Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: Yael Sandowski

18 Multicenter Evaluation of the ACCESS Anti-HCV Assay on the DxI 9000 ACCESS Immunoassay Analyzer, for the Detection of Hepatitis C Virus Antibody

Authors: Dan W. Rhodes, Juliane Hey, Magali Karagueuzian, Florianne Martinez, Yael Sandowski, Vanessa Roulet, Mahmoud Badawi, Mohammed-Amine Chakir, Valérie Simon, Jérémie Gautier, Françoise Le Boulaire, Catherine Coignard, Claire Vincent, Sandrine Greaume, Isabelle Voisin

Abstract:

Background: Beckman Coulter, Inc. (BEC) has recently developed a fully automated second-generation anti-HCV test on a new immunoassay platform. The objective of this multicenter study conducted in Europe was to evaluate the performance of the ACCESS anti-HCV assay on the recently CE-marked DxI 9000 ACCESS Immunoassay Analyzer as an aid in the diagnosis of HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) infection and as a screening test for blood and plasma donors. Methods: The clinical specificity of the ACCESS anti-HCV assay was determined using HCV antibody-negative samples from blood donors and hospitalized patients. Sample antibody status was determined by a CE-marked anti-HCV assay (Abbott ARCHITECTTM anti-HCV assay or Abbott PRISM HCV assay) with an additional confirmation method (Immunoblot testing with INNO-LIATM HCV Score - Fujirebio), if necessary, according to pre-determined testing algorithms. The clinical sensitivity was determined using known HCV antibody-positive samples, identified positive by Immunoblot testing with INNO-LIATM HCV Score - Fujirebio. HCV RNA PCR or genotyping was available on all Immunoblot positive samples for further characterization. The false initial reactive rate was determined on fresh samples from blood donors and hospitalized patients. Thirty (30) commercially available seroconversion panels were tested to assess the sensitivity for early detection of HCV infection. The study was conducted from November 2019 to March 2022. Three (3) external sites and one (1) internal site participated. Results: Clinical specificity (95% CI) was 99.7% (99.6 – 99.8%) on 5852 blood donors and 99.0% (98.4 – 99.4%) on 1527 hospitalized patient samples. There were 15 discrepant samples (positive on ACCESS anti-HCV assay and negative on both ARCHITECT and Immunoblot) observed with hospitalized patient samples, and of note, additional HCV RNA PCR results showed five (5) samples had positive HCV RNA PCR results despite the absence of HCV antibody detection by ARCHITECT and Immunoblot, suggesting a better sensitivity of the ACCESS anti-HCV assay with these five samples compared to the ARCHITECT and Immunoblot anti-HCV assays. Clinical sensitivity (95% CI) on 510 well-characterized, known HCV antibody-positive samples was 100.0% (99.3 – 100.0%), including 353 samples with known HCV genotypes (1 to 6). The overall false initial reactive rate (95% CI) on 6630 patient samples was 0.02% (0.00 – 0.09%). Results obtained on 30 seroconversion panels demonstrated that the ACCESS anti-HCV assay had equivalent sensitivity performances, with an average bleed difference since the first reactive bleed below one (1), compared to the ARCHITECTTM anti-HCV assay. Conclusion: The newly developed ACCESS anti-HCV assay from BEC for use on the DxI 9000 ACCESS Immunoassay Analyzer demonstrated high clinical sensitivity and specificity, equivalent to currently marketed anti-HCV assays, as well as a low false initial reactive rate.

Keywords: DxI 9000 ACCESS Immunoassay Analyzer, HCV, HCV antibody, Hepatitis C virus, immunoassay

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17 Self-Efficacy of Preschool Teachers and Their Perception of Excellent Preschools

Authors: Yael Fisher

Abstract:

Little is known about perceived self-efficacy of public preschool teachers, their perception of preschool excellence, or the relations between the two. There were three purposes for this research: defining the professional self-efficacy of preschool teachers (PTSE); defining preschool teachers' perception of preschool excellence (PTPPE); and investigating the relationship between the two. Scales for PTSE and PTPPE were developed especially for this study. Public preschool teachers (N = 202) participated during the 2013 school year. Structural Equation Modeling was performed to test the fit between the research model and the obtained data. PTPSE scale (α = 0.91) was comprised of three subscales: pedagogy (α=0.84), organization (α = 0.85) and staff (α = 0.72). The PTPPE scale (α = 0.92) is also composed of three subscales: organization and pedagogy (α = 0.88), staff (α = 0.84) and parents (α = 0.83). The goodness of fit measures were RMSEA = 0.045, CFI = 0.97, NFI = 0.89, df = 173, χ²=242.94, p= .000, showing GFI = 1.4 (< 3) as a good fit. Understanding self-efficacy of preschool teachers, preschool could and should lead to better professional development (in-service training) of preschool teachers.

