Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 154

Search results for: healthcare

154 Evaluation of the Hepatitis C Virus and Classical and Modern Immunoassays Used Nowadays to Diagnose It in Tirana

Authors: Stela Papa, Klementina Puto, Migena Pllaha

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HCV is a hepatotropic RNA virus, transmitted primarily via the blood route, which causes progressive disease such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV nowadays is a global healthcare problem. A variety of immunoassays including old and new technologies are being applied to detect HCV in our country. These methods include Immunochromatography assays (ICA), Fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), Enzyme linked fluorescent assay (ELFA), and Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect HCV antibodies in blood serum, which lately is being slowly replaced by more sensitive methods such as rapid automated analyzer chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA). The aim of this study is to estimate HCV infection in carriers and chronic acute patients and to evaluate the use of new diagnostic methods. This study was realized from September 2016 to May 2018. During this study period, 2913 patients were analyzed for the presence of HCV by taking samples from their blood serum. The immunoassays performed were ICA, FIA, ELFA, ELISA, and CLIA assays. Concluding, 82% of patients taken in this study, resulted infected with HCV. Diagnostic methods in clinical laboratories are crucial in the early stages of infection, in the management of chronic hepatitis and in the treatment of patients during their disease.

Keywords: CLIA, ELISA, hepatitis C virus, immunoassay.

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153 A Corpus-Based Approach to Understanding Market Access in Fisheries and Aquaculture: A Systematic Literature Review

Authors: Cheryl Marie Cordeiro

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Although fisheries and aquaculture studies might seem marginal to international business (IB) studies in general, fisheries and aquaculture IB (FAIB) management is currently facing increasing pressure to meet global demand and consumption for fish in the next coming decades. In part address to this challenge, the purpose of this systematic review of literature (SLR) study is to investigate the use of the term ‘market access’ in its context of use in the generic literature and business sector discourse, in comparison to the more specific literature and discourse in fisheries, aquaculture and seafood. This SLR aims to uncover the knowledge/interest gaps between the academic subject discourses and business sector practices. Corpus driven in methodology and using a triangulation method of three different text analysis software including AntConc, VOSviewer and Web of Science (WoS) analytics, the SLR results indicate a gap in conceptual knowledge and business practices in how ‘market access’ is conceived and used in the context of the pharmaceutical healthcare industry and FAIB research and practice. While it is acknowledged that the product orientation of different business sectors might differ, this SLR study works with the assumption that both business sectors are global in orientation. These business sectors are complex in their operations from product to market. This SLR suggests a conceptual model in understanding the challenges, the potential barriers as well as avenues for solutions to developing market access for FAIB.

Keywords: Market access, fisheries and aquaculture, international business, systematic literature review.

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152 Fabrication of a High-Performance Polyetherimide Membrane for Helium Separation

Authors: Y. Alqaheem, A. Alomair, F. Altarkait, F. Alswaileh, Nusrat Tanoli

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Helium market is continuously growing due to its essential uses in the electronic and healthcare sectors. Currently, helium is produced by cryogenic distillation but the process is uneconomical especially for low production volumes. On the other hand, polymeric membranes can provide a cost-effective solution for helium purification due to their low operating energy. However, the preparation of membranes involves the use of very toxic solvents such as chloroform. In this work, polyetherimide membranes were prepared using a less toxic solvent, n-methylpyrrolidone with a polymer-to-solvent ratio of 27 wt%. The developed membrane showed a superior helium permeability of 15.9 Barrer that surpassed the permeability of membranes made by chloroform.

Keywords: Helium separation, polyetherimide, dense membrane, gas permeability, solvent.

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151 Internet of Health Things as a Win-Win Solution for Mitigating the Paradigm Shift inside Senior Patient-Physician Shared Health Management

Authors: Marilena Ianculescu, Adriana Alexandru

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Internet of Health Things (IoHT) has already proved to be a persuasive means to support a proper assessment of the living conditions by collecting a huge variety of data. For a customized health management of a senior patient, IoHT provides the capacity to build a dynamic solution for sustaining the shift inside the patient-physician relationship by allowing a real-time and continuous remote monitoring of the health status, well-being, safety and activities of the senior, especially in a non-clinical environment. Thus, is created a win-win solution in which both the patient and the physician enhance their involvement and shared decision-making, with significant outcomes. Health monitoring systems in smart environments are becoming a viable alternative to traditional healthcare solutions. The ongoing “Non-invasive monitoring and health assessment of the elderly in a smart environment (RO-SmartAgeing)” project aims to demonstrate that the existence of complete and accurate information is critical for assessing the health condition of the seniors, improving wellbeing and quality of life in relation to health. The researches performed inside the project aim to highlight how the management of IoHT devices connected to the RO-SmartAgeing platform in a secure way by using a role-based access control system, can allow the physicians to provide health services at a high level of efficiency and accessibility, which were previously only available in hospitals. The project aims to identify deficient aspects in the provision of health services tailored to a senior patient’s specificity and to offer a more comprehensive perspective of proactive and preventive medical acts.

Keywords: Health management, Internet of Health Things, remote monitoring, senior patient.

