Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 261

World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

[Health and Medical Engineering]

Online ISSN : 1307-6892

261 Digital Health During a Pandemic: Critical Analysis of the COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps

Authors: Mohanad Elemary, Imose Itua, Rajeswari B. Matam

Abstract:

Virologists and public health experts have been predicting potential pandemics from coronaviruses for decades. The viruses which caused the SARS and MERS pandemics and the Nipah virus led to many lost lives, but still, the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus surprised many scientific communities, experts, and governments with its ease of transmission and its pathogenicity. Governments of various countries reacted by locking down entire populations to their homes to combat the devastation caused by the virus, which led to a loss of livelihood and economic hardship to many individuals and organizations. To revive national economies and support their citizens in resuming their lives, governments focused on the development and use of contact tracing apps as a digital way to track and trace exposure. Google and Apple introduced the Exposure Notification Systems (ENS) framework. Independent organizations and countries also developed different frameworks for contact tracing apps. The efficiency, popularity, and adoption rate of these various apps have been different across countries. In this paper, we present a critical analysis of the different contact tracing apps with respect to their efficiency, adoption rate and general perception, and the governmental strategies and policies, which led to the development of the applications. When it comes to the European countries, each of them followed an individualistic approach to the same problem resulting in different realizations of a similarly functioning application with differing results of use and acceptance. The study conducted an extensive review of existing literature, policies, and reports across multiple disciplines, from which a framework was developed and then validated through interviews with six key stakeholders in the field, including founders and executives in digital health startups and corporates as well as experts from international organizations like The World Health Organization. A framework of best practices and tactics is the result of this research. The framework looks at three main questions regarding the contact tracing apps; how to develop them, how to deploy them, and how to regulate them. The findings are based on the best practices applied by governments across multiple countries, the mistakes they made, and the best practices applied in similar situations in the business world. The findings include multiple strategies when it comes to the development milestone regarding establishing frameworks for cooperation with the private sector and how to design the features and user experience of the app for a transparent, effective, and rapidly adaptable app. For the deployment section, several tactics were discussed regarding communication messages, marketing campaigns, persuasive psychology, and the initial deployment scale strategies. The paper also discusses the data privacy dilemma and how to build for a more sustainable system of health-related data processing and utilization. This is done through principles-based regulations specific for health data to allow for its avail for the public good. This framework offers insights into strategies and tactics that could be implemented as protocols for future public health crises and emergencies whether global or regional.

Keywords: COVID-19, contact tracing apps, digital health applications, exposure notification system

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260 Adaptive Motion Compensated Spatial Temporal Filter of Colonoscopy Video

Authors: Nidhal Azawi

Abstract:

Colonoscopy procedure is widely used in the world to detect an abnormality. Early diagnosis can help to heal many patients. Because of the unavoidable artifacts that exist in colon images, doctors cannot detect a colon surface precisely. The purpose of this work is to improve the visual quality of colonoscopy videos to provide better information for physicians by removing some artifacts. This work complements a series of work consisting of three previously published papers. In this paper, Optic flow is used for motion compensation, and then consecutive images are aligned/registered to integrate some information to create a new image that has or reveals more information than the original one. Colon images have been classified into informative and noninformative images by using a deep neural network. Then, two different strategies were used to treat informative and noninformative images. Informative images were treated by using Lucas Kanade (LK) with an adaptive temporal mean/median filter, whereas noninformative images are treated by using Lucas Kanade with a derivative of Gaussian (LKDOG) with adaptive temporal median images. A comparison result showed that this work achieved better results than that results in the state- of- the- art strategies for the same degraded colon images data set, which consists of 1000 images. The new proposed algorithm reduced the error alignment by about a factor of 0.3 with a 100% successfully image alignment ratio. In conclusion, this algorithm achieved better results than the state-of-the-art approaches in case of enhancing the informative images as shown in the results section; also, it succeeded to convert the non-informative images that have very few details/no details because of the blurriness/out of focus or because of the specular highlight dominate significant amount of an image to informative images.

Keywords: colonoscopy, artifacts, optic flow, spatial temporal filter

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259 A Qualitative Exploration of the Beliefs and Experiences of HIV-Related Self-Stigma Amongst Young Adults Living with HIV in Zimbabwe

Authors: Camille Rich, Nadine Ferris France, Ann Nolan, Webster Mavhu, Vongai Munatsi

Abstract:

Background and Aim: Zimbabwe has one of the highest HIV rates in the world, with a 12.7% adult prevalence rate. Young adults are a key group affected by HIV, and one-third of all new infections in Zimbabwe are amongst people ages 18-24 years. Stigma remains one of the main barriers to managing and reducing the HIV crisis, especially for young adults. There are several types of stigma, including enacted stigma, the outward discrimination towards someone and self-stigma, the negative self-judgments one has towards themselves. Self-stigma can have severe consequences, including feelings of worthlessness, shame, suicidal thoughts, and avoidance of medical help. This can have detrimental effects on those living with HIV. However, the unique beliefs and impacts of self-stigma amongst key groups living with HIV have not yet been explored. Therefore, the focus of this study is on the beliefs and experiences of HIV-related self-stigma, as experienced by young adults living in Harare, Zimbabwe. Research Methods: A qualitative approach was taken for this study, using sixteen semi-structured interviews with young adults (18-24 years) who are living with HIV in Harare. Participants were conveniently and purposefully sampled as members of Africa, an organization dedicated to young people living with HIV. Interviews were conducted over Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recorded and then coded using the software NVivo. The data was analyzed using both inductive and deductive Thematic Analysis to find common themes. Results: All of the participants experienced HIV-related self-stigma, and both beliefs and experiences were explored. These negative self-perceptions included beliefs of worthlessness, hopelessness, and negative body image. The young adults described believing they were not good enough to be around HIV negative people or that they could never be loved due to their HIV status. Developing self-stigmatizing thoughts came from internalizing negative cultural values, stereotypes about people living with HIV, and adverse experiences. Three main themes of self-stigmatizing experiences emerged: disclosure difficulties, relationship complications, and being isolated. Fear of telling someone their status, rejection in a relationship, and being excluded by others due to their HIV status contributed to their self-stigma. These experiences caused feelings of loneliness, sadness, shame, fear, and low self-worth. Conclusions: This study explored the beliefs and experiences of HIV-related self-stigma of these young adults. The emergence of negative self-perceptions demonstrated deep-rooted beliefs of HIV-related self-stigma that adversely impact the participants. The negative self-perceptions and self-stigmatizing experiences caused the participants to feel worthless, hopeless, shameful, and alone-negatively impacting their physical and mental health, personal relationships, and sense of self-identity. These results can now be used to pursue interventions to target the specific beliefs and experiences of young adults living with HIV and reduce the adverse consequences of self-stigma.