Keywords: self-efficacy, public pre schools, preschool excellence, SEM

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16 The Motivation of Israeli Arab Students to Study Education and Society at Multicultural College

Authors: Yael Cohen Azaria, Sara Zamir

Abstract:

This study examined what motivated Israeli Arab students to choose to study for a degree in education and society and the influence of this academic choice on them while they were studying. The study follows the qualitative paradigm of data collection and analysis, in a case study of a homogeneous group of Arab students in a Jewish multicultural academic institution. 33 students underwent semi-structured in-depth interviews. Findings show that the choice stemmed from a desire to lead social change within their own society; to imitate an educational role-model and to realize a dream of higher education. Among the female students, this field suits the role of the woman in Arab society. The interviewees claimed that the influence of their studies was that they felt more openness towards others and those who are different; they felt pride and self-confidence in their abilities, and the women mentioned that they felt empowered.

Keywords: education, higher education, Israeli Arabs, minorities

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15 Advancing the Hi-Tech Ecosystem in the Periphery: The Case of the Sea of Galilee Region

Authors: Yael Dubinsky, Orit Hazzan

Abstract:

There is a constant need for hi-tech innovation to be decentralized to peripheral regions. This work describes how we applied design science research (DSR) principles to define what we refer to as the Sea of Galilee (SoG) method. The goal of the SoG method is to harness existing and new technological initiatives in peripheral regions to create a socio-technological network that can initiate and maintain hi-tech activities. The SoG method consists of a set of principles, a stakeholder network, and actual hi-tech business initiatives, including their infrastructure and practices. The three cycles of DSR, the Relevance, Design, and Rigor cycles, layout a research framework to sharpen the requirements, collect data from case studies, and iteratively refine the SoG method based on the existing knowledge base. We propose that the SoG method can be deployed by regional authorities that wish to be considered smart regions (an extension of the notion of smart cities).

Keywords: design science research, socio-technological initiatives, Sea of Galilee method, periphery stakeholder network, hi-tech initiatieves

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14 Simultech - Innovative Country-Wide Ultrasound Training Center

Authors: Yael Rieder, Yael Gilboa, S. O. Adva, Efrat Halevi, Ronnie Tepper

Abstract:

Background: Operation of ultrasound equipment is a core skill for many clinical specialties. As part of the training program at -Simultech- a simulation center for Ob\Gyn at the Meir Medical Center, Israel, teaching how to operate ultrasound equipment requires dealing with misunderstandings of spatial and 3D orientation, failure of the operator to hold a transducer correctly, and limited ability to evaluate the data on the screen. We have developed a platform intended to endow physicians and sonographers with clinical and operational skills of obstetric ultrasound. Simultech's simulations are focused on medical knowledge, risk management, technology operations and physician-patient communication. The simulations encompass extreme work conditions. Setup: Between eight and ten of the eight hundred and fifty physicians and sonographers of the Clalit health services from seven hospitals and eight community centers across Israel, participate in individual Ob/Gyn training sessions each week. These include Ob/Gyn specialists, experts, interns, and sonographers. Innovative teaching and training methodologies: The six-hour training program includes: (1) An educational computer program that challenges trainees to deal with medical questions based upon ultrasound pictures and films. (2) Sophisticated hands-on simulators that challenge the trainees to practice correct grip of the transducer, elucidate pathology, and practice daily tasks such as biometric measurements and analysis of sonographic data. (3) Participation in a video-taped simulation which focuses on physician-patient communications. In the simulation, the physician is required to diagnose the clinical condition of a hired actress based on the data she provides and by evaluating the assigned ultrasound films accordingly. Giving ‘bad news’ to the patient may put the physician in a stressful situation that must be properly managed. (4) Feedback at the end of each phase is provided by a designated trainer, not a physician, who is specially qualified by Ob\Gyn senior specialists. (5) A group exercise in which the trainer presents a medico-legal case in order to encourage the participants to use their own experience and knowledge to conduct a productive ‘brainstorming’ session. Medical cases are presented and analyzed by the participants together with the trainer's feedback. Findings: (1) The training methods and content that Simultech provides allows trainees to review their medical and communications skills. (2) Simultech training sessions expose physicians to both basic and new, up-to-date cases, refreshing and expanding the trainee's knowledge. (3) Practicing on advanced simulators enables trainees to understand the sonographic space and to implement the basic principles of ultrasound. (4) Communications simulations were found to be beneficial for trainees who were unaware of their interpersonal skills. The trainer feedback, supported by the recorded simulation, allows the trainee to draw conclusions about his performance. Conclusion: Simultech was found to contribute to physicians at all levels of clinical expertise who deal with ultrasound. A break in daily routine together with attendance at a neutral educational center can vastly improve performance and outlook.