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150 Sustainability of Healthcare Insurance in India: A Review of Health Insurance Scheme Launched by States in India

Authors: Mohd Zuhair, Ram Babu Roy

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This paper presents an overview of the accessibility, design, and functioning of health insurance plans launched by state governments in India. In recent years, the governments of several states in India have come forward to provide health insurance coverage for the low-income group and rural population to reduce the out of pocket expenditure (OPE) on healthcare. Different health insurance schemes have different structures and offerings which differ in the different demographic factors. This study will portray a comparative analysis of the various health insurance schemes by analyzing different offerings and finance generation of the schemes. The comparative analysis will explain the lesson to be learned from these schemes and extend the existing knowledge of the health insurance in India. This would help in recognizing tension between various drivers and identifying issues pertaining to the sustainability of health insurance schemes in India.

Keywords: Health insurance, out of pocket expenditure, universal healthcare, sustainability.

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149 Factors Influencing Intention to Engage in Long-term Care Services among Nursing Aide Trainees and the General Public

Authors: Ju-Chun Chien

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Rapid aging and depopulation could lead to serious problems, including workforce shortages and health expenditure costs. The current and predicted future LTC workforce shortages could be a real threat to Taiwan’s society. By means of comparison of data from 144 nursing aide trainees and 727 general public, the main purpose of the present study was to determine whether there were any notable differences between the two groups toward engaging in LTC services. Moreover, this study focused on recognizing the attributes of the general public who had the willingness to take LTC jobs but continue to ride the fence. A self-developed questionnaire was designed based on Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior model. After conducting exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and reliability analysis, the questionnaire was a reliable and valid instrument for both nursing aide trainees and the general public. The main results were as follows: Firstly, nearly 70% of nursing aide trainees showed interest in LTC jobs. Most of them were middle-aged female (M = 46.85, SD = 9.31), had a high school diploma or lower, had unrelated work experience in healthcare, and were mostly unemployed. The most common reason for attending the LTC training program was to gain skills in a particular field. The second most common reason was to obtain the license. The third and fourth reasons were to be interested in caring for people and to increase income. The three major reasons that might push them to leave LTC jobs were physical exhaustion, payment is bad, and being looked down on. Secondly, the variables that best-predicted nursing aide trainees’ intention to engage in LTC services were having personal willingness, perceived behavior control, with high school diploma or lower, and supported from family and friends. Finally, only 11.80% of the general public reported having interest in LTC jobs (the disapproval rating was 50% for the general public). In comparison to nursing aide trainees who showed interest in LTC settings, 64.8% of the new workforce for LTC among the general public was male and had an associate degree, 54.8% had relevant healthcare experience, 67.1% was currently employed, and they were younger (M = 32.19, SD = 13.19) and unmarried (66.3%). Furthermore, the most commonly reason for the new workforce to engage in LTC jobs were to gain skills in a particular field. The second priority was to be interested in caring for people. The third and fourth most reasons were to give back to society and to increase income, respectively. The top five most commonly reasons for the new workforce to quitting LTC jobs were listed as follows: physical exhaustion, being looked down on, excessive working hours, payment is bad, and excessive job stress.

Keywords: Long-term care services, nursing aide trainees, Taiwanese people, theory of planned behavior.

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148 The Current Home Hemodialysis Practices and Patients’ Safety Related Factors: A Case Study from Germany

Authors: Ilyas Khan. Liliane Pintelon, Harry Martin, Michael Shömig

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The increasing costs of healthcare on one hand, and the rise in aging population and associated chronic disease, on the other hand, are putting increasing burden on the current health care system in many Western countries. For instance, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common disease and in Europe, the cost of renal replacement therapy (RRT) is very significant to the total health care cost. However, the recent advancement in healthcare technology, provide the opportunity to treat patients at home in their own comfort. It is evident that home healthcare offers numerous advantages apparently, low costs and high patients’ quality of life. Despite these advantages, the intake of home hemodialysis (HHD) therapy is still low in particular in Germany. Many factors are accounted for the low number of HHD intake. However, this paper is focusing on patients’ safety-related factors of current HHD practices in Germany. The aim of this paper is to analyze the current HHD practices in Germany and to identify risks related factors if any exist. A case study has been conducted in a dialysis center which consists of four dialysis centers in the south of Germany. In total, these dialysis centers have 350 chronic dialysis patients, of which, four patients are on HHD. The centers have 126 staff which includes six nephrologists and 120 other staff i.e. nurses and administration. The results of the study revealed several risk-related factors. Most importantly, these centers do not offer allied health services at the pre-dialysis stage, the HHD training did not have an established curriculum; however, they have just recently developed the first version. Only a soft copy of the machine manual is offered to patients. Surprisingly, the management was not aware of any standard available for home assessment and installation. The home assessment is done by a third party (i.e. the machines and equipment provider) and they may not consider the hygienic quality of the patient’s home. The type of machine provided to patients at home is similar to the one in the center. The model may not be suitable at home because of its size and complexity. Even though portable hemodialysis machines, which are specially designed for home use, are available in the market such as the NxStage series. Besides the type of machine, no assistance is offered for space management at home in particular for placing the machine. Moreover, the centers do not offer remote assistance to patients and their carer at home. However, telephonic assistance is available. Furthermore, no alternative is offered if a carer is not available. In addition, the centers are lacking medical staff including nephrologists and renal nurses.

Keywords: Home hemodialysis, home hemodialysis practices, patients’ related risks in the current home hemodialysis practices, patient safety in home hemodialysis.