Keywords: HIV, beliefs, self-stigma, stigma, Zimbabwe

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258 Global Indicators of Successful Remote Monitoring Adoption Applying Diffusion of Innovation Theory

Authors: Danika Tynes

Abstract:

Innovations in technology have implications for sustainable development in health and wellness. Remote monitoring is one innovation for which the evidence-base has grown to support its viability as a quality healthcare delivery adjunct. This research reviews global data on telehealth adoption, in particular, remote monitoring, and the conditions under which its success becomes more likely. System-level indicators were selected to represent four constructs of DoI theory (relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, and observability) and assessed against 5 types of Telehealth (Teleradiology, Teledermatology, Telepathology, Telepsychology, and Remote Monitoring) using ordinal logistic regression. Analyses include data from 84 countries, as extracted from the World Health Organization, World Bank, ICT (Information Communications Technology) Index, and HDI (Human Development Index) datasets. Analyses supported relative advantage and compatibility as the strongest influencers of remote monitoring adoption. Findings from this research may help focus on the allocation of resources, as a sustainability concern, through consideration of systems-level factors that may influence the success of remote monitoring adoption.

Keywords: Telehealth, Remote Monitoring, Digital Health, diffusion of innovation

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257 Risk Management Approach for a Secure and Performant Integration of Automated Drug Dispensing Systems in Hospitals

Authors: Hind Bouami, Patrick Millot

Abstract:

Medication dispensing system is a life critical system whose failure may result in preventable adverse events leading to longer patient stays in hospitals or patient death. Automation has led to great improvements in Life critical systems as it increased safety, efficiency and comfort. However, critical risks related to medical organization complexity and automated solutions integration can threat drug dispensing security and performance. Knowledge about the system’s complexity aspects and Human Machine parameters to control for automated equipment’s security and performance, will help operators to secure their automation process and to optimize their system’s reliability. In this context, this study aims to document operator’s situation awareness about automation risks, and parameters involved in automation security and performance. Our risk management approach has been deployed in North Luxembourg hospital center’s pharmacy which is equipped with automated drug dispensing systems since 2009. With more than 4 711 541 euros of gains generated, North Luxembourg hospital center’s success story was enabled by the management commitment, pharmacy’s involvement in the implementation and improvement of automation project, and the close collaboration between the pharmacy and Sinteco’s firm to implement the necessary innovation and organizational actions for automated solutions integration security and performance. An analysis of the actions implemented by the hospital, and the parameters involved in automated equipment’s integration security and performance have been made. The parameters to control for automated equipment’s integration security and performance are: human aspects (6,25%), technical aspects (50%), and human-machine interaction (43,75%). The implementation of an anthropocentric analysis system before automation would have prevented and optimized the control of risks related to automation.

Keywords: Risk management, hospitals, Automated drug delivery systems, Human-centered automated system

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256 Characterization of PRL-3 Oncogenic Phosphatase in Its Role in Mediating Acquired Resistance to Bortezomib in Multiple Myeloma

Authors: Shamill Amedot Udonwa, Phyllis S. Y. Chong, Lim S. L. Julia, Wee-Joo Chng

Abstract:

In this paper, we investigated how PRL-3 expression in H929 and U266 cells affects the efficacy of drug treatment. H929 and U266 cells were treated with Bortezomib (BTZ) of different concentrations, and it was observed that H929 cells were resistant to BTZ, while U266 cells were not viable. Investigations into how BTZ targets these cells were conducted, and it was observed that BTZ affects the PARP-Caspase3 pathway as well as PRL-3-Leo1 pathways. These pathways regulate cell proliferation and cell cycle, respectively. Hence, we are able to show the mechanism of how BTZ affects cells and also the role PRL-3 plays on downstream oncogenes such as cyclin-D1 and c-MYC. More importantly, this investigation into PRL-3 in BTZ resistance will be highly applicable in the future as the first clinical trials of PRL-3 antibody (PRL3-zumab) are ongoing at the National University Hospital, Singapore (NUHS). This would mean that understanding the mechanism of resistance through PRL-3, which has yet to be studied, will demonstrate the potential of PRL-3 in developing novel strategies to improve the treatment of MM.

Keywords: Hematology, Drug Resistance, multiple myeloma, oncogene

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255 Personalized Tissues and Organs Replacement – a Peek into the Future

Authors: Asaf Toker

Abstract:

Matricelf developed a technology that enables the production of autologous engineered tissue composed of matrix and cells derived from patients Omentum biopsy. The platform showed remarkable pre-clinical results for several medical conditions. The company recently licensed the technology that enabled scientist at Tel Aviv university that 3D printed a human heart from human cells and matrix for the first time in human history. The company plans to conduct its first human clinical trial for Acute Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) early in 2023.

Keywords: Tissue Engineering, Regenerative medicine, Spinal Cord Injury, iPSC, autologous implants

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254 Exploring Key Elements of Successful Distance Learning Programs: A Case Study in Palau

Authors: Maiya Smith, Tyler Thorne

Abstract:

Background: The Pacific faces multiple healthcare crises, including high rates of noncommunicable diseases, infectious disease outbreaks, and susceptibility to natural disasters. These issues are expected to worsen in the coming decades, increasing the burden on an already understaffed healthcare system. Telehealth is not new to the Pacific, but improvements in technology and accessibility have increased its utility and have already proven to reduce costs and increase access to care in remote areas. Telehealth includes distance learning; a form of education that can help alleviate many healthcare issues by providing continuing education to healthcare professionals and upskilling staff, while decreasing costs. This study examined distance learning programs at the Ministry of Health in the Pacific nation of Palau and identified key elements to their successful distance learning programs. Methods: Staff at the Belau National Hospital in Koror, Palau as well as private practitioners were interviewed to assess distance learning programs utilized. This included physicians, IT personnel, public health members, and department managers of allied health. In total, 36 people were interviewed. Standardized questions and surveys were conducted in person throughout the month of July 2019. Results: Two examples of successful distance learning programs were identified. Looking at the factors that made these programs successful, as well as consulting with staff who undertook other distance learning programs, four factors for success were determined: having a cohort, having a facilitator, dedicated study time off from work, and motivation. Discussion: In countries as geographically isolated as the Pacific, with poor access to specialists and resources, telehealth has the potential to radically change how healthcare is delivered. Palau shares similar resources and issues as other countries in the Pacific and the lessons learned from their successful programs can be adapted to help other Pacific nations develop their own distance learning programs.

