistic regression analysis was done to identify factors associated with viral load non-suppression, and statistical significance of odds ratios were declared using 95% confidence interval and p-value < 0.05. Results: A total of 424 patients were included in this study. The mean age (± SD) of the study participants was 39.88 (± 9.995) years. The prevalence of HIV viral load non-suppression was 55 (13.0%) with 95% CI (9.9-16.5). Second-line ART treatment regimen (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 8.98, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 2.64, 30.58) and routine viral load testing (AOR = 0.01, 95% CI: 0.001, 0.02) were significantly associated with virological non-suppression. Conclusion: Virological non-suppression was high, which hinders the achievement of the third global 95 target. The second-line regimen and routine viral load testing were significantly associated with virological non-suppression. It suggests the need to assess the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs for epidemic control. It also clearly shows the need to decentralize third-line ART treatment for those patients in need.
Comparative Study on the Effect of Substitution of Li and Mg Instead of Ca on Structural and Biological Behaviors of Silicate Bioactive Glass
In this study, experiments were carried out to achieve a promising multifunctional and modified silicate based bioactive glass (BG). The main aim of the study was investigating the effect of lithium (Li) and magnesium (Mg) substitution, on in vitro bioactivity of substituted-58S BG. Moreover, it is noteworthy to state that modified BGs were synthesized in 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)Li2O and 60SiO2–(36-x)CaO–4P2O5–(x)MgO (where x = 0, 5, 10 mol.%) quaternary systems, by sol-gel method. Their performance was investigated through different aspects such as biocompatibility, antibacterial activity as well as their effect on alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and proliferation of MC3T3 cells. The antibacterial efficiency was evaluated against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. To do so, CaO was substituted with Li2O and MgO up to 10 mol % in 58S-BGs and then samples were immersed in simulated body fluid up to 14 days and then, characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry, and scanning electron microscopy. Results indicated that this modification led to a retarding effect on in vitro hydroxyapatite (HA) formation due to the lower supersaturation degree for nucleation of HA compared with 58s-BG. Meanwhile, magnesium revealed further pronounced effect. The 3-(4,5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and ALP analysis illustrated that substitutions of both Li2O and MgO, up to 5 mol %, had increasing effect on biocompatibility and stimulating proliferation of the pre-osteoblast MC3T3 cells in comparison to the control specimen. Regarding to bactericidal efficiency, the substitution of either Li or Mg for Ca in the 58s BG composition led to statistically significant difference in antibacterial behaviors of substituted-BGs. Meanwhile, the sample containing 5 mol % CaO/Li2O substitution (BG-5L) was selected as a multifunctional biomaterial in bone repair/regeneration due to the improved biocompatibility, enhanced ALP activity and antibacterial efficiency among all of the synthesized L-BGs and M-BGs.
Integrated Social Support through Social Networks to Enhance the Quality of Life of Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients
Being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, the patients as well as their caretakers are affected physically and mentally. Although the medical systems in Thailand have been attempting to improve the quality and effectiveness of the treatment of the disease in terms of physical illness, the success of the treatment also depends on the quality of mental health. Metastatic breast cancer patients have found that social support is a key factor that helps them through this difficult time. It is recognized that social support in different dimensions, including emotional support, social network support, informational support, instrumental support and appraisal support, are contributing factors that positively affect the quality of life of patients in general, and it is undeniable that social support in various forms is important in promoting the quality of life of metastatic breast patients. However, previous studies have not been dedicated to investigating their quality of life concerning affective, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. Therefore, this study aims to develop integrated social support through social networks to improve the quality of life of metastatic breast cancer patients in Thailand.
A Comparative Study of Medical Image Segmentation Methods for Tumor Detection
Image segmentation has a fundamental role in analysis and interpretation for many applications. The automated segmentation of organs and tissues throughout the body using computed imaging has been rapidly increasing. Indeed, it represents one of the most important parts of clinical diagnostic tools. In this paper, we discuss a thorough literature review of recent methods of tumour segmentation from medical images which are briefly explained with the recent contribution of various researchers. This study was followed by comparing these methods in order to define new directions to develop and improve the performance of the segmentation of the tumour area from medical images.