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147 The Internet of Healthcare Things: A European Perspective and a Review of Ethical Concerns

Authors: M. Emmanouilidou

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a disruptive technological paradigm that is at the center of the digital evolution by integrating physical and virtual worlds leading to the creation of extended interconnected ecosystems that are characterized as smart environments. The concept of the IoT has a broad range of applications in different industries including the healthcare sector. The Internet of Healthcare Things (IoHT), a branch of the IoT, is expected to bring promising benefits to all involved stakeholders and accelerate the revolution of the healthcare sector through a transition towards preventive and personalized medicine. The socio-economic challenges that the healthcare sector is facing further emphasize the need for a radical transformation of healthcare systems in both developed and developing countries with the role of pervasive technological innovations, such as IoHT, recognized as key to counteract the relevant challenges. Besides the number of potential opportunities that IoHT presents, there are fundamental ethical concerns that need to be considered and addressed in relation to the application of IoHT. This paper contributes to the discussion of the emerging topic of IoHT by providing an overview of the role and potential of IoHT, highlighting the characteristics of the current and future healthcare landscape, reporting on the up-to-date status of IoHT in Europe and reflecting upon existing research in the ethics of IoHT by incorporating additional ethical dimensions that have been ignored which can provide pathways for future research in the field.

Keywords: Ethics, Europe, healthcare, internet of things.

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146 Designing an Integrated Platform for Real-Time Recommendations Sharing among the Aged and People Living with Cancer

Authors: Adekunle O. Afolabi, Pekka Toivanen

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The world is expected to experience growth in the number of ageing population, and this will bring about high cost of providing care for these valuable citizens. In addition, many of these live with chronic diseases that come with old age. Providing adequate care in the face of rising costs and dwindling personnel can be challenging. However, advances in technologies and emergence of the Internet of Things are providing a way to address these challenges while improving care giving. This study proposes the integration of recommendation systems into homecare to provide real-time recommendations for effective management of people receiving care at home and those living with chronic diseases. Using the simplified Training Logic Concept, stakeholders and requirements were identified. Specific requirements were gathered from people living with cancer. The solution designed has two components namely home and community, to enhance recommendations sharing for effective care giving. The community component of the design was implemented with the development of a mobile app called Recommendations Sharing Community for Aged and Chronically Ill People (ReSCAP). This component has illustrated the possibility of real-time recommendations, improved recommendations sharing among care receivers and between a physician and care receivers. Full implementation will increase access to health data for better care decision making.

Keywords: Recommendation systems, healthcare, internet of things, real-time, homecare.

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145 Clique and Clan Analysis of Patient-Sharing Physician Collaborations

Authors: Shahadat Uddin, Md Ekramul Hossain, Arif Khan

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The collaboration among physicians during episodes of care for a hospitalised patient has a significant contribution towards effective health outcome. This research aims at improving this health outcome by analysing the attributes of patient-sharing physician collaboration network (PCN) on hospital data. To accomplish this goal, we present a research framework that explores the impact of several types of attributes (such as clique and clan) of PCN on hospitalisation cost and hospital length of stay. We use electronic health insurance claim dataset to construct and explore PCNs. Each PCN is categorised as ‘low’ and ‘high’ in terms of hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The results from the proposed model show that the clique and clan of PCNs affect the hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The clique and clan of PCNs show the difference between ‘low’ and ‘high’ PCNs in terms of hospitalisation cost and length of stay. The findings and insights from this research can potentially help the healthcare stakeholders to better formulate the policy in order to improve quality of care while reducing cost.

Keywords: Clique, clan, electronic health records, physician collaboration.

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144 Collaboration in Palliative Care Networks in Urban and Rural Regions of Switzerland

Authors: R. Schweighoffer, N. Nagy, E. Reeves, B. Liebig

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Due to aging populations, the need for seamless palliative care provision is of central interest for western societies. An essential aspect of palliative care delivery is the quality of collaboration amongst palliative care providers. Therefore, the current research is based on Bainbridge’s conceptual framework, which provides an outline for the evaluation of palliative care provision. This study is the first one to investigate the predictive validity of spatial distribution on the quantity of interaction amongst various palliative care providers. Furthermore, based on the familiarity principle, we examine whether the extent of collaboration influences the perceived quality of collaboration among palliative care providers in urban versus rural areas of Switzerland. Based on a population-representative survey of Swiss palliative care providers, the results of the current study show that professionals in densely populated areas report higher absolute numbers of interactions and are more satisfied with their collaborative practice. This indicates that palliative care providers who work in urban areas are better embedded into networks than their counterparts in more rural areas. The findings are especially important, considering that efficient collaboration is a prerequisite to achieve satisfactory patient outcomes. Conclusively, measures should be taken to foster collaboration in weakly interconnected palliative care networks.

Keywords: Collaboration, healthcare networks, palliative care, Switzerland.

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143 Online Information Seeking: A Review of the Literature in the Health Domain

Authors: Sharifah Sumayyah Engku Alwi, Masrah Azrifah Azmi Murad

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The development of the information technology and Internet has been transforming the healthcare industry. The internet is continuously accessed to seek for health information and there are variety of sources, including search engines, health websites, and social networking sites. Providing more and better information on health may empower individuals, however, ensuring a high quality and trusted health information could pose a challenge. Moreover, there is an ever-increasing amount of information available, but they are not necessarily accurate and up to date. Thus, this paper aims to provide an insight of the models and frameworks related to online health information seeking of consumers. It begins by exploring the definition of information behavior and information seeking to provide a better understanding of the concept of information seeking. In this study, critical factors such as performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and social influence will be studied in relation to the value of seeking health information. It also aims to analyze the effect of age, gender, and health status as the moderator on the factors that influence online health information seeking, i.e. trust and information quality. A preliminary survey will be carried out among the health professionals to clarify the research problems which exist in the real world, at the same time producing a conceptual framework. A final survey will be distributed to five states of Malaysia, to solicit the feedback on the framework. Data will be analyzed using SPSS and SmartPLS 3.0 analysis tools. It is hoped that at the end of this study, a novel framework that can improve online health information seeking is developed. Finally, this paper concludes with some suggestions on the models and frameworks that could improve online health information seeking.