Keywords: Distance Learning, Telehealth, Pacific, Palau

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253 Wireless Capsule Endoscope - Antenna and Channel Characterization

Authors: Mona Elhelbawy, Mac Gray

Abstract:

Traditional wired endoscopy is an intrusive process that requires a long flexible tube to be inserted through the patient’s mouth while intravenously sedated. Only images of the upper 4 feet of stomach, colon, and rectum can be captured, leaving the remaining 20 feet of small intestines. Wireless capsule endoscopy offers a painless, non-intrusive, efficient and effective alternative to traditional endoscopy. In wireless capsule endoscopy (WCE), ingestible vitamin-pill-shaped capsules with imaging capabilities, sensors, batteries, and antennas are designed to send images of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in real time. In this paper, we investigate the radiation performance and specific absorption rate (SAR) of a miniature conformal capsule antenna operating at the Medical Implant Communication Service (MICS) frequency band in the human body. We perform numerical simulations using the finite element method based commercial software, high-frequency structure simulator (HFSS) and the ANSYS human body model (HBM). We also investigate the in-body channel characteristics between the implantable capsule and an external antenna placed on the surface of the human body.

Keywords: SAR, IEEE 802.15.6, MICS, WCE

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252 Realistic Simulation Methodology in Brazil’s New Medical Education Curriculum: Potentialities

Authors: Cleto J. Sauer Jr

Abstract:

Introduction: Brazil’s new national curriculum guidelines (NCG) for medical education were published in 2014, presenting active learning methodologies as a cornerstone. Simulation was initially applied for aviation pilots’ training and is currently applied in health sciences. The high-fidelity simulator replicates human body anatomy in detail, also reproducing physiological functions and its use is increasing in medical schools. Realistic Simulation (RS) has pedagogical aspects that are aligned with Brazil’s NCG teaching concepts. The main objective of this study is to carry on a narrative review on RS’s aspects that are aligned with Brazil’s new NCG teaching concepts. Methodology: A narrative review was conducted, with search in three databases (PubMed, Embase and BVS) of studies published between 2010 and 2020. Results: After systematized search, 49 studies were selected and divided into four thematic groups. RS is aligned with new Brazilian medical curriculum as it is an active learning methodology, providing greater patient safety, uniform teaching, and student's emotional skills enhancement. RS is based on reflective learning, a teaching concept developed for adult’s education. Conclusion: RS is a methodology aligned with NCG teaching concepts and has potential to assist in the implementation of new Brazilian medical school’s curriculum. It is an immersive and interactive methodology, which provides reflective learning in a safe environment for students and patients.

Keywords: Curriculum, Medical Education, realistic simulation, high-fidelity simulator

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251 Analysis of Distance Travelled by Plastic Consumables Used in the First 24 Hours of an Intensive Care Admission: Impacts and Methods of Mitigation

Authors: Aidan N. Smallwood, Celestine R. Weegenaar, Jack N. Evans

Abstract:

The intensive care unit (ICU) is a particularly resource heavy environment, in terms of staff, drugs and equipment required. Whilst many areas of the hospital are attempting to cut down on plastic use and minimise their impact on the environment, this has proven challenging within the confines of intensive care. Concurrently, as globalization has progressed over recent decades, there has been a tendency towards centralised manufacturing with international distribution networks for products, often covering large distances. In this study, we have modelled the standard consumption of plastic single-use items over the course of the first 24-hours of an average individual patient’s stay in a 12 bed ICU in the United Kingdom (UK). We have identified the country of manufacture and calculated the minimum possible distance travelled by each item from factory to patient. We have assumed direct transport via the shortest possible straight line from country of origin to the UK and have not accounted for transport within either country. Assuming an intubated patient with invasive haemodynamic monitoring and central venous access, there are a total of 52 distincts, largely plastic, disposable products which would reasonably be required in the first 24-hours after admission. Each product type has only been counted once to account for multiple items being shipped as one package. Travel distances from origin were summed to give the total distance combined for all 52 products. The minimum possible total distance travelled from country of origin to the UK for all types of product was 273,353 km, equivalent to 6.82 circumnavigations of the globe, or 71% of the way to the moon. The mean distance travelled was 5,256 km, approximately the distance from London to Mecca. With individual packaging for each item, the total weight of consumed products was 4.121 kg. The CO2 produced shipping these items by air freight would equate to 30.1 kg, however doing the same by sea would produce 0.2 kg CO2. Extrapolating these results to the 211,932 UK annual ICU admissions (2018-2019), even with the underestimates of distance and weight of our assumptions, air freight would account for 6586 tons CO2 emitted annually, approximately 130 times that of sea freight. Given the drive towards cost saving within the UK health service, and the decline of the local manufacturing industry, buying from intercontinental manufacturers is inevitable However, transporting all consumables by sea where feasible would be environmentally beneficial, as well as being less costly than air freight. At present, the NHS supply chain purchases from medical device companies, and there is no freely available information as to the transport mode used to deliver the product to the UK. This must be made available to purchasers in order to give a fuller picture of life cycle impact and allow for informed decision making in this regard.