Relationship between Trauma and Acute Scrotum: Test Torsion and Epididymal Appendix Torsion
Background: Testicular rotation can occur at any age. The possibility to save the testicle is the fastest possible surgical intervention which is indicated by the presence of acute pain even at rest. The time element is more important to diagnose and proceed further with surgical intervention. Testicular damage is a consequence which mainly depends on the moment of onset of symptoms, at the time when the symptoms are diagnosed, the earliest action to be performed is surgical intervention. Sometimes medical tests are needed to confirm a diagnosis, or to help identify another cause for symptoms; for example, the urine test, that is used to check for infection, associated with the scrotal ultrasound test. Control of blood flow to the longitudinal supply vessels of the testicles is indicated. The sign that indicates testicular rotation is a reduction in blood flow. This is the element which is distinguished from ultrasound examination. Surgery may be needed to determine if the patient’s symptoms are caused by the rotation of the testis or any other condition. Discussion: As a surgical intervention of the emergency, the torsion of the test depends very much on the duration of the torsion, as the success in the life of the testicle depends on the fastest surgical intervention. From the previous clinic, it is noted that in any case presented to the pediatric patient diagnosed with testicular rotation, there is always a link with personal history that the patient refers to the presence of a previous episode of testicular trauma. Literature supports this fact very logically. Conclusions: Salvation without testicular atrophy depends closely on establishing the diagnosis of testicular rotation as soon as possible. Following the logic above, it can be said that the diagnosis for rotation should be performed as soon as possible, to avoid consequences that will not be favorable for the patient.
Machine Learning Facing Behavioral Noise Problem in an Imbalanced Data Using One Side Behavioral Noise Reduction: Application to a Fraud Detection
With the expansion of machine learning and data
mining in the context of Big Data analytics, the common
problem that affects data is class imbalance. It refers to an
imbalanced distribution of instances belonging to each class. This
problem is present in many real world applications such as fraud
detection, network intrusion detection, medical diagnostics, etc.
In these cases, data instances labeled negatively are significantly
more numerous than the instances labeled positively. When this
difference is too large, the learning system may face difficulty
when tackling this problem, since it is initially designed to
work in relatively balanced class distribution scenarios. Another
important problem, which usually accompanies these imbalanced
data, is the overlapping instances between the two classes. It is
commonly referred to as noise or overlapping data. In this article,
we propose an approach called: One Side Behavioral Noise
Reduction (OSBNR). This approach presents a way to deal with
the problem of class imbalance in the presence of a high noise
level. OSBNR is based on two steps. Firstly, a cluster analysis is
applied to groups similar instances from the minority class into
several behavior clusters. Secondly, we select and eliminate the
instances of the majority class, considered as behavioral noise,
which overlap with behavior clusters of the minority class. The
results of experiments carried out on a representative public
dataset confirm that the proposed approach is efficient for the
treatment of class imbalances in the presence of noise.
Monte Carlo and Biophysics Analysis in a Criminal Trial
In this paper a real court case, held in Italy at the
Court of Nola, in which a correct physical description, conducted
with both a Monte Carlo and biophysical analysis, would have
been sufficient to arrive at conclusions confirmed by documentary
evidence, is considered. This will be an example of how forensic
physics can be useful in confirming documentary evidence in order
to reach hardly questionable conclusions. This was a libel trial in
which the defendant, Mr. DS (Defendant for Slander), had falsely
accused one of his neighbors, Mr. OP (Offended Person), of having
caused him some damages. The damages would have been caused
by an external plaster piece that would have detached from the
neighbor’s property and would have hit Mr DS while he was in his
garden, much more than a meter far away from the facade of the
building from which the plaster piece would have detached. In the
trial, Mr. DS claimed to have suffered a scratch on his forehead, but
he never showed the plaster that had hit him, nor was able to tell from
where the plaster would have arrived. Furthermore, Mr. DS presented
a medical certificate with a diagnosis of contusion of the cerebral
cortex. On the contrary, the images of Mr. OP’s security cameras do
not show any movement in the garden of Mr. DS in a long interval of
time (about 2 hours) around the time of the alleged accident, nor do
they show any people entering or coming out from the house of Mr.
DS in the same interval of time. Biophysical analysis shows that both
the diagnosis of the medical certificate and the wound declared by
the defendant, already in conflict with each other, are not compatible
with the fall of external plaster pieces too small to be found. The
wind was at a level 1 of the Beaufort scale, that is, unable to raise
even dust (level 4 of the Beaufort scale). Therefore, the motion of
the plaster pieces can be described as a projectile motion, whereas
collisions with the building cornice can be treated using Newtons
law of coefficients of restitution. Numerous numerical Monte Carlo
simulations show that the pieces of plaster would not have been able
to reach even the garden of Mr. DS, let alone a distance over 1.30
meters. Results agree with the documentary evidence (images of Mr.
OP’s security cameras) that Mr. DS could not have been hit by plaster
pieces coming from Mr. OP’s property.