Keywords: Information behavior, information seeking, online health information, technology acceptance model, the theory of planned behavior, UTAUT.

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142 A Real Time Ultra-Wideband Location System for Smart Healthcare

Authors: Mingyang Sun, Guozheng Yan, Dasheng Liu, Lei Yang

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Driven by the demand of intelligent monitoring in rehabilitation centers or hospitals, a high accuracy real-time location system based on UWB (ultra-wideband) technology was proposed. The system measures precise location of a specific person, traces his movement and visualizes his trajectory on the screen for doctors or administrators. Therefore, doctors could view the position of the patient at any time and find them immediately and exactly when something emergent happens. In our design process, different algorithms were discussed, and their errors were analyzed. In addition, we discussed about a , simple but effective way of correcting the antenna delay error, which turned out to be effective. By choosing the best algorithm and correcting errors with corresponding methods, the system attained a good accuracy. Experiments indicated that the ranging error of the system is lower than 7 cm, the locating error is lower than 20 cm, and the refresh rate exceeds 5 times per second. In future works, by embedding the system in wearable IoT (Internet of Things) devices, it could provide not only physical parameters, but also the activity status of the patient, which would help doctors a lot in performing healthcare.

Keywords: Intelligent monitoring, IoT devices, real-time location, smart healthcare, ultra-wideband technology.

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141 Dynamic Web-Based 2D Medical Image Visualization and Processing Software

Authors: Abdelhalim. N. Mohammed, Mohammed. Y. Esmail

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In the course of recent decades, medical imaging has been dominated by the use of costly film media for review and archival of medical investigation, however due to developments in networks technologies and common acceptance of a standard digital imaging and communication in medicine (DICOM) another approach in light of World Wide Web was produced. Web technologies successfully used in telemedicine applications, the combination of web technologies together with DICOM used to design a web-based and open source DICOM viewer. The Web server allowance to inquiry and recovery of images and the images viewed/manipulated inside a Web browser without need for any preinstalling software. The dynamic site page for medical images visualization and processing created by using JavaScript and HTML5 advancements. The XAMPP ‘apache server’ is used to create a local web server for testing and deployment of the dynamic site. The web-based viewer connected to multiples devices through local area network (LAN) to distribute the images inside healthcare facilities. The system offers a few focal points over ordinary picture archiving and communication systems (PACS): easy to introduce, maintain and independently platforms that allow images to display and manipulated efficiently, the system also user-friendly and easy to integrate with an existing system that have already been making use of web technologies. The wavelet-based image compression technique on which 2-D discrete wavelet transform used to decompose the image then wavelet coefficients are transmitted by entropy encoding after threshold to decrease transmission time, stockpiling cost and capacity. The performance of compression was estimated by using images quality metrics such as mean square error ‘MSE’, peak signal to noise ratio ‘PSNR’ and compression ratio ‘CR’ that achieved (83.86%) when ‘coif3’ wavelet filter is used.

Keywords: DICOM, discrete wavelet transform, PACS, HIS, LAN.

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140 Development of Affordable and Reliable Diagnostic Tools to Record Vital Parameters for Improving Health Care in Low Resources Settings

Authors: Mannan Mridha, Usama Gazay, Kosovare V. Aslani, Hugo Linder, Alice Ravizza, Carmelo de Maria

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In most developing countries, although the vast majority of the people are living in the rural areas, the qualified medical doctors are not available there. Health care workers and paramedics, called village doctors, informal healthcare providers, are largely responsible for the rural medical care. Mishaps due to wrong diagnosis and inappropriate medication have been causing serious suffering that is preventable. While innovators have created many devices, the vast majority of these technologies do not find applications to address the needs and conditions in low-resource settings. The primary motive is to address the acute lack of affordable medical technologies for the poor people in low-resource settings. A low cost smart medical device that is portable, battery operated and can be used at any point of care has been developed to detect breathing rate, electrocardiogram (ECG) and arterial pulse rate to improve diagnosis and monitoring of patients and thus improve care and safety. This simple and easy to use smart medical device can be used, managed and maintained effectively and safely by any health worker with some training. In order to empower the health workers and village doctors, our device is being further developed to integrate with ICT tools like smart phones and connect to the medical experts wherever available, to manage the serious health problems.

Keywords: Healthcare for low resources settings, health awareness education, improve patient care and safety, smart and affordable medical device.

