REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0265.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Medical Device Regulation; wearable medical sensor; medical device; accessory
Online: 24 April 2019 (11:17:05 CEST)
Background: medical devices are designed, tested and placed on the market in a highly regulated environment. Wearable sensors are crucial components of various medical devices: design and validation of wearable sensors, if managed according to international standards, can foster innovation while respecting regulatory requirements. Material and methods: the purpose of this paper is to take into consideration the upcoming EU Medical Device Regulation 2017/245 and the current and future IEC and ISO standards that set methods for design and validation of medical devices, with a focus on wearable sensors. Risk classification according to the regulation is described. The international standards IEC 62304, IEC 60601, ISO 14971 and ISO 13485 are reviewed to define regulatory restrictions during design, pre-clinical validation and clinical validation of devices that include wearable sensors as crucial components. Results: current and future regulatory restrictions are described, and an integrated method for design planning, validation and clinical testing is described Discussion: application of this method to design wearable sensors should be evaluated in the future in order to assess its potentially positive impact to fostering innovation and to the time-to-market of the device.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0126.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: medical education; medical ethics; autonomy; patients' perspectives
Online: 10 May 2022 (03:52:44 CEST)
There are complex ethical dilemmas inherent in medicine teaching, particularly in clinical prac-tice involving actual patients. Questions must be raised on fulfilling medical students' training needs while still respecting patients' fundamental rights to autonomy and privacy. We aimed to assess patients' perspectives regarding medical students' involvement in their medical care. An observational, cross-sectional study was developed, and an interview-like questionnaire was ap-plied randomly to patients waiting for a consult/admitted to three distinct departments: General Surgery, Obstetrics/Gynaecology, and Infectious Diseases. Of the 77% interviewed patients who reported previous experiences with medical students, only 59% stated that they were asked for consent for their participation and 28% that students had adequately introduced themselves. Pa-tients from Gynaecology/Obstetrics were the ones who reported lower rates of these practices and were also the ones who were most bothered by students' presence, stating that they would refuse students' participation in the future. Male patients received more explanations than female pa-tients regarding the same matters. 35% of patients stated they would feel more comfortable without the medical students' presence. The study shows a need to pay closer attention to ful-filling patients' fundamental rights.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0695.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Saudi Arabia; Lifestyles; Medical students; Medical education
Online: 28 May 2021 (11:17:35 CEST)
Background: This study was conducted to investigate medical students' lifestyle habits, including sleep quality, eating and drinking pattern, physical activity, and social status. Method: This research project is part two of a multi-institutional cross-sectional observational study conducted among medical students from six medical colleges in Saudi Arabia between September and December 2019. Results: 675 medical students were enrolled electively into the lifestyle study. About half of this number were male students, and the majority aged 18-24 years. Most students (87.6%) slept between 4-8 hours a day, and over 44% were dissatisfied with their sleep. Only 28.1% had three meals a day; about 40% of them usually or always skipped breakfast. While 44% usually or always eat fast food, 44.7% drink 2 liters of water per day. Moreover, male students were significantly consuming fast foods than females, p<0.001. The majority (63.3%) revealed they usually or always drink black coffee daily. Females were significantly more inclined to regular coffee consumption than males, p<0.001. Only 4.3% exercising for 30 minutes or more daily. The majority (65%) of the students were introverted; they had few close friends. Yet, 81% were somewhat satisfied or satisfied with their social life. Male students were predicted to be significantly more satisfied with their social life than females, p=0.001. Only 4.6% smoked cigarettes daily. Whereas 7.1% smoke e-cigarette daily. In contrast, only 0.3% use shisha (hookah) daily. Male medical students were substantially more predicted to be inclined to e-cigarette use than females (p <0.001. The top five leisure activities of a medical student are surfing social media (75.9%), watching movies (61.3%), hanging out with friends (58.1%), spent time with their family (55.4%), and browsing the internet (53.6%). Female medical students were significantly more inclined to surfing social media than male medical students, p=0.022; also, watching movies was preferred for females compared to males, p=0.006. Conclusion: This study revealed that the majority of medical students in Saudi Arabia exhibited healthy lifestyles to some extent, and these health-promoting behaviors differed based on gender, especially concerning physical activity and eating patterns. The findings of this study provide relevant information for future actions that will be geared towards effectively decreasing the occurrence of chronic illnesses and improving future doctor’s well-being.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0764.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: creative legal study; creativity; medical curriculum; medical student
Online: 31 March 2021 (12:15:46 CEST)