Keywords: Plastic, Transport, CO2, Intensive Care

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250 Report of a Realistic Simulation Training in Using Bougie Guide for Endotracheal Intubation

Authors: Cleto J. Sauer Jr., Rita C. Sauer, Chaider G. Andrade, Doris F. Rabelo

Abstract:

Some patients with COVID-19 disease and difficult airway characteristics undergo to endotracheal intubation (ETI) procedure. The tracheal introducer, known as the bougie guide, can aid ETI in patients with difficult airway pattern. Realistic simulation (RS) is a methodology utilized for healthcare professionals training. To improve skills in using the bougie guide of physicians from Recôncavo da Bahia region in Brazil, during COVID-19 outbreak, RS training was carried out. Simulated scenario included the Nasco Lifeform realistic simulator for ETI and a bougie guide introducer. Training was a capacitation program organized by the Health Department of Bahia State. Objective: To report effects in participants´ self-confidence perception for using bougie guide after a RS based training. Methods: Descriptive study, secondary data extracted from questionnaires. Priority workplace and previous knowledge about bougie were reported on a preparticipation formulary. Participants also completed pre- and post-training qualitative self-assessment (10-point Likert scale) regarding to self-confidence in using bougie guide. Distribution analysis for qualitative data was performed with Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test, and self-confidence increase analysis in frequency contingency tables with Fisher's exact test. Results: From May to June 2020 a total of 36 physicians participated of training, 25 (69%) from primary care setting, 32 (89%) with no previous knowledge about the bougie guide utilization. For those who had previous knowledge about bougie pre-training self-confidence median was 6,5, and 2 for participants who had not. In overall there was an increase in self-confidence median for bougie utilization. Median (variation) before and after training was 2.5 (1-7) vs. 8 (4-10) (p <0.0001). Among those who had no previous knowledge about bougie (n = 32) an increase in self-confidence greater than 3 points for bougie utilization was reported by 31 vs. 1 participants (p = 0.71). Conclusions: Most of participants had no previous knowledge about using the bougie guide. RS training contributed to self-confidence increase for using bougie for ETI procedure. RS methodology can contribute for training in using the bougie guide for ETI procedure during COVID-19 outbreak.

Keywords: confidence, endotracheal intubation, COVID-19, realistic simulation, bougie

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249 Endotracheal Intubation Self-Confidence: Report of a Realistic Simulation Training

Authors: Cleto J. Sauer Jr., Rita C. Sauer, Chaider G. Andrade, Doris F. Rabelo

Abstract:

Introduction: Endotracheal Intubation (ETI) is a procedure for clinical management of patients with severe clinical presentation of COVID-19 disease. Realistic simulation (RS) is an active learning methodology utilized for clinical skill's improvement. To improve ETI skills of public health network's physicians from Recôncavo da Bahia region in Brazil, during COVID-19 outbreak, RS training was planned and carried out. Training scenario included the Nasco Lifeform realistic simulator, and three actions were simulated: ETI procedure, sedative drugs management, and bougie guide utilization. Training intervention occurred between May and June 2020, as an interinstitutional cooperation between the Health's Department of Bahia State and the Federal University from Recôncavo da Bahia. Objective: The main objective is to report the effects on participants' self-confidence perception for ETI procedure after RS based training. Methods: This is a descriptive study, with secondary data extracted from questionnaires applied throughout RS training. Priority workplace, time from last intubation, and knowledge about bougie were reported on a preparticipation questionnaire. Additionally, participants completed pre- and post-training qualitative self-assessment (10-point Likert scale) regarding self-confidence perception in performing each of simulated actions. Distribution analysis for qualitative data was performed with Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test, and self-confidence increase analysis in frequency contingency tables with Fisher's Exact Test. Results: 36 physicians participated of training, 25 (69%) from primary care setting, 25 (69%) performed ETI over a year ago, and only 4 (11%) had previous knowledge about the bougie guide utilization. There was an increase in self-confidence medians for all three simulated actions. Medians (variation) for self-confidence before and after training, for each simulated action were as follows: ETI [5 (1-9) vs. 8 (6-10) (p < 0.0001)]; Sedative drug management [5 (1-9) vs. 8 (4-10) (p < 0.0001)]; Bougie guide utilization [2.5 (1-7) vs. 8 (4-10) (p < 0.0001)]. Among those who performed ETI over a year ago (n = 25), an increase in self-confidence greater than 3 points for ETI was reported by 23 vs. 2 physicians (p = 0.0002), and by 21 vs. 4 (p = 0.03) for sedative drugs management. Conclusions: RS training contributed to self-confidence increase in performing ETI. Among participants who performed ETI over a year, there was a significant association between RS training and increase of more than 3 points in self-confidence, both for ETI and sedative drug management. Training with RS methodology is suitable for ETI confidence enhancement during COVID-19 outbreak.

Keywords: confidence, endotracheal intubation, COVID-19, realistic simulation

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248 Influenza Vaccine Uptake Among Tunisian Physicians in the 2018-2019 Influenza Season

Authors: Jihene Bettaieb, Ghassen kharroubi, Ines Cherif, Afif Ben Salah, Leila Bouabid, Adel Gharbi, Aicha Boukthir, Margaret Mccarron, Nissaf Ben Alaya

Abstract:

Healthcare workers' flu vaccination prevents influenza disease among both patients and caregivers. We aimed in this study to assess influenza vaccine (IV) coverage in 2018-2019 among Tunisian physicians and to determine factors associated with IV receipt. A cross sectional study was carried out in Tunisian primary and secondary health care facilities in the 2018-2019 influenza season. Physicians with direct patient contact were recruited according to a self-weighted multistage sampling. Data were collected through a face to face questionnaire containing questions on knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding IV. Bivariate analysis was used in order to determine factors associated with IV receipt. A total of 167 physicians were included in the study with a mean age of 48.2 ± 7.7 years and a sex-ratio (M: F) of 0.37. Among participants, 15.1% (95% CI: [9.7%-20.3%]) were vaccinated against influenza in the 2018-2019 influenza season. Bivariate analysis revealed that previous flu immunization in the four years preceding the 2018-2019 influenza season (OR=32.3; p < 10-3), belief that vaccinating healthcare workers may reduce work absenteeism (OR=4.7, p=0.028), belief that flu vaccine should be mandatory to healthcare workers (OR=3.3, p=0.01) and high confidence towards IV efficacy in preventing influenza among caregivers (OR= 4.5, p=0.01) were associated with a higher IV receipt in 2018-2019 among physicians. Less than one fifth of Tunisian physicians were vaccinated against influenza in 2018-2019. Higher vaccine uptake was related to a higher belief in vaccine efficacy in preventing influenza disease among both patients and caregivers. This underscores the need for periodic educational campaigns to raise physicians' awareness about IV efficacy. The switch to an IV mandatory policy should also be considered.