Keywords: medical training, simulations, ultrasound, Simultech

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13 Marine Environmental Peace-Building Initiatives: Factors of Success and Failure

Authors: Yael Teff-Seker

Abstract:

More often than not, ecosystems do not follow anthropogenic political borders. Thus, transboundary environmental protection or rehabilitation initiatives can be beneficial and at times even vital for supporting healthy ecosystems. Marine areas demand unique considerations and challenges for such initiatives, as maritime borders tend to be less defined, less fortified and less visible. In areas of recent conflict, cross-border environmental initiatives can also improve relations between states and promote peace-building efforts, in addition to their environmental benefits. The current study reviews the current literature on transboundary marine environmental protection initiatives that take place in these areas and focuses on joint initiatives in Israel-Jordan and Croatia-Slovenia. In addition to factors described in the literature such as funding and third-party involvement, findings suggest that the peripheral location of marine environmental initiatives can be beneficial for the success of such initiatives, as well as facilitating border crossing and the extent to which such initiatives advance other governmental goals. A sense of urgency, environmental or other, has also been found to be highly relevant to project success.

Keywords: environmental cooperation, environmental peacebuilding, marine environment, environmental conflict, environmental management

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12 Dialogic Approaches to Writing Pedagogy

Authors: Yael Leibovitch

Abstract:

Teaching academic writing is a source of concern for secondary schools. Many students struggle to meet the basic standards of literacy while teacher confidence in this arena remains low. These issues are compounded by the conventionally prescriptive character of writing instruction, which fails to engage student writers. At the same time, a growing body of research on dialogic teaching has highlighted the powerful role of talk in student learning. With the intent of enhancing pedagogical capability, this paper shares finding from a co-inquiry case study that investigated how teachers think about and negotiate classroom discourse to position students as effective academic writers and thinkers. Using a range of qualitative methods, this project closely documents the iterative collaboration of educators as they sought to create more opportunities for dialogic engagement. More specifically, it triangulates both teacher and student data regarding the efficacy of interdependent thinking and collaborative reasoning as organizing principals for literacy learning. Findings indicate that a dialogic teaching repertoire helps to develop the cognitive and metacognitive skills of adolescent writers. In addition, they underscore the importance of sustained professional collaboration to the uptake of new writing pedagogies.

Keywords: dialogic teaching, writing, teacher professional development, student literacy

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11 The Effect of Oil Pollution on Marine Microbial Populations in Israeli Coastal Waters

Authors: Yael Shai, Dror L. Angel, Dror Zurel, Peleg Astrahan, Maxim Rubin-Blum, Eyal Rahav

Abstract:

The high demand for oil and its by-products is symptomatic of the 21st century and occasionally leads to oil spills and pollution of coastal waters. Marine oil pollution may originate from a variety of sources -urban runoff, tanker cleaning, drilling activities, and oil spills. These events may release large amounts of highly toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other pollutants to coastal water, thereby threatening local marine life. Here, we investigated the effects of crude oil on the temporal dynamics of phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria in Israeli coastal waters. To this end, we added crude oil (500 µm thick layer, with and without additional nutrients; NO₃ and PO₄) to mesocosms (1m³ bags) containing oligotrophic surface coastal water collected near Haifa during summer and winter. Changes in phytoplankton biomass, activity and diversity were monitored daily for 5-6 days. Our results demonstrate that crude oil addition resulted in a pronounced decrease in phytoplankton biomass and production rates, while heterotrophic bacterial production increased significantly. Importantly, a few days post addition we found that the oil-degrading bacteria, Oleibacter sp. and Oleispira sp. appeared in the mesocosms and that the addition of nutrients (along with the crude oil) further increased this trend. This suggests that oil-degrading bacteria may be NO₃ and PO₄ limited in Israeli coastal waters. The results of this study should enable us to establish improved science-based environmental policy with respect to handling crude oil pollution in this region.