Relevance for Traditional Medicine in South Africa: Experiences of Urban Traditional Healers, Izinyanga
Access to relevant health indicates people’s likelihood of survival, including craft of indigenous healing and its related practitioners- izinyanga. However, the emergence of a dreaded novel corona virus - COVID-19 that has engulfed almost the whole world has necessitated the need to revisit the state of traditional healers in South Africa. This circumstance tended to expose the reality of social settings in various social structures and related policies including the manner coloniality reveal its ugly head when it comes treatment between western and African based therapeutic practices in this country. In attempting to gain a better understanding of such experiences, primary and secondary sources were consulted when collecting data that perusal of various literature in this instance including face-to-face interviews with traditional healers working on the street of Tshwane Municipality in South Africa. Preliminary findings revealed that the emergence of this deadly virus coincided with the moment when the government agenda was focussed on fulfilment of its promise of addressing the past inequity practices, including the transformation of medical sector. This scenario can be witnessed by the manner in which government and related agencies such as health department keeps on undermining indigenous healing practice irrespective of its historical record in terms of healing profession and fighting various diseases before times of father of medicine, Imhotep. Based on these preliminary findings, it is recommended that the government should hasten the incorporation of African knowledge systems especially medicine to offer alternatives and diverse to assess the underutilised indigenous African therapeutic approach and relevant skills that could be useful in combating ailments such as COVID 19. Perhaps, the plural medical systems should be recognized and related policies are formulated to guarantee mutual respect among citizens and the incorporation of healing practices in South African health sector, Africa and in the broader global community.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Management at the Montfort Hospital
The post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rises from exposure to a traumatic event and appears by a persistent experience of this event. Several psychiatric co-morbidities are associated with PTSD and include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. The main objective was to compare the criteria for PTSD according to the literature to those used to diagnose a patient in a francophone hospital and to check the correspondence of these two criteria. 700 medical charts of admitted patients on the medicine or psychiatric unit at the Montfort Hospital were identified with the following diagnoses: major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, substance abuse, and PTSD for the period of time between April 2005 and March 2006. Multiple demographic criteria were assembled. Also, for every chart analyzed, the PTSD criteria, according to the Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV were found, identified, and grouped according to pre-established codes. An analysis using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) method was elaborated for the study of data. A sample of 57 women and 50 men was studied. Age was varying between 18 and 88 years with a median age of 48. According to the PTSD criteria in the DSM IV, 12 patients should have the diagnosis of PTSD in opposition to only two identified in the medical charts. The ROC method establishes that with the combination of data from PTSD and depression, the sensitivity varies between 0,127 and 0,282, and the specificity varies between 0,889 and 0,917. Otherwise, if we examine the PTSD data alone, the sensibility jumps to 0.50, and the specificity varies between 0,781 and 0,895. This study confirms the presence of an underdiagnosed and treated PTSD that causes severe perturbations for the affected individual.
A Review in Advanced Digital Signal Processing Systems
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is the use of digital processing systems by computers in order to perform a variety of signal processing operations. It is the mathematical manipulation of a digital signal's numerical values in order to increase quality as well as effects of signals. DSP can include linear or nonlinear operators in order to process and analyze the input signals. The nonlinear DSP processing is closely related to nonlinear system detection and can be implemented in time, frequency and space-time domains. Applications of the DSP can be presented as control systems, digital image processing, biomedical engineering, speech recognition systems, industrial engineering, health care systems, radar signal processing and telecommunication systems. In this study, advanced methods and different applications of DSP are reviewed in order to move forward the interesting research filed.
Relationship between Personality Traits and Postural Stability among Czech Military Combat Troops
Postural stability is a complex process involving
actions of biomechanical, motor, sensory and central nervous system
components. Numerous joint systems, muscles involved, the
complexity of sporting movements and situations require perfect
coordination of the body's movement patterns. To adapt to a
constantly changing situation in such a dynamic environment as
physical performance, optimal input of information from visual,
vestibular and somatosensory sensors are needed. Combat soldiers
are required to perform physically and mentally demanding tasks in
adverse conditions, and poor postural stability has been identified as
a risk factor for lower extremity musculoskeletal injury. The aim of
this study is to investigate whether some personality traits are related
to the performance of static postural stability among soldiers of
combat troops. NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R) was used to
identify personality traits and the Nintendo Wii Balance Board was
used to assess static postural stability of soldiers. Postural stability
performance was assessed by changes in center of pressure (CoP) and
center of gravity (CoG). A posturographic test was performed for 60
s with eyes opened during quiet upright standing. The results showed
that facets of neuroticism and conscientiousness personality traits
were significantly correlated with measured parameters of CoP and
CoG. This study can help for better understanding the relationship
between personality traits and static postural stability. The results can
be used to optimize the training process at the individual level.