In Thailand, the topic of medical ethics and laws related to medical professions has been one part of the national competency assessment criteria. The objective of this article was to design legal issues into the medical curriculum and to share experiences of creative legal study. Legal contents were inserted into 10 subjects and taught for year 1 to year 6 medical students. Students were divided into multi-groups or received individual tasks and then, shared their knowledge and idea for solving legal problems. The results showed they could interpret and create novel ideas for legal and ethical reconstruction, including the topic of the principle of laws, criminal laws, civil and commercial laws, public health laws, organ donation/transplantation, end of life decisions, and legal liability for the medical profession. Finally, the creative legal study can be used as a novel approach to support creativity among medical students.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0167.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Anatomy; Medical Education; Teaching; Students; Graduate Medical Education
Online: 14 June 2020 (04:20:42 CEST)
Background: During anatomy (topographic) chair, we prepared an anatomic piece of an older female pelvis (unknown causa mortis). Here, we present an anatomic piece prepared by medical students that helped us to better understand hypertrophic bladder pathophysiology. Methods: A traditional corpse dissection guided by an assistant professor. Results: Corpse dissection enhanced our personal experience during the medical course. It also helped us to better visualize how big a hypertrophic urinary bladder can become as the etiologic cause is not taken care. Conclusions: Despite virtual and 3D anatomy lessons, we believe corpse dissection must remain as a teaching strategy that can help to build a new generation of surgeons as well as honor the History of Medicine.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0001.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: medical workforce shortage; rural and remote; recruitment and retention; sustainable rural medical workforce; medical school innitiatives.
Online: 1 December 2022 (01:05:35 CET)
.Abstract: Indonesia, one of the Asia Pacific LMICs, has suffered from a chronic medical workforce shortage. However, there are limited published studies describing the approaches implemented by the Indonesian government regarding the recruitment and retention of the medical workforce. This case study aimed to understand the current practices for recruitment and retention of the medical workforce in Indonesian rural and remote provinces. We conducted a case study of the Maluku Province of Indonesia with document analysis and key informant interviews with officials responsible for medical workforce recruitment and retention. We used the WHO’s guidelines as an analytical matrix to examine the recruitment and retention practices under four domains, i) educational, ii) regulatory, iii) financial, and iv) professional and personal development, and classified them into University/Medical School level and Government/Non-government level. Our findings suggest that Indonesia has implemented most of the WHO-recommended medical workforce recruitment and retention strategies. However, implementation is still problematic; hence, the aim of establishing an adequate, sustainable medical workforce has not been reached. Nationwide government intervention in educational aspects is important to magnify the impact of the regional medical school initiatives. Relevant programs must be re-evaluated and re-enforced concerning significance, comprehensiveness and effectiveness for sustainable rural and remote medical workforce.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0191.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: medical writing; research communication; biomedical publications; teaching; medical education; article introduction; faculty training; early-career researchers; medical authorship
Online: 10 December 2021 (15:01:35 CET)
Skilled academic/medical writing is critical to research communication. The fundamental sections of a scholarly manuscript are introduction, methods, results and discussion. The introduction of a medical manuscript is aimed at briefing readers on the clinical extent and public health context of the research problem. It must justify the essentialness of the research to the scientific community and reveal any underlying research novelty. Skillfully conceived, designed and performed research protocols that are unskillfully presented can lose scientific credibility and impact. Without research communication skills authors would not be able to display the usefulness of their research for the scientific community. Generally, research communication or medical writing training/skills is underrepresented in curricular systems of medical schools globally. This can challenge publication quality and quantity of early-career authors/researchers. The author presents the academic experience he accumulated through peer review and supervision of vast manuscripts and theses. This article aimed at presenting a comprehensive roadmap for academic writing of the introduction and at identifying its common pitfalls.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0341.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: medical education; public health; medical schools; community; global health; human resource
Online: 25 May 2022 (04:03:49 CEST)