Keywords: Tunisia, physicians, influenza vaccine, vaccination uptake

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247 Integration of Technology into Nursing Education: A Collaboration between College of Nursing and University Research Center

Authors: Lori Lioce, Gary Maddux, Norven Goddard, Ishella Fogle, Bernard Schroer

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This paper presents the integration of technologies into nursing education. The collaborative effort includes the College of Nursing (CoN) at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and the UAH Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP). The faculty at the CoN conducts needs assessments to identify education and training requirements. A team of CoN faculty and SMAP engineers then prioritize these requirements and establish improvement/development teams. The development teams consist of nurses to evaluate the models and to provide feedback and of undergraduate engineering students and their senior staff mentors from SMAP. The SMAP engineering staff develops and creates the physical models using 3D printing, silicone molds and specialized molding mixtures and techniques. The collaboration has focused on developing teaching and training, or clinical, simulators. In addition, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has intensified this relationship, as 3D modeling shifted to supplied personal protection equipment (PPE) to local health care providers. A secondary collaboration has been introducing students to clinical benchmarking through the UAH Center for Management and Economic Research. As a result of these successful collaborations the Model Exchange & Development of Nursing & Engineering Technology (MEDNET) has been established. MEDNET seeks to extend and expand the linkage between engineering and nursing to K-12 schools, technical schools and medical facilities in the region to the resources available from the CoN and SMAP. As an example, stereolithography (STL) files of the 3D printed models, along with the specifications to fabricate models, are available on the MEDNET website. Ten 3D printed models have been developed and are currently in use by the CoN. The following additional training simulators are currently under development:1) suture pads, 2) gelatin wound models and 3) printed wound tattoos. Specification sheets have been written for these simulations that describe the use, fabrication procedures and parts list. These specifications are available for viewing and download on MEDNET. Included in this paper are 1) descriptions of CoN, SMAP and MEDNET, 2) collaborative process used in product improvement/development, 3) 3D printed models of training and teaching simulators, 4) training simulators under development with specification sheets, 5) family care practice benchmarking, 6) integrating the simulators into the nursing curriculum, 7) utilizing MEDNET as a pandemic response, and 8) conclusions and lessons learned.

Keywords: Simulation, Nursing Education, Trainers

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246 Infection of Phlebotomus Sergenti with Leishmania Tropica in a Classical Focus of Leishmania Major in Tunisia

Authors: Jihene Bettaieb, Ghassen kharroubi, Kaouther Jaouadi, Amira Bennour, Sadok Salem, Afif Ben Salah

Abstract:

In Tunisia, chronic cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania (L) tropica is an important health problem. Its spreading has not been fully elucidated. Information on sandfly vectors, as well as their associated Leishmania species, is of paramount importance since vector dispersion is one of the major factors responsible for pathogen dissemination. In total, 650 sandflies were captured between June and August 2015 using sticky paper traps in the governorate of Sidi Bouzid, a classical focus of L. major in the Central-West of Tunisia. Polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the internal transcribed spacer 1 and sequencing were used for Leishmania detection and identification. Ninety-seven unfed females were tested for the presence of Leishmania parasite DNA. Six Phlebotomus sergenti were found positive for L. tropica. This finding enhances the understanding of the cycle extension of L. tropica outside its original focus of Tataouine in the South-East of the country.

Keywords: Cutaneous leishmaniasis, Tunisia, Leishmania tropica, sandflies

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245 Seroprevalence of Hepatitis a Virus Infection among General Population in Central-West Tunisia

Authors: Ghassen Kharroubi, Afif Ben Salah, Jihene Bettaieb, Kaouther Ayouni, Rym Mallekh, Walid Hammemi, Henda Triki

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In Tunisia, the hepatitis A virus (HAV) represents a public health concern. Due to the progress in sanitation and socio-economic conditions, the epidemiology of HAV has shown dynamic changes over the past years. This study aimed to investigate the current seroprevalence of HAV antibodies (anti-HAV) among the residents of Thala, a rural setting in central-west Tunisia, to determine the age-specific seroprevalence for HAV infection and co-infection with hepatitis C and B virus. A total of 1379 subjects (mean age: 25.0 ± 17.3 years, 555 males/ 824 females) were recruited between January and June 2014. The study population included 95 individuals previously known as hepatitis C positive. Serum samples were collected and screened for the detection of IgG anti-HAV, HBsAg, and HBcAb by the Elisa Test. The overall anti- HAV seroprevalence was about 84.7%. There was no statistically significant difference between males and females. On the 1379 tested individual, 219 were positive for HBcAb, and 67 were positive for HBsAg. IgG anti- HAV were positive in 80.6% of HBsAg-positive patients (54 out of 67), 81.3% of HBcAb-positive patients (178 out of 219), and in 95.8% of HCV-positive patients (91 out of 95). HBV infection and HCV infection were statistically associated with a greater risk of positive anti-HAV antibody (p < 0.001). Our study revealed that Thala represents an intermediate endemicity level and that the introduction of vaccination against HAV in this region is recommended, especially for the hepatitis B or C infected person seronegative for HAV.

Keywords: Tunisia, seroprevalence, hepatitis A, coinfection

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244 Influenza Vaccination Acceptance and Refusal Reasons among Tunisian Elderly

Authors: Ghassen Kharroubi, Ines Cherif, Leila Bouabid, Adel Gharbi, Aicha Boukthir, Margaret McCarron, Nissaf Ben Alaya, Afif Ben Salah, Jihene Bettaieb

Abstract:

Influenza vaccination (IV) is recommended for elderly persons, especially those with underlying conditions. In countries where IV rates in the elderly remain unsatisfactory, exploring attitudes of older persons toward the flu vaccine could be useful to identify barriers and facilitators to IV. The aim of this study was to determine the reasons for IV acceptance or decline in the Tunisian elderly. A national cross-sectional study was conducted in 2019, among persons aged 60 years and over with chronic disease. Data were collected using a standard administered questionnaire. Of the 1191 older persons included, 19.4% received the influenza vaccine in the 2018-2019 flu season. The two main reasons that may lead to refusal of vaccination were concerns that the vaccine could cause side effects (71.5%) and a belief that the vaccine was ineffective (33.9%). The main reason that may lead to accepting vaccination was a doctor’s recommendation (41.1%). Doctors were by far the most trusted source for information regarding influenza vaccine (91.5%) followed by pharmacists (17.6%). Our results highlighted the important role that doctors could play in promoting IV among the Tunisian elderly. Physicians should correct misconceptions about adverse events and the efficiency of the vaccine. In fact, influenza vaccines are generally effective and safe among older persons.