Keywords: heterotrophic bacteria, nutrients, mesocosm, oil pollution, oligotrophic, phytoplankton

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10 The Relation between Physical Health and Mental Health in Women of Reproductive Age

Authors: Hannah Yael Ephraim

Abstract:

During reproductive age (between 15 and 44), women are particularly susceptible to psychiatric illness. Depression and anxiety disorders are especially common for women during reproductive age. Women of reproductive age are also at greater risk for multiple physical conditions during this time. Existing literature focuses on the impact of mental health on physical health, showing that people with anxiety and depression repeatedly show greater physical health risk among those with developing chronic medical illness. However, there is limited research on the impact physical health has on mental health in women of reproductive age, a large and vulnerable population. For this reason, the current study seeks to ask the following questions: are women of reproductive age with a diagnosis of a chronic physical condition more likely to experience symptoms of mental illness than women without a diagnosis of a chronic physical condition? Does the type of physical illness relate to signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety? A quasi-experimental research design was implemented to compare the mental health outcomes of women with the diagnosis of chronic medical conditions and women without the diagnosis of a chronic medical condition. Quantitative data was collected through an anonymous ten-minute Qualtrics survey. The survey was sent out through multiple online platforms. The sample includes two groups of women: one group with the diagnosis of a chronic medical illness, and one group without a diagnosis and/or symptoms (N = 541). Participants identify as a woman and are between the ages of 15 and 44. A comparison of women with a diagnosis of a chronic physical condition and those without a diagnosis will be conducted to explore differences in depression and anxiety symptoms between women with and without a chronic medical diagnosis. The impact race, SES, and occupation will also be addressed in relation to anxiety and/or depression in women of reproductive age. This study will further the understanding of the relationship between mental illness in women of reproductive age with chronic medical conditions. The results of this study will have implications for the integration of mental health care in women’s health centers and perhaps training of clinicians and physicians providing psychological and medical care to women of reproductive age.

Keywords: mental health, physical health, reproductive age, women

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9 Ironic Historiography: On Art, Nationality and In-Between Identities

Authors: Sigal Barkai

Abstract:

'Ironic Historiography' is a hybrid notion combining criticism of historical narratives concerning the Israeli state with ironic artistic expression. The paper will deal with questions of identities of native Israeli visual artists who chose to live out of the country, or to move back and forth to and from it. It will examine the ways these wanderings are reflected in their work. The paper discusses the work of 4 contemporary artists who produce artworks in diverse techniques and media, such as video, performance and installation art. Yael Bartana, Erez Israeli and Tamir Zadok are artists who constantly deal with Israeli nationality and history in their artwork, using ironic components. In comparison, the paper will review the works of Mika Rottenberg, who is now a New York based artist. She is concerned with global social issues and neglected specific national identity altogether. All of them use visual irony as a means of reflecting and criticizing society. The analysis was done in awareness of the life stories of the artists, in an attempt to trace the ways they establish their identities through their art. It was pre-supposed that these identities will be shaped in the in-between space of being an Israeli citizen and a citizen of the world. The study asks how ironic expression appears in their work, what kind of irony do they use and in what ways does it serves them. The methodology combined visual analysis, interviews with the artists, and analyzation of secondary discourses in the media. As theoretical background various fields of knowledge were used, such as literature and language studies, Sociology, and Visual Culture studies. The findings point out that visual and artistic irony has many different goals in the use of historiographic fiction. It can bind an artist to his homeland and native society, or it can help her to detach. It helps healing breaches in the in-between space, or it can be used as a means to completely detach from any identification with a native origin.

Keywords: visual art, irony, identities, Israel

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8 A Profile of an Exercise Addict: The Relationship between Exercise Addiction and Personality

Authors: Klary Geisler, Dalit Lev-Arey, Yael Hacohen

Abstract:

It is a well-known fact that exercise has favorable effects on people's physical health, as well as mental well-being. However, as for as excessive exercise, it may likely elevate negative consequences (e.g., physical injuries, negligence of everyday responsibilities such as work, family life). Lately, there is a growing interest in exercise addiction, sometimes referred to as exercise dependence, which is defined as a craving for physical activity that results in extreme work-out sessions and generates negative physiological and psychological symptoms (e.g., withdrawal symptoms, tolerance, social conflict). Exercise addiction is considered a behavioral addiction, yet it was not included in the latest editions of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV), due to lack of significant research. Specifically, there is scarce research on the relationship between exercise addiction and personality dimensions. The purpose of the current research was to examine the relationship between primary exercise addiction symptoms and the big five dimensions, perfectionism (high performance expectations and self-critical performance evaluations) and subjective affect. participants were 152 trainees on a variety of aerobic sports activities (running, cycling, swimming) that were recruited through sports groups and trainers. 88% of participants trained for at least 5 hours per week, 24% of the participants trained above 10 hours per week. To test the predictive ability of the IVs a hierarchical linear regression with forced block entry was performed. It was found that Neuroticism significantly predicted exercise addiction symptoms (20% of the variance, p<0.001), while consciousness was negatively correlated with exercise addiction symptoms (14% of variance p<0.05); both had a unique contribution. Other dimensions of the big five (agreeableness, openness and extraversion) did not have any contribution to the dependent. Moreover, maladaptive perfectionism (self-critical performance evaluations) significantly predicted exercise addiction symptoms as well (10% of the variance P < 0.05). The overall regression model explained 54% of variance.