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139 Evaluating the Perception of Roma in Europe through Social Network Analysis

Authors: Giulia I. Pintea

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The Roma people are a nomadic ethnic group native to India, and they are one of the most prevalent minorities in Europe. In the past, Roma were enslaved and they were imprisoned in concentration camps during the Holocaust; today, Roma are subject to hate crimes and are denied access to healthcare, education, and proper housing. The aim of this project is to analyze how the public perception of the Roma people may be influenced by antiziganist and pro-Roma institutions in Europe. In order to carry out this project, we used social network analysis to build two large social networks: The antiziganist network, which is composed of institutions that oppress and racialize Roma, and the pro-Roma network, which is composed of institutions that advocate for and protect Roma rights. Measures of centrality, density, and modularity were obtained to determine which of the two social networks is exerting the greatest influence on the public’s perception of Roma in European societies. Furthermore, data on hate crimes on Roma were gathered from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We analyzed the trends in hate crimes on Roma for several European countries for 2009-2015 in order to see whether or not there have been changes in the public’s perception of Roma, thus helping us evaluate which of the two social networks has been more influential. Overall, the results suggest that there is a greater and faster exchange of information in the pro-Roma network. However, when taking the hate crimes into account, the impact of the pro-Roma institutions is ambiguous, due to differing patterns among European countries, suggesting that the impact of the pro-Roma network is inconsistent. Despite antiziganist institutions having a slower flow of information, the hate crime patterns also suggest that the antiziganist network has a higher impact on certain countries, which may be due to institutions outside the political sphere boosting the spread of antiziganist ideas and information to the European public.

Keywords: Applied mathematics, oppression, Roma people, social network analysis.

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138 A Posterior Predictive Model-Based Control Chart for Monitoring Healthcare

Authors: Yi-Fan Lin, Peter P. Howley, Frank A. Tuyl

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Quality measurement and reporting systems are used in healthcare internationally. In Australia, the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards records and reports hundreds of clinical indicators (CIs) nationally across the healthcare system. These CIs are measures of performance in the clinical setting, and are used as a screening tool to help assess whether a standard of care is being met. Existing analysis and reporting of these CIs incorporate Bayesian methods to address sampling variation; however, such assessments are retrospective in nature, reporting upon the previous six or twelve months of data. The use of Bayesian methods within statistical process control for monitoring systems is an important pursuit to support more timely decision-making. Our research has developed and assessed a new graphical monitoring tool, similar to a control chart, based on the beta-binomial posterior predictive (BBPP) distribution to facilitate the real-time assessment of health care organizational performance via CIs. The BBPP charts have been compared with the traditional Bernoulli CUSUM (BC) chart by simulation. The more traditional “central” and “highest posterior density” (HPD) interval approaches were each considered to define the limits, and the multiple charts were compared via in-control and out-of-control average run lengths (ARLs), assuming that the parameter representing the underlying CI rate (proportion of cases with an event of interest) required estimation. Preliminary results have identified that the BBPP chart with HPD-based control limits provides better out-of-control run length performance than the central interval-based and BC charts. Further, the BC chart’s performance may be improved by using Bayesian parameter estimation of the underlying CI rate.

Keywords: Average run length, Bernoulli CUSUM chart, beta binomial posterior predictive distribution, clinical indicator, health care organization, highest posterior density interval.

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137 Online Multilingual Dictionary Using Hamburg Notation for Avatar-Based Indian Sign Language Generation System

Authors: Sugandhi, Parteek Kumar, Sanmeet Kaur

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Sign Language (SL) is used by deaf and other people who cannot speak but can hear or have a problem with spoken languages due to some disability. It is a visual gesture language that makes use of either one hand or both hands, arms, face, body to convey meanings and thoughts. SL automation system is an effective way which provides an interface to communicate with normal people using a computer. In this paper, an avatar based dictionary has been proposed for text to Indian Sign Language (ISL) generation system. This research work will also depict a literature review on SL corpus available for various SL s over the years. For ISL generation system, a written form of SL is required and there are certain techniques available for writing the SL. The system uses Hamburg sign language Notation System (HamNoSys) and Signing Gesture Mark-up Language (SiGML) for ISL generation. It is developed in PHP using Web Graphics Library (WebGL) technology for 3D avatar animation. A multilingual ISL dictionary is developed using HamNoSys for both English and Hindi Language. This dictionary will be used as a database to associate signs with words or phrases of a spoken language. It provides an interface for admin panel to manage the dictionary, i.e., modification, addition, or deletion of a word. Through this interface, HamNoSys can be developed and stored in a database and these notations can be converted into its corresponding SiGML file manually. The system takes natural language input sentence in English and Hindi language and generate 3D sign animation using an avatar. SL generation systems have potential applications in many domains such as healthcare sector, media, educational institutes, commercial sectors, transportation services etc. This research work will help the researchers to understand various techniques used for writing SL and generation of Sign Language systems.

Keywords: Avatar, dictionary, HamNoSys, hearing-impaired, Indian Sign Language, sign language.

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136 Improving Health Care and Patient Safety at the ICU by Using Innovative Medical Devices and ICT Tools: Examples from Bangladesh

Authors: Mannan Mridha, Mohammad S. Islam

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Innovative medical technologies offer more effective medical care, with less risk to patient and healthcare personnel. Medical technology and devices when properly used provide better data, precise monitoring and less invasive treatments and can be more targeted and often less costly. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) equipped with patient monitoring, respiratory and cardiac support, pain management, emergency resuscitation and life support devices is particularly prone to medical errors for various reasons. Many people in the developing countries now wonder whether their visit to hospital might harm rather than help them. This is because; clinicians in the developing countries are required to maintain an increasing workload with limited resources and absence of well-functioning safety system. A team of experts from the medical, biomedical and clinical engineering in Sweden and Bangladesh have worked together to study the incidents, adverse events at the ICU in Bangladesh. The study included both public and private hospitals to provide a better understanding for physical structure, organization and practice in operating processes of care, and the occurrence of adverse outcomes the errors, risks and accidents related to medical devices at the ICU, and to develop a ICT based support system in order to reduce hazards and errors and thus improve the quality of performance, care and cost effectiveness at the ICU. Concrete recommendations and guidelines have been made for preparing appropriate ICT related tools and methods for improving the routine for use of medical devices, reporting and analyzing of the incidents at the ICU in order to reduce the number of undetected and unsolved incidents and thus improve the patient safety.