Background: With new challenges to the health system, many new competencies within the scope of teaching public health need to be addressed in medical schools’ curricula such as disaster risk management and health system science. The aims of this study were to identify the needs of public health competencies for medical doctors in Thailand and to assess the level of integration for technical collaboration in teaching public health. Method: A total of 17 out of 21 Thai medical schools participated in the national survey. Qualitative inquiries applied focus group interviews of community representatives from ten sample villages and in-depth interviews of representatives from stakeholder organizations particularly employers. The list of public health competencies framework recommended by WHO-SEARO was applied. Quantitative analysis applied descriptive analysis using STATA 15 and qualitative findings were validated by interrelating the meaning of themes from Word Clouds created in NVivo12. Data integration applied a mixed-method Quan-qual approach. Results: 17 medical schools returned the questionnaires (80.95 % yield). The most common regionally-defined public health competencies (in over 70% of schools) were shown to be: Biostatistics, Community Medicine, Epidemiology, Family Medicine, Medical Ethics and Professional Laws, Preventive Medicine, Health Promotion, Holistic Care, and Research. The curriculum in only one medical school lacked Health Economics, whilst Disaster Management was lacking in two other schools. Discipline-based subjects were found to be more prevalent than interdisciplinary competencies. A variety of methods were being applied for teaching public health. The majority of the schools applied lecture as the main teaching method and multiple-choice questions as the main assessment method. Thai communities expect the doctors to get in touch with the community more often, lead the primary health care team through training the health professionals and community health volunteers, and educate the community for better health. Conclusion: Human resource is the main challenge in addressing interdisciplinary competencies. It is necessary to establish a collaborating mechanism among the big and small medical schools and the faculties of public health to improve the teaching of public health to undergraduate students in medical schools. There is also a need to strengthen the health system science and leadership so that future MDs can lead health service delivery according to the needs of their employers such as the Ministry of Public Health and the Rural Doctors Association. The findings of this study may help to identify a national framework of public health core competencies for medical schools and create a common platform for interdisciplinary collaborations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0069.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: Healthcare; Internet of Things; IoT; Medical Assistance; Medical Kiosk; Rural people
Online: 6 March 2019 (10:29:46 CET)
After conducting a detailed survey among the villagers of Pallissery and Karukutty, it was observed that in most of the villages the native people have to travel long distances for their basic health needs. Also most of the villagers lack knowledge regarding live health updates. At times, these problems have even resulted in death of many people including pregnant women and children. The objective of our research is to propose an integrated and easy to use Medical Kiosk that can be installed at various locations in rural areas. The Kiosk will provide an integrated environment for all medical related activities and would perform numerous functions like sending notifications regarding medical camps, mobile medical help, important dates for vaccinations, child care, insurance policies and provide other live medical updates to the villagers. It would also support the basic facilities for measurement of body parameters like height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, and heartbeat and also facilitate live consultation facilities with specialized doctors through video and voice chats.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0209.v1
Subject: Keywords: disability, inclusion, medical education
Online: 16 May 2019 (10:41:19 CEST)
ABSTRACT:This paper presents arguments for why it is important to include disability in the undergraduate medical curriculum. I, the first author am currently involved with my doctoral thesis proposal titled "Proposing clinician competency guidelines for the inclusion of disability in the undergraduate medical curriculum of South Africa. An exploratory study.” As part of my research, I conducted a literature search and developed arguments to strengthen the reasons why the research I propose in my thesis is necessary. It is important that I position myself in this research. I am a South African, Caucasian, female medical doctor, with an interest in physical rehabilitation medicine and I am a person with a physical disability. Although this research study will be conducted in South Africa, I am hopeful that the findings will be transferable to medical schools across the world.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0328.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Analysis Keywords: e-learning; automatic test generation; medical ontology; data mining for medical texts
Online: 14 November 2018 (09:45:38 CET)
The Medi-test system we developed was motivated by the large number of resources available for the medical domain, as well as the number of tests needed in this field (during and after the medical school) for evaluation, promotion, certification, etc. Generating questions to support learning and user interactivity has been an interesting and dynamic topic in NLP since the availability of e-book curricula and e-learning platforms. Current e-learning platforms offer increased support for student evaluation, with an emphasis in exploiting automation in both test generation and evaluation. In this context, our system is able to evaluate a student’s academic performance for the medical domain. Using as input medical reference texts and supported by a specially designed medical ontology, Medi-test generates different types of questionnaires for Romanian language. The evaluation includes 4 types of questions (multiple-choice, fill in the blanks, true/false and match), can have customizable length and difficulty and can be automatically graded. A recent extension of our system also allows for the generation of tests which include images. We evaluated our system with a local testing team, but also with a set of medicine students, and user satisfaction questionnaires showed that the system can be used to enhance learning.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: ME/CFS; education; medical school; teaching; long Covid; patient safety, NICE Guidelines, Health Act 1983, General Medical Council, GMC, Medical Schools Council, MSC, Long Covid.