Keywords: big five, consciousness, excessive exercise, exercise addiction, neuroticism, perfectionism, personality

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7 Detecting Tomato Flowers in Greenhouses Using Computer Vision

Authors: Dor Oppenheim, Yael Edan, Guy Shani

Abstract:

This paper presents an image analysis algorithm to detect and count yellow tomato flowers in a greenhouse with uneven illumination conditions, complex growth conditions and different flower sizes. The algorithm is designed to be employed on a drone that flies in greenhouses to accomplish several tasks such as pollination and yield estimation. Detecting the flowers can provide useful information for the farmer, such as the number of flowers in a row, and the number of flowers that were pollinated since the last visit to the row. The developed algorithm is designed to handle the real world difficulties in a greenhouse which include varying lighting conditions, shadowing, and occlusion, while considering the computational limitations of the simple processor in the drone. The algorithm identifies flowers using an adaptive global threshold, segmentation over the HSV color space, and morphological cues. The adaptive threshold divides the images into darker and lighter images. Then, segmentation on the hue, saturation and volume is performed accordingly, and classification is done according to size and location of the flowers. 1069 images of greenhouse tomato flowers were acquired in a commercial greenhouse in Israel, using two different RGB Cameras – an LG G4 smartphone and a Canon PowerShot A590. The images were acquired from multiple angles and distances and were sampled manually at various periods along the day to obtain varying lighting conditions. Ground truth was created by manually tagging approximately 25,000 individual flowers in the images. Sensitivity analyses on the acquisition angle of the images, periods throughout the day, different cameras and thresholding types were performed. Precision, recall and their derived F1 score were calculated. Results indicate better performance for the view angle facing the flowers than any other angle. Acquiring images in the afternoon resulted with the best precision and recall results. Applying a global adaptive threshold improved the median F1 score by 3%. Results showed no difference between the two cameras used. Using hue values of 0.12-0.18 in the segmentation process provided the best results in precision and recall, and the best F1 score. The precision and recall average for all the images when using these values was 74% and 75% respectively with an F1 score of 0.73. Further analysis showed a 5% increase in precision and recall when analyzing images acquired in the afternoon and from the front viewpoint.

Keywords: agricultural engineering, image processing, computer vision, flower detection

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6 A Pilot Study on the Development and Validation of an Instrument to Evaluate Inpatient Beliefs, Expectations and Attitudes toward Reflexology (IBEAR)-16

Authors: Samuel Attias, Elad Schiff, Zahi Arnon, Eran Ben-Arye, Yael Keshet, Ibrahim Matter, Boker Lital Keinan

Abstract:

Background: Despite the extensive use of manual therapies, reflexology in particular, no validated tools have been developed to evaluate patients' beliefs, attitudes and expectations regarding reflexology. Such tools however are essential to improve the results of the reflexology treatment, by better adjusting it to the patients' attitudes and expectations. The tool also enables assessing correlations with clinical results of interventional studies using reflexology. Methods: The IBEAR (Inpatient Beliefs, Expectations and Attitudes toward Reflexology) tool contains 25 questions (8 demographic and 17 specifically addressing reflexology), and was constructed in several stages: brainstorming by a multidisciplinary team of experts; evaluation of each of the proposed questions by the experts' team; and assessment of the experts' degree of agreement per each question, based on a Likert 1-7 scale (1 – don't agree at all; 7 – agree completely). Cronbach's Alpha was computed to evaluate the questionnaire's reliability while the Factor analysis test was used for further validation (228 patients). The questionnaire was tested and re-tested (48h) on a group of 199 patients to assure clarity and reliability, using the Pearson coefficient and the Kappa test. It was modified based on these results into its final form. Results: After its construction, the IBEAR questionnaire passed the expert group's preliminary consensus, evaluation of the questions' clarity (from 5.1 to 7.0), inner validation (from 5.5 to 7) and structural validation (from 5.5 to 6.75). Factor analysis pointed to two content worlds in a division into 4 questions discussing attitudes and expectations versus 5 questions on belief and attitudes. Of the 221 questionnaires collected, a Cronbach's Alpha coefficient was calculated on nine questions relating to beliefs, expectations, and attitudes regarding reflexology. This measure stood at 0.716 (satisfactory reliability). At the Test-Retest stage, 199 research participants filled in the questionnaire a second time. The Pearson coefficient for all questions ranged between 0.73 and 0.94 (good to excellent reliability). As for dichotomic answers, Kappa scores ranged between 0.66 and 1.0 (mediocre to high). One of the questions was removed from the IBEAR following questionnaire validation. Conclusions: The present study provides evidence that the proposed IBEAR-16 questionnaire is a valid and reliable tool for the characterization of potential reflexology patients and may be effectively used in settings which include the evaluation of inpatients' beliefs, expectations, and attitudes toward reflexology.