Keywords: attitudes, Older Persons, Tunisia, influenza vaccination

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243 Epidemiological, Clinical and Bacteriological Profile of Human Brucellosis in the District of Tunis

Authors: Jihene Bettaieb, Ghassen kharroubi, Rym mallekh, Ines Cherif, Taoufik Atawa, Kaouther Harrabech

Abstract:

Brucellosis is a major worldwide zoonosis. It is a reportable condition in Tunisia where the disease remains endemic, especially in rural areas. The aim of this study was to describe the epidemiological, clinical, and bacteriological profile of human brucellosis cases notified in the district of Tunis. It was a retrospective descriptive study of cases reported in the district of Tunis through the national surveillance system between the 1st January and 31th December 2017. During the study period, 133 brucellosis confirmed cases were notified. The mean age was 37.5 ± 18.0 years, and 54.9% of cases were males. More than four-fifths (82.7%) of cases were reported in spring and summer with a peak in the month of May (36 cases). Fever and sweats were the most common symptoms; they occurred in 95% and 72% of cases, respectively. Osteoarticular complications occurred in 10 cases, meningitis in one case and endocarditis in one other case. Wright agglutination test and Rose Bengale test were positive in 100% and 91% of cases, respectively. While blood culture was positive in 9 cases and PCR in 2 cases. Brucella melitensis was the only identified specie (9 cases). Almost all cases (99.2%) reported the habit of consuming raw dairy products. Only 5 cases had a suspect contact with animals; among them, 3 persons were livestock breeders. The transmission was essentially due to raw dairy product consumption. It is important to enhance preventive measures to control animal Brucellosis and to educate the population regarding the risk factors of the disease.

Keywords: Brucellosis, Risk Factors, Surveillance System, Tunisia

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242 Laser Corneoplastique™: A Refractive Surgery for Corneal Scars

Authors: Arun C. Gulani, Aaishwariya A. Gulani, Amanda Southall

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Background: Laser Corneoplastique™ as a least interventional, visually promising technique for patients with vision disability from corneal scars of varied causes has been retrospectively reviewed and proves to cause a paradigm shift in mindset and approach towards corneal scars as a Refractive surgery aiming for emmetropic, unaided vision of 20;/20 in most cases. Three decades of work on this technique has been compiled in this 15-year study. Subject and Methods: The objective of this study was to determine the success of Laser Corneoplastique™ surgery as a treatment of corneal scar cases. A survey of corneal scar cases caused by various medical histories that had undergone Laser Corneoplastique™ surgery over the past twenty years by a single surgeon Arun C. Gulani, M.D. were retrospectively reviewed. The details of each of the cases were retrieved from their medical records and analyzed. Each patient had been examined thoroughly at their preoperative appointments for stability of refraction and vision, depth of scar, pachymetry, topography, pattern of the scar and uncorrected and best corrected vision potential, which were all taken into account in the patients' treatment plans. Results: 64 eyes of 53 patients were investigated for scar etiology, keratometry, visual acuity, and complications. There were 25 different etiologies seen, with the most common being a Herpetic scar. The average visual acuity post-op was, on average, 20/23.55 (±7.05). Laser parameters used were depth and pulses. Overall, the mean Laser ablation depth was 30.67 (±19.05), ranging from 2 to 73 µm. Number of Laser pulses averaged 191.85 (±112.02). Conclusion: Refractive Laser Corneoplastique™ surgery, when practiced as an art, can address all levels of ametropia while reversing complex corneas and scars from refractive surgery complications back to 20/20 vision.

Keywords: Refractive Surgery, corneal scar, corneal transplant, laser corneoplastique

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241 Outcome of Comparison between Partial Thickness Skin Graft Harvesting from Scalp and Lower Limb for Scalp Defect: A Clinical Trial Study

Authors: Mehrdad Taghipour, Mahdi Eskandarlou

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Background: Partial-thickness skin graft is the cornerstone for scalp defect repair. Routine donor sites include abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. Given the potential side effects following harvesting from these sites and the potential advantages of harvesting from scalp (broad surface, rapid healing, and better cosmetics results), this study is trying to compare the outcomes of graft harvesting from scalp and lower limb. Methods: This clinical trial is conducted among a sample number of 40 partial thickness graft candidates (20 case and 20 control group) with scalp defect presenting to plastic surgery clinic at Besat Hospital during the time period between 2018 and 2019. Sampling was done by simple randomization using random digit table. Data gathering was performed using a designated checklist. The donor site in case group and control group was scalp and lower limb, respectively. The resultant data were analyzed using chi-squared and t-test and SPPS version 21 (SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp). Results: Of the total 40 patients participating in this study, 28 patients (70%) were male, and 12 (30%) were female with and mean age of 63.62 ± 09.73 years. Hypertension and diabetes mellitus were the most common comorbidities among patients with basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and trauma being the most common etiology for the defects. There was a statistically meaningful relationship between two groups regarding the etiology of defect (P=0.02). The most common anatomic location of defect for case and control groups was temporal and parietal, respectively. Most of the defects were deep to galea zone. The mean diameter of defect was 24.28 ± 45.37 mm for all of the patients. The difference between diameter of defect in both groups was statistically meaningful, while no such difference between graft diameter was seen. The graft 'Take' was completely successful in both groups according to evaluations. The level of postoperative pain was lower in the case group compared to the control according to VAS scale, and the satisfaction was higher in them per Likert scale. Conclusion: Scalp can safely be used as donor site for skin graft to be used for scalp defects, which is associated with better results and lower complication rates compared to other donor sites.

Keywords: donor site, leg, partial-thickness graft, scalp

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240 Robotic Assistance in Nursing Care: Survey on Challenges and Scenarios

Authors: Pascal Gliesche, Kathrin Seibert, Christian Kowalski, Dominik Domhoff, Max Pfingsthorn, Karin Wolf-Ostermann, Andreas Hein

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Robotic assistance in nursing care is an increasingly important area of research and development. Facing a shortage of labor and an increasing number of people in need of care, the German Nursing Care Innovation Center (Pflegeinnovationszentrum, PIZ) aims to address these challenges from the side of technology. Little is known about nurses experiences with existing robotic assistance systems. Especially nurses perspectives on starting points for the development of robotic solutions, that target recurring burdensome tasks in everyday nursing care, are of interest. This paper presents findings focusing on robotics resulting from an explanatory mixed-methods study on nurses experiences with and their expectations for innovative technologies in nursing care in stationary and ambulant care facilities and hospitals in Germany. Based on the findings, eight scenarios for robotic assistance are identified based on the real needs of practitioners. An initial system addressing a single use-case is described to show perspectives for the use of robots in nursing care.