Design, Simulation, and Implementation of a Digital Pulse Oxygen Saturation Measurement System Using the Arduino Microcontroller
If a person can monitor his/her oxygen saturation level intermittently then he/she can identify his/her condition early and thus he/she can seek a doctor’s help. This paper reports the design, simulation, and implementation of a low-cost pulse oxygen saturation measurement device based on a reflective photoplethysmography (PPG) system using an integrated circuit sensor as the fundamental component of this health status checking device. The measurement of the physiological parameter is the blood oxygen saturation level (SpO2) in the peripheral capillary. This work has been implemented using an Arduino Uno R3 microcontroller along with this sensor integrated circuit (IC). The system is designed in the Proteus environment and then simulated to check its performance. After that, the hardware implementation is performed. We used a clipping type optical sensor to sense the arterial oxygen saturation level of blood signal from the fingertips of an individual and then transformed it into the digital data in the microcontroller through its programming its instruction. The designed system was tested by measuring the SpO2 level for several people of different ages, from 12 to 57 years of age. Besides, the same people were tested using a standard machine purchased from the market. Test results were found very satisfactory as the average percentage of error was very low, 1.59% only.
The Integration of Patient Health Record Generated from Wearable and Internet of Things Devices into Health Information Exchanges
A growing number of individuals utilize wearable devices on a daily basis. The usage and functionality of these wearable devices vary from user to user. One popular usage of said devices is to track health-related activities that are typically stored on a device’s memory or uploaded to an account in the cloud; based on the current trend, the data accumulated from the wearable device are stored in a standalone location. In many of these cases, this health related datum is not a factor when considering the holistic view of a user’s health lifestyle or record. This health-related data generated from wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) devices can serve as empirical information to a medical provider, as the standalone data can add value to the holistic health record of a patient. This paper proposes a solution to incorporate the data gathered from these wearable and IoT devices, with that a patient’s Personal Health Record (PHR) stored within the confines of a Health Information Exchange (HIE).
Advanced Compound Coating for Delaying Corrosion of Fast-Dissolving Alloy in High Temperature and Corrosive Environment
Fasting dissolving magnesium (DM) alloy technology has contributed significantly to the “Shale Revolution” in oil and gas industry. This application requires DM downhole tools dissolving initially at a slow rate, rapidly accelerating to a high rate after certain period of operation time (typically 8 h to 2 days), a contradicting requirement that can hardly be addressed by traditional Mg alloying or processing itself. Premature disintegration has been broadly reported in downhole DM tool from field trials. To address this issue, “temporary” thin polymers of various formulations are currently coated onto DM surface to delay its initial dissolving. Due to conveying parts, harsh downhole condition, and high dissolving rate of the base material, the current delay coatings relying on pure polymers are found to perform well only at low temperature (typical < 100 ℃) and parts without sharp edges or corners, as severe geometries prevent high quality thin film coatings from forming effectively. In this study, a coating technology combining Plasma Electrolytic Oxide (PEO) coatings with advanced thin film deposition has been developed, which can delay DM complex parts (with sharp corners) in corrosive fluid at 150 ℃ for over 2 days. Synergistic effects between porous hard PEO coating and chemical inert elastic-polymer sealing leads to its delaying dissolution improvement, and strong chemical/physical bonding between these two layers has been found to play essential role. Microstructure of this advanced coating and compatibility between PEO and various polymer selections has been thoroughly investigated and a model is also proposed to explain its delaying performance. This study could not only benefit oil and gas industry to unplug their High Temperature High Pressure (HTHP) unconventional resources inaccessible before, but also potentially provides a technical route for other industries (e.g., bio-medical, automobile, aerospace) where primer anti-corrosive protection on light Mg alloy is highly demanded.
Antenna for Energy Harvesting in Wireless Connected Objects
If connected objects multiply, they are becoming a
challenge in more than one way. In particular by their consumption
and their supply of electricity. A large part of the new generations of
connected objects will only be able to develop if it is possible to make
them entirely autonomous in terms of energy. Some manufacturers are
therefore developing products capable of recovering energy from their
environment. Vital solutions in certain contexts, such as the medical
industry. Energy recovery from the environment is a reliable solution
to solve the problem of powering wireless connected objects. This
paper presents and study a optically transparent solar patch antenna
in frequency band of 2.4 GHz for connected objects in the future
standard 5G for energy harvesting and RF transmission.