Online: 16 March 2021 (12:16:27 CET)
Background and objectives: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ME/CFS is a common complex multi-system disease with a significant impact on the quality of life of patients and their families, yet the majority of ME/CFS patients go unrecognised or undiagnosed. For two decades the medical education establishment in the UK has been challenged to remedy these failings, but little has changed. This study was designed to ascertain the current UK medical school education on ME/CFS and to identify challenges and opportunities to inform the future of medical education. Materials and methods: A questionnaire, developed under the guidance of the Medical Schools Council, was sent to all 34 UK Medical Schools to collect data for the academic year 2018-2019. Results: Responses were provided by 22 out of a total of 34 medical schools (65%). 59% of respondents taught ME/CFS, led by specialists drawn from 6 medical disciplines. Teaching delivery was usually by lecture; however, discussion case studies and e-learning were used. 7 schools included questions on ME/CFS in their examinations and 3 schools reported likely clinical exposure to ME/CFS patients. 64% of respondents were interested in receiving further teaching aids in ME/CFS. None of the schools shared details of their teaching syllabus so it was not possible to ascertain what students were being taught. Conclusions: UK medical school teaching in ME/CFS is shown to be inadequate. Several medical disciplines, with known differences about the disease, need to set these aside to give greater clarity in teaching undergraduates so they can more easily recognise and diagnose ME/CFS. Improvements are proposed in ME/CFS medical education consistent with the international paradigm shift in biomedical understanding of this disease. Many medical schools (64% of respondents) acknowledge this need by expressing a strong appetite for the development of further teaching aids and materials. The GMC and MSC are called upon to use their considerable influence to bring about the appropriate changes to medical school curricula so future doctors can recognise, diagnose and treat ME/CFS. The GMC should also consider creating a registered speciality encompassing ME/CFS, post viral fatigue and Long Covid.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0056.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: Emergency Medical Services; paramedics; gender; diversity
Online: 5 December 2022 (02:16:33 CET)
Introduction Like other public safety professions, paramedicine has historically been a male-dominated occupation, both in the demography of its workforce and in its organizational culture. Although women are increasingly choosing paramedicine as a career, participation in leadership roles remains limited. Drawing on data from a recent comprehensive mental health survey, we describe the proportion of women in leadership in a single, large, urban paramedic service in Ontario, Canada. Methods We distributed an in-person, paper-based survey during the fall 2019 - winter 2020 Continuing Medical Education (CME) sessions. Participating paramedics completed a demographic questionnaire alongside a battery of mental health screening tools. We assessed the demography of the workforce and explored differences in employment classification, provider level (e.g., primary vs. advanced care), and participation in formal leadership roles along self-reported gender lines. Results Out of 607 paramedics attending CME, we received 600 completed surveys, with 11 excluded for missing data, leaving 589 for analysis and a 97% response rate. Women comprised 40% of the active-duty paramedic workforce, with an average of 8 years of experience. Compared to men, women were more than twice as likely to have a university degree (Odds Ratio [OR] 2.02), but almost half as likely to practice at the Advanced Care Paramedic level (OR 0.61), and somewhat less likely to be employed full-time (OR 0.77). Women were nearly 70% less likely to hold a leadership role in the service compared to men (OR 0.36), occupying just 20% of leadership positions. Conclusion Although paramedicine is witnessing an encouraging shift in the demography of its workforce with greater participation from women, there is still work to be done, particularly in leadership. Future research should focus on identifying and ameliorating barriers to career advancement among women and other historically underrepresented people.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0140.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Undergraduate; Medical; Online; Distance Education; Perception
Online: 9 June 2022 (10:53:43 CEST)