Keywords: Engineering Management, Robotics and Automation, Medical Services, Engineering in Medicine and Biology, public health-care

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239 Vision-Based Daily Routine Recognition for Healthcare with Transfer Learning

Authors: Yan Liu, Bruce X. B. Yu, Keith C. C. Chan

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We propose to record Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) of elderly people using a vision-based system so as to provide better assistive and personalization technologies. Current ADL-related research is based on data collected with help from non-elderly subjects in laboratory environments and the activities performed are predetermined for the sole purpose of data collection. To obtain more realistic datasets for the application, we recorded ADLs for the elderly with data collected from real-world environment involving real elderly subjects. Motivated by the need to collect data for more effective research related to elderly care, we chose to collect data in the room of an elderly person. Specifically, we installed Kinect, a vision-based sensor on the ceiling, to capture the activities that the elderly subject performs in the morning every day. Based on the data, we identified 12 morning activities that the elderly person performs daily. To recognize these activities, we created a HARELCARE framework to investigate into the effectiveness of existing Human Activity Recognition (HAR) algorithms and propose the use of a transfer learning algorithm for HAR. We compared the performance, in terms of accuracy, and training progress. Although the collected dataset is relatively small, the proposed algorithm has a good potential to be applied to all daily routine activities for healthcare purposes such as evidence-based diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: Healthcare, Transfer Learning, daily activity recognition, IoT sensors

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238 Multimodal Direct Neural Network Positron Emission Tomography Reconstruction

Authors: William Whiteley, Jens Gregor

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In recent developments of direct neural network based positron emission tomography (PET) reconstruction, two prominent architectures have emerged for converting measurement data into images: 1) networks that contain fully-connected layers; and 2) networks that primarily use a convolutional encoder-decoder architecture. In this paper, we present a multi-modal direct PET reconstruction method called MDPET, which is a hybrid approach that combines the advantages of both types of networks. MDPET processes raw data in the form of sinograms and histo-images in concert with attenuation maps to produce high quality multi-slice PET images (e.g., 8x440x440). MDPET is trained on a large whole-body patient data set and evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively against target images reconstructed with the standard PET reconstruction benchmark of iterative ordered subsets expectation maximization. The results show that MDPET outperforms the best previously published direct neural network methods in measures of bias, signal-to-noise ratio, mean absolute error, and structural similarity.

Keywords: Machine Learning, Neural Network, Deep learning, Positron Emission Tomography, Image Reconstruction

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237 Jan’s Life-History: Changing Faces of Managerial Masculinities and Consequences for Health

Authors: Susanne Gustafsson

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Life-history research is an extraordinarily fruitful method to use for social analysis and gendered health analysis in particular. Its potential is illustrated through a case study drawn from a Swedish project. It reveals an old type of masculinity that faces difficulties when carrying out two sets of demands simultaneously, as a worker/manager and as a father/husband. The paper illuminates the historical transformation of masculinity and the consequences of this for health. We draw on the idea of the “changing faces of masculinity” to explore the dynamism and complexity of gendered health. An empirical case is used for its illustrative abilities. Jan, a middle-level manager and father employed in the energy sector in urban Sweden is the subject of this paper. Jan’s story is one of 32 semi-structured interviews included in an extended study focusing on well-being at work. The results reveal a face of masculinity conceived of in middle-level management as tacitly linked to the neoliberal doctrine. Over a couple of decades, the idea of “flexibility” was turned into a valuable characteristic that everyone was supposed to strive for. This resulted in increased workloads. Quite a few employees, and managers, in particular, find themselves working both day and night. This may explain why not having enough time to spend with children and family members is a recurring theme in the data. Can this way of doing be linked to masculinity and health? The first author’s research has revealed that the use of gender in health science is not sufficiently or critically questioned. This lack of critical questioning is a serious problem, especially since ways of doing gender affect health. We suggest that gender reproduction and gender transformation are interconnected, regardless of how they affect health. They are recognized as two sides of the same phenomenon, and minor movements in one direction or the other become crucial for understanding its relation to health. More or less, at the same time, as Jan’s masculinity was reproduced in response to workplace practices, Jan’s family position was transformed—not totally but by a degree or two, and these degrees became significant for the family’s health and well-being. By moving back and forth between varied events in Jan’s biographical history and his sociohistorical life span, it becomes possible to show that in a time of gender transformations, power relations can be renegotiated, leading to consequences for health.

Keywords: changing faces of masculinity, gendered health, life-history research method, subverter

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236 The Integration of Patient Health Record Generated from Wearable and Internet of Things Devices into Health Information Exchanges

Authors: Dalvin D. Hill, Hector M. Castro Garcia

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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 is 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).

Keywords: Internet of Things, wearables, Wearable Devices, Electronic Health Record, Personal Health Records, health information exchanges

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235 Big Data and Cardiovascular Healthcare Management: Recent Advances, Future Potential and Pitfalls

Authors: Maariyah Irfan

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Intro: Current cardiovascular (CV) care faces challenges such as low budgets and high hospital admission rates. This review aims to evaluate Big Data in CV healthcare management through the use of wearable devices in atrial fibrillation (AF) detection. AF may present intermittently, thus it is difficult for a healthcare professional to capture and diagnose a symptomatic rhythm. Methods: The iRhythm ZioPatch, AliveCor portable electrocardiogram (ECG), and Apple Watch were chosen for review due to their involvement in controlled clinical trials, and their integration with smartphones. The cost-effectiveness and AF detection of these devices were compared against the 12-lead ambulatory ECG (Holter monitor) that the NHS currently employs for the detection of AF. Results: The Zio patch was found to detect more arrhythmic events than the Holter monitor over a 2-week period. When patients presented to the emergency department with palpitations, AliveCor portable ECGs detected 6-fold more symptomatic events compared to the standard care group over 3-months. Based off preliminary results from the Apple Heart Study, only 0.5% of participants received irregular pulse notifications from the Apple Watch. Discussion: The Zio Patch and AliveCor devices have promising potential to be implemented into the standard duty of care offered by the NHS as they compare well to current routine measures. Nonetheless, companies must address the discrepancy between their target population and current consumers as those that could benefit the most from the innovation may be left out due to cost and access.