Keywords: Accidents reporting system, patient car and safety, safe medical devices.

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135 Obstruction to Treatments Meeting International Standards for Lyme and Relapsing Fever Borreliosis Patients

Authors: J. Luché-Thayer, C. Perronne, C. Meseko

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We reviewed how certain institutional policies and practices, as well as questionable research, are creating obstacles to care and informed consent for Lyme and relapsing fever Borreliosis patients. The interference is denying access to treatments that meet the internationally accepted standards as set by the Institute of Medicine. This obstruction to care contributes to significant human suffering, disability and negative economic effect across many nations and in many regions of the world. We note how evidence based medicine emphasizes the importance of clinical experience and patient-centered care and how these patients benefit significantly when their rights to choose among treatment options are upheld.  

Keywords: Conflicts of interest, obstacles to healthcare accessibility, patient-centered care, the right to informed consent.

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134 A Pre-Assessment Questionnaire to Identify Healthcare Professionals’ Perception on Information Technology Implementation

Authors: Y. Atilgan Şengül

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Health information technologies promise higher quality, safer care and much more for both patients and professionals. Despite their promise, they are costly to develop and difficult to implement. On the other hand, user acceptance and usage determine the success of implemented information technology in healthcare. This study provides a model to understand health professionals’ perception and expectation of health information technology. Extensive literature review has been conducted to determine the main factors to be measured. A questionnaire has been designed as a measurement model and submitted to the personnel of an in vitro fertilization clinic. The respondents’ degree of agreement according to five-point Likert scale was 72% for convenient access to data and 69.4% for the importance of data security. There was a significant difference in acceptance of electronic data storage for female respondents. Also, other significant differences between professions were obtained.

Keywords: Healthcare, health informatics, medical record system, questionnaire.

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133 The Design of Safe Spaces in Healthcare Facilities Vulnerable to Tornado Impact in Central US

Authors: Lucy Ampaw-Asiedu, Terri R. Norton

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In the wake of recent disasters happening around the world such as earthquake in Italy (January, 2017); hurricanes in the United States (US) (September 2016 and September 2017); and compounding disasters in Haiti (September 2010 and September 2016); to our best knowledge, never has the world seen the need to work on preemptive rather than reactionary measures to salvage this situation than now. Tornadoes are natural hazards that mostly affect mid-western and central states in the US. Tornadoes, like all natural hazards such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and others, are very destructive and result in massive destruction to homes, cause billions of dollars in damage and claims many lives. Healthcare facilities in general are vulnerable to disasters, and therefore, the safety of patients, health workers and those who come in to seek shelter should be a priority. The focus of this study is to assess disaster management measures instituted by healthcare facilities. Thus, the sole aim of the study is to examine the vulnerabilities and the design of safe spaces in healthcare facilities in Central US. Objectives that guide the study are to primarily identify the impacts of tornadoes in hospitals and to assess the structural design or specifications of safe spaces. St. John’s Regional Medical Center, now Mercy Hospital in Joplin, is used as a case study. Preliminary results show that the lateral base shear of the proposed design to be 684.24 ton (1508.49kip) for the safe space. Findings from this work will be used to make recommendations about the design of safe spaces for health care facilities in Central US.

Keywords: Disaster management, safe spaces, structural design, tornado, vulnerability.

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132 Towards Better Quality in Healthcare and Operations Management: A Developmental Literature Review

Authors: Towards Better Quality in Healthcare, Operations Management: A Developmental Literature Review

Abstract:

This work presents the various perspectives, dimensions, components and definitions given to quality in the operations management (OM) and healthcare services (HCS) literature in time, highlighting gaps and learning opportunities between the two disciplines through a thorough search into their rich and distinct body of knowledge. Greater and new insights about the general nature of quality are obtained with findings such as in OM, quality has been approached in six fairly distinct paradigms (excellence, value, conformity to specifications, attributes, satisfaction and meeting or exceeding customer expectations), whereas in HCS, two approaches are prominent (Donabedian’s structure, process and outcomes model and Lohr and Schroeder’s circumscribed definition). The two disciplines views on quality seem to have progressed much in parallel with little cross-learning from each other. This work then proposes an encompassing definition of quality as a lever and suggests further research and development avenues for a better use of the concept of quality by academics and practitioners alike toward the goals of greater organizational performance and improved management in healthcare and possibly other service domains.

Keywords: Healthcare, management, operations, quality, services.

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131 Comparative Evaluation of Accuracy of Selected Machine Learning Classification Techniques for Diagnosis of Cancer: A Data Mining Approach

Authors: Rajvir Kaur, Jeewani Anupama Ginige

Abstract:

With recent trends in Big Data and advancements in Information and Communication Technologies, the healthcare industry is at the stage of its transition from clinician oriented to technology oriented. Many people around the world die of cancer because the diagnosis of disease was not done at an early stage. Nowadays, the computational methods in the form of Machine Learning (ML) are used to develop automated decision support systems that can diagnose cancer with high confidence in a timely manner. This paper aims to carry out the comparative evaluation of a selected set of ML classifiers on two existing datasets: breast cancer and cervical cancer. The ML classifiers compared in this study are Decision Tree (DT), Support Vector Machine (SVM), k-Nearest Neighbor (k-NN), Logistic Regression, Ensemble (Bagged Tree) and Artificial Neural Networks (ANN). The evaluation is carried out based on standard evaluation metrics Precision (P), Recall (R), F1-score and Accuracy. The experimental results based on the evaluation metrics show that ANN showed the highest-level accuracy (99.4%) when tested with breast cancer dataset. On the other hand, when these ML classifiers are tested with the cervical cancer dataset, Ensemble (Bagged Tree) technique gave better accuracy (93.1%) in comparison to other classifiers.