In 2020, students of Pakistan had to adapt to the online environment for the very first time. This study aims to analyze the perceptions of medical, dental, and allied health students about online education in Pakistan. A descriptive, cross-sectional study was done to assess the level of acceptance of undergraduate students. A pre-validated questionnaire regarding demographics, past-experience of e-learning, advantages disadvantages of e-learning, and general perception of students towards e-learning was distributed. Descriptive statistics were computed for demographics, Mann-Witney-U test was used to compare the differences of perceptions between pre-clinical year and clinical years students. Kruskal-Wallis test was applied to compare the results of three specialties of students. Chi-square was used to compare overall category-wise positive and negative responses of students. 1200 students participated in the study. The major advantage identified by all students was the ‘comfortable environment’ in which they studied online. The major disadvantage selected by preclinical year students was ‘anxiety due to social isolation’ and that chosen by clinical year students was ‘lack of patient interaction’. Overall, 72% of students had a negative perception of e-learning. Student-teacher training, student counselling sessions, and innovative techniques need to be introduced to enhance student engagement and reduce pandemic stress.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0117.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: COVID-19; Medical Waste; Sustainability; Environment.
Online: 3 June 2021 (13:22:55 CEST)
The situation in the world of pandemics is rapidly changing, and the second wave of COVID-19 has put a lot of pressure on the government and private sector, which are primarily responsible for controlling the situation. COVID-19 positive cases have increased in recent months relative to last year, and the number of patients admitted to hospitals has also increased, despite the fact that few of them were denied admission due to shortage of beds. Normal people who experience any symptoms immediately isolate themselves and begin taking the COVID medications prescribed by medical personnel and their team. During these times, all domestic people tossed the wrappers and boxes of medicines into the regular trash can, and the waste was handed over to the waste collector, who treated it like any other domestic waste and disposed of it using open dumping or other methods. The goal of this perspective is to suggest the collections of these types of waste from domestics, and protect the natural resources like water, soil, and even living beings like animals from pollution (from the effect of SARS-CoV-2). The main challenge for environmental waste management agencies is determining who has COVID positive and which houses generate these types of waste; thus, proposed strategy may be beneficial to the long-term sustainability of natural resources and animals.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0274.v1
Online: 11 February 2021 (10:21:35 CET)
As medical schools cope with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new cohort of students will be admitted in the fall. Administrators are again challenged to make unprecedented enrollment decisions without standardized exams. This challenge provides unique opportunities to support holistic admissions but also abruptly bypasses a process that has been employed since 1928. This article highlights key factors that are being considered during current medical school admission cycles, including limited opportunities to take standardized exams, heightened student anxiety, and potential exam alternatives. These factors are framed and discussed within the context of the medical college admission test (MCAT) exam.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0116.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Bioinformatics; Graphs; Medical genetics; sequencing methods
Online: 6 January 2021 (12:06:39 CET)
High-quality chromosome-scale haplotype sequences— of diploid genomes, polyploid genomes and metagenomes — provide important insights into genetic variation associated with disease and biodiversity. However, whole-genome short read sequencing does not yield haplotype information that spans whole chromosomes directly. Computational assembly of shorter haplotype fragments is required for haplotype reconstruction, which can be challenging owing to limited fragment lengths and high haplotype and repeat variability across genomes. Recent advancements in long-read and chromosome-scale sequencing technologies, alongside computational innovations, are improving the reconstruction of haplotypes at the level of whole chromosomes. Here, we review recent methodological progress in these areas and discuss perspectives that could enable routine high-quality haplotype reconstruction in clinical and evolutionary studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0305.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: user characteristics; home medical devices; usability
Online: 13 September 2020 (23:58:42 CEST)
The Smart Angel connected medical device allows ambulatory surgery patients to monitor their health by taking their own blood pressure and oxygen levels and by answering a health questionnaire from home. This preventive device must necessarily be "usable" by patients with different profiles. The objective of this article is, therefore, to better understand the links between certain characteristics of potential patients and usability. We conducted an experimental study involving thirty-six participants, investigating the effects of four patient characteristics (i.e. age, education, technophilia and health literacy) on usability measured in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. The results show a moderate correlation between age, health literacy and usability. However, there is a weak correlation between technophilia and usability and no relationship between the level of education and usability. This study provides theoretical insights into the effects of user characteristics by means of personas in usability (ISO 9241-11).