Keywords: Big Data, Atrial Fibrillation, Wearable Devices, cardiovascular healthcare management

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234 Radioprotective Efficacy of Costus afer against the Radiation-Induced Hematology and Histopathology Damage in Mice

Authors: Naven Chetty, Idowu R. Akomolafe

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Background: The widespread medical application of ionizing radiation has raised public concern about radiation exposure and, thus, associated cancer risk. The production of reactive oxygen species and free radicals as a result of radiation exposure can cause severe damage to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of cells, thus leading to biological effect. Radiotherapy is an excellent modality in the treatment of cancerous cells, comes with a few challenges. A significant challenge is the exposure of healthy cells surrounding the tumour to radiation. The last few decades have witnessed lots of attention shifted to plants, herbs, and natural product as an alternative to synthetic compound for radioprotection. Thus, the study investigated the radioprotective efficacy of Costus afer against whole-body radiation-induced haematological, histopathological disorder in mice. Materials and Method: Fifty-four mice were randomly divided into nine groups. Animals were pretreated with the extract of Costus afer by oral gavage for six days before irradiation. Control: 6 mice received feed and water only; 6 mice received feed, water, and 3Gy; 6 mice received feed, water, and 6Gy; experimental: 6 mice received 250 mg/kg extract; 6 mice received 500 mg/kg extract; 6 mice received 250 mg/kg extract and 3Gy; 6 mice received 500 mg/kg extract and 3Gy; 6 mice received 250 mg/kg extract and 6Gy; 6 mice received 500 mg/kg extract and 6Gy in addition to feeding and water. The irradiation was done at the Radiotherapy and Oncology Department of Grey's Hospital using linear accelerator (LINAC). Thirty-six mice were sacrificed by cervical dislocation 48 hours after irradiation, and blood was collected for haematology tests. Also, the liver and kidney of the sacrificed mice were surgically removed for histopathology tests. The remaining eighteen (18) mice were used for mortality and survival studies. Data were analysed by one-way ANOVA, followed by Tukey's multiple comparison test. Results: Prior administration of Costus afer extract decreased the symptoms of radiation sickness and caused a significant delay in the mortality as demonstrated in the experimental mice. The first mortality was recorded on day-5 post irradiation, and this happened to the group E- that is, mice that received 6Gy but no extract. There was significant protection in the experimental mice, as demonstrated in the blood counts against hematopoietic and gastrointestinal damage when compared with the control. The protection was seen in the increase in blood counts of experimental animals and the number of survivor. The protection offered by Costus afer may be due to its ability to scavenge free radicals and restore gastrointestinal and bone marrow damage produced by radiation. Conclusions: The study has demonstrated that exposure of mice to radiation could cause modifications in the haematological and histopathological parameters of irradiated mice. However, the changes were relieved by the methanol extract of Costus afer, probably through its free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties.

Keywords: radiotherapy, Hematological, Mortality, Radioprotection, costus afer

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233 Effect of Media on Psycho-Social Interaction among the Children with Their Parents of Urban People in Dhaka

Authors: Nazma Sultana

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Social media has become an important part of our daily life. It has a significance influences on the people who use them in their daily life frequently. The number of people using social network sites has been increasing continuously. For this frequent utilization has started to affect our social life. This study examine whether the use of social network sites affects the psychosocial interaction between children and their parents. At first parents introduce their children to the internet and different type of device in their early childhood. Many parents use device for feeding their children by watching rhyme or cartoon. As a result children are habituate with it. In Bangladesh 70% people are heavy internet users. About 23 percent of them spend more than five hours on the social networking sites a day. Media are increasing pervasive in the lives of children-roughly the average child today spends nearly about 45 hours per week with media, compared with 17 hours with parents and 30 hours in school. According to a social learning theory, children & adolescents learn by observing & imitating what they see on screen particularly when these behaviors are realistic or are rewarded. The influence of the media on the psychosocial development of children is profound. Thus it is important for parents to provide guidance on age-appropriate use of all media, including television, radio, music, video games and the internet.

Keywords: Social Media, Adolescents, Technology, psychosocial, Youth, Social Relationship, Parent, teenage

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232 Companies and Transplant Tourists to China

Authors: Pavel Porubiak, Lukas Kudlacek

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Introduction Transplant tourism is a controversial method of obtaining an organ, and that goes all the more for a country such as China, where sources of evidence point out to the possibility of organs being harvested illegally. This research aimed at listing the individual countries these tourists come from, or which medical companies sell transplant related products in there, with China being used as an example. Materials and methods The methodology of scoping study was used for both parts of the research. The countries from which transplant tourists come to China were identified by a search through existing medical studies in the NCBI PubMed database, listed under the keyword ‘transplantation in China’. The search was not limited by any other criteria, but only the studies available for free – directly on PubMed or a linked source – were used. Other research studies on this topic were considered as well. The companies were identified through multiple methods. The first was an online search focused on medical companies and their products. The Bloomberg Service, used by stock brokers worldwide, was then used to identify the revenue of these companies in individual countries – if data were available – as well as their business presence in China. A search through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was done in the same way. Also a search on the Chinese internet was done, and to obtain more results, a second online search was done as well. The results and discussion The extensive search has identified 14 countries with transplant tourists to China. The search for a similar studies or reports resulted in finding additional six countries. The companies identified by our research also amounted to 20. Eight of them are sourcing China with organ preservation products – of which one is just trying to enter the Chinese market, six with immunosuppressive drugs, four with transplant diagnostics, one with medical robots which Chinese doctors use for transplantation as well, and another one trying to enter the Chinese market with a consumable-type product also related to transplantation. The conclusion The question of the ethicality of transplant tourism may be very pressing, since as the research shows, just the sheer amount of participating countries, sourcing transplant tourists to another one, amounts to 20. The identified companies are facing risks due to the nature of transplantation business in China, as officially executed prisoners are used as sources, and widely cited pieces of evidence point out to illegal organ harvesting. Similar risks and ethical questions are also relevant to the countries sourcing the transplant tourists to China.

Keywords: China, illegal organ harvesting, transplant tourism, organ harvesting technology

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