Keywords: reflexology, attitude, expectation, belief, CAM, inpatient

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5 Socioeconomic Disparities in the Prevalence of Obesity in Adults with Diabetes in Israel

Authors: Yael Wolff Sagy, Yiska Loewenberg Weisband, Vered Kaufman Shriqui, Michal Krieger, Arie Ben Yehuda, Ronit Calderon Margalit

Abstract:

Background: Obesity is both a risk factor and common comorbidity of diabetes. Obesity impedes the achievement of glycemic control, and enhances damage caused by hyperglycemia to blood vessels; thus it increases diabetes-related complications. This study assessed the prevalence of obesity and morbid obesity among Israeli adults with diabetes, and estimated disparities associated with sex and socioeconomic position (SEP). Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the setting of the Israeli National Program for Quality Indicators in Community Healthcare. Data on all the Israeli population is retrieved from electronic medical records of the four health maintenance organizations (HMOs). The study population included all Israeli patients with diabetes aged 20-64 with documented body mass index (BMI) in 2016 (N=180,451). Diabetes was defined as the existence of one or more of the following criteria: (a) Plasma glucose level >200 mg% in at least two tests conducted at least one month apart in the previous year; (b) HbA1c>6.5% at least once in the previous year (c) at least three prescriptions of diabetes medications were dispensed during the previous year. Two measures were included: the prevalence of obesity (defined as last BMI≥ 30 kg/m2 and <35 kg/m2) and the prevalence of morbid obesity (defined as last BMI≥ 35 kg/m2) in individuals aged 20-64 with diabetes. The cut-off value for morbid obesity was set in accordance with the eligibility criteria for bariatric surgery in diabetics. Data were collected by the HMOs and aggregated by age, sex and SEP. SEP was based on statistical areas ranking by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics and divided into 4 categories, ranking from 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest). Results: BMI documentation among adults with diabetes was 84.9% in 2016. The prevalence of obesity in the study population was 30.5%. Although the overall rate was similar in both sexes (30.8% in females, 30.3% in males), SEP disparities were stronger in females (32.7% in SEP level 1 vs. 27.7% in SEP level 4; 18.1% relative difference) compared to males (30.6% in SEP level 1 vs. 29.3% in SEP level 4; 4.4% relative difference). The overall prevalence of morbid obesity in this population was 20.8% in 2016. The rate among females was almost double compared to the rate in males (28.1% and 14.6%, respectively). In both sexes, the prevalence of morbid obesity was strongly associated with lower SEP. However, in females, disparities between SEP levels were much stronger (34.3% in SEP level 1 vs. 18.7% in SEP level 4; 83.4% relative difference) compared to SEP-disparities in males (15.7% in SEP level 1 vs. 12.3% in SEP level 4; 27.6% relative difference). Conclusions: The overall prevalence of BMI≥ 30 kg/m2 among adults with diabetes in Israel exceeds 50%; and the prevalence of morbid obesity suggests that 20% meet the BMI-criteria for bariatric surgery. Prevalence rates show major SEP- and sex-disparities; especially strong SEP disparities in morbid obesity among females. These findings highlight the need for greater consideration of different population groups when implementing interventions.

Keywords: diabetes, health disparities, health policy, obesity, socio-economic position

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4 High-Resolution Facial Electromyography in Freely Behaving Humans

Authors: Lilah Inzelberg, David Rand, Stanislav Steinberg, Moshe David Pur, Yael Hanein