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Medical education; Linking research and education
Online: 10 July 2020 (15:59:53 CEST)
On the 30thanniversary of the Karolinska Institutet Summer Research School for High School students an evaluation was carried out of the school’s activities. The evaluation was performed by questionnaire sent to 533 former students and also by searching the KI course registration database for all former students who went on to register in under- or postgraduate education at KI. Approximately half of all former Summer School students performed their undergraduate studies at KI, predominantly in the medical program. Those were far more likely to choose a research-oriented education than their peers. KI Medical students who previously attended the Summer School were also more likely to later register for PhD education than their peers who did not attend the summer school.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0137.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: oral health; students; medical; behavior; iran
Online: 11 October 2019 (07:30:00 CEST)
Aim: The purpose of this examination is determining predictors to oral health behaviors predict in Iranian students in district 1 Tehran based on the health belief model with added commitment to plan construct. Methods: This cross-sectional study were randomly selected conducted on 351 eligible four grade female students in the first district of Tehran, Iran in 2017. The random Multi‑stage random cluster sampling method was used to recruit students. The inclusion criteria were being graded, four female students (aged 9-11 years), or education at the fourth grade of one of the elementary schools studied in the first district of Tehran and, The health of the student from a physical and psychological of view. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the variables that predict oral health behaviors. To assess the predictors of oral health behaviors, all the expanded Health Belief Model constructs with the construct of “Commitment to Plan of Action” from “Health Promotion Model were examined as risk factors to see if they influence on the probability of brushing behavior and dental floss behavior occurrence and were interpreted through odds ratio (OR). SPSS version 19 was used to analyze the data. Results: Totally 308 four grade female students with mean age of 9.32 ± 0.81 years old took part in the study. The total 31.8% of the students reported that they were brushing behavior less than twice a day and 55.2% students claimed, use of dental floss behavior once a week or less than once a day. The results indicated that perceived self-efficacy (OR=1.46, 95% CI=0.57-3.78, P<0.001), Commitment to plan (OR=1.13, 95% CI=1.04-1.23, P<0.001) and Cues to action (OR=1.42, 95% CI=1.14–1.76, P=0.002) were the significant predicting variables which is the key factor of brushing twice a day, and use of dental floss once a day or more (OR=1.02, 95% CI=0.23-3.53, P=0.003). Conclusion: This study has shown the effectiveness of the health belief model with added commitment to plan construct to predict oral health behavior in female students. So, it seems that the model as a framework for designing training programs to improve students to improve oral health behavior can be used.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0605.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: deep learning; computed tomography; image classification; COVID-19; medical image analysis; pneumonia; CNN, LSTM, medical diagnosis
Online: 25 May 2021 (10:32:29 CEST)
Advancements in deep learning and availability of medical imaging data have led to use of CNN based architectures in disease diagnostic assisted systems. In spite of the abundant use of reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) based tests in COVID-19 diagnosis, CT images offer an applicable supplement with its high sensitivity rates. Here, we study classification of COVID-19 pneumonia (CP) and non-COVID-19 pneumonia (NCP) in chest CT scans using efficient deep learning methods to be readily implemented by any hospital. We report our deep network framework design that encompasses Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and bidirectional Long Short Term Memory (biLSTM) architectures. Our study achieved high specificity (CP: 98.3%, NCP: 96.2% Healthy: 89.3%) and high sensitivity (CP: 84.0%, NCP: 93.9% Healthy: 94.9%) in classifying COVID-19 pneumonia, non-COVID-19 pneumonia and healthy patients. Next, we provide visual explanations for the CNN predictions with gradient-weighted class activation mapping (Grad-CAM). The results provided a model explainability by showing that Ground Glass Opacities (GGO), indicators of COVID-19 pneumonia disease, were captured by our CNN network. Finally, we have implemented our approach in three hospitals proving its compatibility and efficiency.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0426.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Dispatch; Emergency Medical Dispatch; Emergency Medical Communication Centre; Video Live; COVID19; Emergency Call; Video triage; Public Safety Answering Point; Telemedecine; Emergency Medical Services; Remote assessment; Triage
Online: 24 January 2023 (08:20:00 CET)