Keywords: Artificial neural networks, breast cancer, cancer dataset, classifiers, cervical cancer, F-score, logistic regression, machine learning, precision, recall, support vector machine.

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130 Antimicrobial and Aroma Finishing of Organic Cotton Knits Using Vetiver Oil Microcapsules for Health Care Textiles

Authors: K. J. Sannapapamma, H. Malligawad Lokanath, Sakeena Naikwadi

Abstract:

Eco-friendly textiles are gaining importance among the consumers and textile manufacturers in the healthcare sector due to increased environmental pollution which leads to several health and environmental hazards. Hence, the research was designed to cultivate and develop the organic cotton knit, to prepare and characterize the Vetiver oil microcapsules for textile finishing and to access the wash durability of finished knits. The cotton SAHANA variety grown under organic production systems was processed and spun into 30 single yarn dyed with four natural colorants (Arecanut slurry, Eucalyptus leaves, Pomegranate rind and Indigo) and eco dyed yarn was further used for development of single jersy knitted fabric. Vetiveria zizanioides is an aromatic grass which is being traditionally used in medicine and perfumery. Vetiver essential oil was used for preparation of microcapsules by interfacial polymerization technique subjected to Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Thermo Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) for characterization of microcapsules. The knitted fabric was finished with vetiver oil microcapsules by exhaust and pad dry cure methods. The finished organic knit was assessed for laundering on antimicrobial efficiency and aroma intensity. GCMS spectral analysis showed that, diethyl phthalate (28%) was the major compound found in vetiver oil followed by isoaromadendrene epoxide (7.72%), beta-vetivenene (6.92%), solavetivone (5.58%), aromadenderene, azulene and khusimol. Bioassay explained that, the vetiver oil and diluted vetiver oil possessed greater zone of inhibition against S. aureus and E. coli than the coconut oil. FTRI spectra of vetiver oil and microcapsules possessed similar peaks viz., C-H, C=C & C꞊O stretching and additionally oil microcapsules possessed the peak of 3331.24 cm-1 at 91.14 transmittance was attributed to N-H stretches. TGA of oil microcapsules revealed that, there was a minimum weight loss (5.835%) recorded at 467.09°C compared to vetiver oil i.e., -3.026% at the temperature of 396.24°C. The shape of the microcapsules was regular and round, some were spherical in shape and few were rounded by small aggregates. Irrespective of methods of application, organic cotton knits finished with microcapsules by pad dry cure method showed maximum zone of inhibition compared to knits finished by exhaust method against S. aureus and E. coli. The antimicrobial activity of the finished samples was subjected to multiple washing which indicated that knits finished with pad dry cure method showed a zone of inhibition even after 20th wash and better aroma retention compared to knits finished with the exhaust method of application. Further, the group of respondents rated that the 5th washed samples had the greater aroma intensity in both the methods than the other samples. Thus, the vetiver microencapsulated organic cotton knits are free from hazardous chemicals and have multi-functional properties that can be suitable for medical and healthcare textiles.

Keywords: Exhaust and pad dry cure finishing, interfacial polymerization, organic cotton knits, vetiver oil microcapsules.

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129 Revisiting Hospital Ward Design Basics for Sustainable Family Integration

Authors: Ibrahim Abubakar Alkali, Abubakar Sarkile Kawuwa, Ibrahim Sani Khalil

Abstract:

The concept of space and function forms the bedrock for spatial configuration in architectural design. Thus, the effectiveness and functionality of an architectural product depends their cordial relationship. This applies to all buildings especially to a hospital ward setting designed to accommodate various complex and diverse functions. Health care facilities design, especially an inpatient setting, is governed by many regulations and technical requirements. It is also affected by many less defined needs, particularly, response to culture and the need to provide for patient families’ presence and participation. The spatial configuration of the hospital ward setting in developing countries has no consideration for the patient’s families despite the significant role they play in promoting recovery. Attempts to integrate facilities for patients’ families have always been challenging, especially in developing countries like Nigeria, where accommodation for inpatients is predominantly in an open ward system. In addition, the situation is compounded by culture, which significantly dictates healthcare practices in Africa. Therefore, achieving such a hospital ward setting that is patient and family-centered requires careful assessment of family care actions and transaction spaces so as to arrive at an evidence based solution. Therefore, the aim of this study is to identify how hospital ward spaces can be reconfigured to provide for sustainable family integration. In achieving this aim, a qualitative approach using the principles of behavioral mapping was employed in male and female medical wards of the Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH) Gombe, Nigeria. The data obtained was analysed using classical and comparative content analysis. Patients’ families have been found to be a critical component of hospital ward design that cannot be undermined. Accordingly, bedsides, open yards, corridors and foyers have been identified as patient families’ transaction spaces that require design attention. Arriving at sustainable family integration can be achieved by revisiting the design requirements of the family transaction spaces based on the findings in order to avoid the rowdiness of the wards and uncoordinated sprawl.

Keywords: Caregiving, design basics, family integration, hospital ward, sustainability.