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Human facial expressions carry important psychological and neurological information. Facial expressions involve the co-activation of diverse muscles. They depend strongly on personal affective interpretation and on social context and vary between spontaneous and voluntary activations. Smiling, as a special case, is among the most complex facial emotional expressions, involving no fewer than 7 different unilateral muscles. Despite their ubiquitous nature, smiles remain an elusive and debated topic. Smiles are associated with happiness and greeting on one hand and anger or disgust-masking on the other. Accordingly, while high-resolution recording of muscle activation patterns, in a non-interfering setting, offers exciting opportunities, it remains an unmet challenge, as contemporary surface facial electromyography (EMG) methodologies are cumbersome, restricted to the laboratory settings, and are limited in time and resolution. Here we present a wearable and non-invasive method for objective mapping of facial muscle activation and demonstrate its application in a natural setting. The technology is based on a recently developed dry and soft electrode array, specially designed for surface facial EMG technique. Eighteen healthy volunteers (31.58 ± 3.41 years, 13 females), participated in the study. Surface EMG arrays were adhered to participant left and right cheeks. Participants were instructed to imitate three facial expressions: closing the eyes, wrinkling the nose and smiling voluntary and to watch a funny video while their EMG signal is recorded. We focused on muscles associated with 'enjoyment', 'social' and 'masked' smiles; three categories with distinct social meanings. We developed a customized independent component analysis algorithm to construct the desired facial musculature mapping. First, identification of the Orbicularis oculi and the Levator labii superioris muscles was demonstrated from voluntary expressions. Second, recordings of voluntary and spontaneous smiles were used to locate the Zygomaticus major muscle activated in Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles. Finally, recording with a wireless device in an unmodified natural work setting revealed expressions of neutral, positive and negative emotions in face-to-face interaction. The algorithm outlined here identifies the activation sources in a subject-specific manner, insensitive to electrode placement and anatomical diversity. Our high-resolution and cross-talk free mapping performances, along with excellent user convenience, open new opportunities for affective processing and objective evaluation of facial expressivity, objective psychological and neurological assessment as well as gaming, virtual reality, bio-feedback and brain-machine interface applications.

Keywords: affective expressions, affective processing, facial EMG, high-resolution electromyography, independent component analysis, wireless electrodes

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3 Multi-Plane Wrist Movement: Pathomechanics and Design of a 3D-Printed Splint

Authors: Sigal Portnoy, Yael Kaufman-Cohen, Yafa Levanon

Abstract:

Introduction: Rehabilitation following wrist fractures often includes exercising flexion-extension movements with a dynamic splint. However, during daily activities, we combine most of our wrist movements with radial and ulnar deviations. Also, the multi-plane wrist motion, named the ‘dart throw motion’ (DTM), was found to be a more stable motion in healthy individuals, in term of the motion of the proximal carpal bones, compared with sagittal wrist motion. The aim of this study was therefore to explore the pathomechanics of the wrist in a common multi-plane movement pattern (DTM) and design a novel splint for rehabilitation following distal radius fractures. Methods: First, a multi-axis electro-goniometer was used to quantify the plane angle of motion of the dominant and non-dominant wrists during various activities, e.g. drinking from a glass of water and answering a phone in 43 healthy individuals. The following protocols were then implemented with a population following distal radius fracture. Two dynamic scans were performed, one of the sagittal wrist motion and DTM, in a 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device, bilaterally. The scaphoid and lunate carpal bones, as well as the surface of the distal radius, were manually-segmented in SolidWorks and the angles of motion of the scaphoid and lunate bones were calculated. Subsequently, a patient-specific splint was designed using 3D scans of the hand. The brace design comprises of a proximal attachment to the arm and a distal envelope of the palm. An axle with two wheels is attached to the proximal part. Two wires attach the proximal part with the medial-palmar and lateral-ventral aspects of the distal part: when the wrist extends, the first wire is released and the second wire is strained towards the radius. The opposite occurs when the wrist flexes. The splint was attached to the wrist using Velcro and constrained the wrist movement to the desired calculated multi-plane of motion. Results: No significant differences were found between the multi-plane angles of the dominant and non-dominant wrists. The most common daily activities occurred at a plane angle of approximately 20° to 45° from the sagittal plane and the MRI studies show individual angles of the plane of motion. The printed splint fitted the wrist of the subjects and constricted movement to the desired multi-plane of motion. Hooks were inserted on each part to allow the addition of springs or rubber bands for resistance training towards muscle strengthening in the rehabilitation setting. Conclusions: It has been hypothesized that activation of the wrist in a multi-plane movement pattern following distal radius fractures will accelerate the recovery of the patient. Our results show that this motion can be determined from either the dominant or non-dominant wrists. The design of the patient-specific dynamic splint is the first step towards assessing whether splinting to induce combined movement is beneficial to the rehabilitation process, compared to conventional treatment. The evaluation of the clinical benefits of this method, compared to conventional rehabilitation methods following wrist fracture, are a part of a PhD work, currently conducted by an occupational therapist.

Keywords: distal radius fracture, rehabilitation, dynamic magnetic resonance imaging, dart throw motion

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2 Company's Orientation and Human Resource Management Evolution in Technological Startup Companies

Authors: Yael Livneh, Shay Tzafrir, Ilan Meshoulam

Abstract:

Technological startup companies have been recognized as bearing tremendous potential for business and economic success. However, many entrepreneurs who produce promising innovative ideas fail to implement them as successful businesses. A key argument for such failure is the entrepreneurs' lack of competence in adaptation of the relevant level of formality of human resource management (HRM). The purpose of the present research was to examine multiple antecedents and consequences of HRM formality in growing startup companies. A review of the research literature identified two central components of HRM formality: HR control and professionalism. The effect of three contextual predictors was examined. The first was an intra-organizational factor: the development level of the organization. We based on a differentiation between knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation. At a given time, the organization chooses to focus on a specific mix of these orientations, a choice which requires an appropriate level of HRM formality, in order to efficiently overcome the challenges. It was hypothesized that the mix of orientations of knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation would predict HRM formality. The second predictor was the personal characteristics the organization's leader. According the idea of blueprint effect of CEO's on HRM, it was hypothesized that the CEO's cognitive style would predict HRM formality. The third contextual predictor was an external organizational factor: the level of investor involvement. By using the agency theory, and based on Transaction Cost Economy, it was hypothesized that the level of investor involvement in general management and HRM would be positively related to the HRM formality. The effect of formality on trust was examined directly and indirectly by the mediation role of procedural justice. The research method included a time-lagged field study. In the first study, data was obtained using three questionnaires, each directed to a different source: CEO, HR position-holder and employees. 43 companies participated in this study. The second study was conducted approximately a year later. Data was recollected using three questionnaires by reapplying the same sample. 41 companies participated in the second study. The organizations samples included technological startup companies. Both studies included 884 respondents. The results indicated consistency between the two studies. HRM formality was predicted by the intra-organizational factor as well as the personal characteristics of the CEO, but not at all by the external organizational context. Specifically, the organizational orientations was the greatest contributor to both components of HRM formality. The cognitive style predicted formality to a lesser extent. The investor's involvement was found not to have any predictive effect on the HRM formality. The results indicated a positive contribution to trust in HRM, mainly via the mediation of procedural justice. This study contributed a new concept for technological startup company development by a mixture of organizational orientation. Practical implications indicated that the level of HRM formality should be matched to that of the company's development. This match should be challenged and adjusted periodically by referring to the organization orientation, relevant HR practices, and HR function characteristics. A relevant matching could enhance further trust and business success.

Keywords: control, formality, human resource management, organizational development, professionalism, technological startup company

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1 Residential Building Facade Retrofit

Authors: Galit Shiff, Yael Gilad

Abstract:

The need to retrofit old buildings lies in the fact that buildings are responsible for the main energy use and CO₂ emission. Existing old structures are more dominant in their effect than new energy-efficient buildings. Nevertheless not every case of urban renewal that aims to replace old buildings with new neighbourhoods necessarily has a financial or sustainable justification. Façade design plays a vital role in the building's energy performance and the unit's comfort conditions. A retrofit façade residential methodology and feasibility applicative study has been carried out for the past four years, with two projects already fully renovated. The intention of this study is to serve as a case study for limited budget façade retrofit in Mediterranean climate urban areas. The two case study buildings are set in Israel. However, they are set in different local climatic conditions. One is in 'Sderot' in the south of the country, and one is in' Migdal Hahemek' in the north of the country. The building typology is similar. The budget of the projects is around $14,000 per unit and includes interventions at the buildings' envelope while tenants are living in. Extensive research and analysis of the existing conditions have been done. The building's components, materials and envelope sections were mapped, examined and compared to relevant updated standards. Solar radiation simulations for the buildings in their surroundings during winter and summer days were done. The energy rate of each unit, as well as the building as a whole, was calculated according to the Israeli Energy Code. The buildings’ facades were documented with the use of a thermal camera during different hours of the day. This information was superimposed with data about the electricity use and the thermal comfort that was collected from the residential units. Later in the process, similar tools were further used in order to compare the effectiveness of different design options and to evaluate the chosen solutions. Both projects showed that the most problematic units were the ones below the roof and the ones on top of the elevated entrance floor (pilotis). Old buildings tend to have poor insulation on those two horizontal surfaces which require treatment. Different radiation levels and wall sections in the two projects influenced the design strategies: In the southern project, there was an extreme difference in solar radiations levels between the main façade and the back elevation. Eventually, it was decided to invest in insulating the main south-west façade and the side façades, leaving the back north-east façade almost untouched. Lower levels of radiation in the northern project led to a different tactic: a combination of basic insulation on all façades, together with intense treatment on areas with problematic thermal behavior. While poor execution of construction details and bad installation of windows in the northern project required replacing them all, in the southern project it was found that it is more essential to shade the windows than replace them. Although the buildings and the construction typology was chosen for this study are similar, the research shows that there are large differences due to the location in different climatic zones and variation in local conditions. Therefore, in order to reach a systematic and cost-effective method of work, a more extensive catalogue database is needed. Such a catalogue will enable public housing companies in the Mediterranean climate to promote massive projects of renovating existing old buildings, drawing on minimal analysis and planning processes.

Keywords: facade, low budget, residential, retrofit

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