The COVID19 pandemic had a major impact on emergency medical communication centres (EMCC). A live video facility was made available to second-line physicians in an EMCC with a first-line paramedic to receive emergency calls. The objective of this study was to measure the contribution of live video to remote medical triage. The single-centre retrospective study included all telephone assessments of patients with suspected COVID19 symptoms from 01.04.2020 to 30.04.2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation of the EMCC and the characteristics of patients who called the two emergency lines (official emergency number and COVID19 number) with suspected COVID19 symptoms were described. A prospective web-based survey of physicians was conducted during the same period to measure the indications, limitations and impact of live video on their decisions. 8,957 patients were included. 2,157 (48.0%) of the 4,493 patients assessed on the official emergency number had dyspnoea. 4,045 (90.6%) of 4,464 patients assessed on the COVID19 number had flu-like symptoms. 1,798 (20.1%) patients were reassessed remotely by a physician, including 405 (22.5%) with live video, successfully in 315 (77.8%) attempts. The web-based survey (107 forms) showed that physicians used live video to assess mainly the breathing (81.3%) and general condition (78.5%) of patients. They felt that their decision was modified in 75.7% (n=81) of cases, and caught 7 (7.7%) patients in life-threatening emergency. Medical triage decisions for suspected COVID19 patients are strongly influenced by the use of live video.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0096.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Health; Policy; Knowledge; Perception; Medical Students; Malaysia
Online: 11 April 2022 (11:07:12 CEST)
Background: Health policy is a set of comprehensive principles and legislations that guide how healthcare should be effectively delivered in the community. Medical schools should prepare students to undertake managerial responsibilities by incorporating health policy in the curriculum to deal with the intricacies of healthcare systems and their clinical roles in their future professional careers. Objective: To examine medical students' perception at a Public University in Malaysia regarding teaching health policy and their participation in health policy roles. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study using universal sampling was carried out among the medical students using a paper-based questionnaire to collect the data. Results: Most respondents opined their willingness to learn health policy (80.9%) and that teaching health policy (83.6%) should be compulsory for medical students. The respondents thought health policy should be introduced earlier in Year 1 or 2. The student scores on their knowledge regarding health policy and year of study were significantly associated with their involvement in the health policy roles in both the simple and multiple logistic regression. Both statistical tests reported higher participation in health policy roles with the higher year of study, though only Year 4 and 5 were significant in the simple logistic regression and only Year 5 in the multiple logistic regression compared to Year 1. On the other hand, age and type of admission show significant results only in the simple logistic regression, while the race was only significant at the multivariate level. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that most respondents showed their willingness to learn health policy, participate in the health policy programs, and recommend that health policy be considered an essential topic in the medical curriculum, which should be taught right from the first year of medical school. We recommend encouraging students’ participation in health policy activities.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0054.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Medical Cannabis; history of cannabis; medicine; cannabinoids
Online: 7 April 2022 (04:14:19 CEST)
The cannabis plant has been known for millennia for its properties such as textile fiber, food, recreational and medicinal use. Since the origin of its domestication in Asia, cannabis has been transported to the rest of the continents by merchants, nomads, settlers, and slaves, who have also carried with them valuable knowledge about its uses. Its medical use was one of the major contributions of this plant in the various civilizations through which it passed. This article aims to understand its origins, dissemination, and medical use over the years to the present day.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0680.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: NEC; Surgical; Medical; Risk factor; Outcome; Neonate
Online: 30 July 2021 (09:11:09 CEST)
Background: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the leading causes of death in newborns, however, little is understood of which patients can be treated medically or require surgery. The purpose of our study is to analyze the associated factors of surgically treated patients compared to patients requiring only medical treatment. Methods: Patients diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis over a period of 14 years in a single children’s hospital were retrospectively enrolled. Demographics and clinical data patients were collected and analyzed. Results: A total of 189 patients with NEC were included. Surgically treated patients had a lower gestational age (P = .018), body weight at birth (P = .034), and percentage of exclusive breast milk feeding (P= .001). They had increased comorbidity with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) (P = .005), number of days of antibiotic use (P = .014), and length of hospital stay (P = .000). In multivariate logistic analysis, a lower percentage of exclusive breast milk feeding (OR = 0.366, 95% CI: 0.164-0.817) and a longer hospital stay (OR = 1.010, 95% CI: 1.001- 1.019) was associated with surgical NEC. Conclusion: Comparing medical and surgical NEC, a significantly lower percentage of surgical NEC patients were exclusively fed breast milk and their hospital stays were longer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0327.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: COVID-19; Medical waste; Environmental impac; China