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128 Strategies for Patient Families Integration in Caregiving: A Consensus Opinion

Authors: Ibrahim A. Alkali

Abstract:

There is no reservation on the outstanding contribution of patient families in restoration of hospitalised patients, hence their consideration as essential component of hospital ward regimen. The psychological and emotional support a patient requires has been found to be solely provided by the patient’s family. However, consideration of their presence as one of the major functional requirements of an inpatient setting design have always been a source of disquiet, especially in developing countries where policies, norms and protocols of healthcare administration have no consideration for the patients’ family. This have been a major challenge to the hospital ward facilities, a concern for the hospital administration and patient management. The study therefore is aimed at obtaining a consensus opinion on the best approach for family integration in the design of an inpatient setting.  A one day visioning charrette involving Architects, Nurses, Medical Doctors, Healthcare assistants and representatives from the Patient families was conducted with the aim of arriving at a consensus opinion on practical design approach for sustainable family integration. Patient’s family are found to be decisive character of hospital ward regimen that cannot be undermined. However, several challenges that impede family integration were identified and subsequently a recommendation for an ideal approach. This will serve as a guide to both architects and hospital management in implementing much desired Patient and Family Centred Care.

Keywords: Caregiving, Inpatient setting, Integration, Patient Families.

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127 Dry Matter, Moisture, Ash and Crude Fibre Content in Distinct Segments of ‘Durian Kampung’ Husk

Authors: Norhanim Nordin, Rosnah Shamsudin, Azrina Azlan, Mohammad Effendy Ya’acob

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An environmental friendly approach for disposal of voluminous durian husk waste could be implemented by substituting them into various valuable commodities, such as healthcare and biofuel products. Thus, the study of composition value in each segment of durian husk was very crucial to determine the suitable proportions of nutrients that need to be added and mixed in the product. A total of 12 ‘Durian Kampung’ fruits from Sg Ruan, Pahang were selected and each fruit husk was divided into four segments and labelled as P-L (thin neck area of white inner husk), P-B (thick bottom area of white inner husk), H (green and thorny outer husk) and W (whole combination of P-B and H). Four experiments have been carried out to determine the dry matter, moisture, ash and crude fibre content. The results show that the H segment has the highest dry matter content (30.47%), while the P-B segment has the highest percentage in moisture (81.83%) and ash (6.95%) content. It was calculated that the ash content of the P-B segment has a higher rate of moisture level which causes the ash content to increase about 2.89% from the P-L segment. These data have proven that each segment of durian husk has a significant difference in terms of composition value, which might be useful information to fully utilize every part of the durian husk in the future.

Keywords: Durian husk, crude fibre content, dry matter content, moisture content.

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126 The Emotional Life of Patients with Chronic Diseases: A Framework for Health Promotion Strategies

Authors: Leslie Beale

Abstract:

Being a patient with a chronic disease is both a physical and emotional experience. The ability to recognize a patient’s emotional health is an important part of a health care provider’s skills. For the purposes of this paper, emotional health is viewed as the way that we feel, and the way that our feelings affect us. Understanding the patient’s emotional health leads to improved provider-patient relationships and health outcomes. For example, when a patient first hears his or her diagnosis from a provider, they might find it difficult to cope with their emotions. Struggling to cope with emotions interferes with the patient’s ability to read, understand, and act on health information and services. As a result, the patient becomes more frustrated and confused, creating barriers to accessing healthcare services. These barriers are challenging for both the patient and their healthcare providers. There are five basic emotions that are part of who we are and are always with us: fear, anger, sadness, joy, and compassion. Living with a chronic disease however can cause a patient to experience and express these emotions in new and unique ways. Within the provider-patient relationship, there needs to be an understanding that each patient experiences these five emotions and, experiences them at different times. In response to this need, the paper highlights a health promotion framework for patients with chronic disease. This framework emphasizes the emotional health of patients.

Keywords: Health promotion, emotional health, patients with chronic disease, patient-centered care.

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125 An Immersive Serious Game for Firefighting and Evacuation Training in Healthcare Facilities

Authors: Anass Rahouti, Guillaume Salze, Ruggiero Lovreglio, Sélim Datoussaïd

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In healthcare facilities, training the staff for firefighting and evacuation in real buildings is very challenging due to the presence of a vulnerable population in such an environment. In a standard environment, traditional approaches, such as fire drills, are often used to train the occupants and provide them with information about fire safety procedures. However, those traditional approaches may be inappropriate for a vulnerable population and can be inefficient from an educational viewpoint as it is impossible to expose the occupants to scenarios similar to a real emergency. Immersive serious games could be used as an alternative to traditional approaches to overcome their limitations. Serious games are already being used in different safety domains such as fires, earthquakes and terror attacks for several building types (e.g., office buildings, train stations, tunnels, etc.). In this study, we developed an immersive serious game to improve the fire safety skills of staff in healthcare facilities. An accurate representation of the healthcare environment was built in Unity3D by including visual and audio stimuli inspired from those employed in commercial action games. The serious game is organised in three levels. In each of them, the trainee is presented with a specific fire emergency and s/he can perform protective actions (e.g., firefighting, helping non-ambulant occupants, etc.) or s/he can ignore the opportunity for action and continue the evacuation. In this paper, we describe all the steps required to develop such a prototype, as well as the key questions that need to be answered, to develop a serious game for firefighting and evacuation in healthcare facilities.

Keywords: Fire Safety, healthcare, serious game, training.

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