Online: 13 April 2021 (09:09:57 CEST)
COVID-19 greatly challenges human beings in the health sector and leaves behind a large amount of medical waste that poses many potential threats to the environment. In this paper, we compiled relevant data released by official agencies and the media, and conducted data supplementation based on previous studies to calculate the net value of medical waste production in Hubei Province during COVID-19 with the help of a neural network model. Then, we reviewed the data related to the environmental impact of medical waste per unit and designed four scenarios to estimate the environmental impact of new medical waste generated during the epidemic. The results showed that at a medical waste generation rate of\ 0.\ 5\ kg/(\ bed\ \cdot\ d) COVID-19 resulted in a net increase in medical waste volume of about 3366.99 tons in Hubei Province. In the four scenario assumptions, if the medical waste brought by COVID-19 is completely incinerated, it will have a large impact on the air quality. If it is disposed by distillation sterilization, it will produce a large amount of wastewater and waste residue. Based on the results of the study, three policy recommendations are proposed in this paper: strict control of medical wastewater discharge, reduction and transformation of the emitted acidic gases, and attention to the emission of metallic nickel in exhaust gas and chloride in soil. These policy recommendations provide a scientific basis for controlling medical waste pollution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0598.v1
Online: 23 November 2020 (20:15:40 CET)
Objectives: To determine the effects of caffeine consumption on the sleep habits and lifestyle of medical students. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at Jinnah Sindh Medical University (JSMU) and Hamdard College of Medicine. On 422 undergraduate students aged 18-25 years, through random sampling. The duration of the study was from January 2019 to June 2019. The data was collected through self-administered questionnaire which included data regarding sleep habits and lifestyle of medical students. Results: Majority (81.6%) of the students consumed caffeine while only (18.4%) did not. One third of the participants (31.8%) reported caffeine consumption increased their academic performance and (57.3%) reported that it does not. More than half of the participants (63.3%) who consumed caffeine slept during class, whereas (47.2%) never had difficulty in falling asleep during the night. Conclusion: This research concluded that caffeine does have some role on sleep habits of medical students as they tend to have less sleep hours, experience day time dysfunction, average quality of sleep, and falling asleep during class. It has been concluded that caffeine has no effect on eating habits of medical students however, it does increase the screening time, keeping them active.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0308.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Colour Model; Steganography; Medical Image; C4S; distortion
Online: 27 May 2019 (10:13:02 CEST)
Visible light photography diagnostic images are coloured ex vivo medical images popularly used in Dermatology and Endoscopy for diagnosis and monitoring. The need to protect the integrity of these images as well as associated patient data calls for techniques such as image steganography and watermarking. This research explores and compares the effect of watermarking on the YIQ and YCbCr colour transforms used in processing digital coloured images and video in recent times. Using a new spread spectrum watermarking algorithm, it was found that YIQ has better distortion performance than YCbCr in the order of 3dB while YCbCr had lower BER for accurate watermark retrieval and tamper detection in the order of 1.3 x 10-3.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0147.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: inter-professional; education; pharmacist; medical; undergraduate; PSA
Online: 11 June 2018 (04:53:22 CEST)
Five years after the introduction of the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) in the UK, the role pharmacists play to help prepare medical students for this challenge is uncertain. Our study explored pharmacists’ perceptions about their role in undergraduate medical training for the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA). Study participants were emailed a qualitative questionnaire aimed at ascertaining their current involvement in undergraduate medical education, particularly the preparation for PSA. Responses received were thematically-analysed. A total of 27 UK hospital pharmacists and 3 pharmacists from local education and training boards completed the questionnaire. Pharmacists were positive about their involvement in medical student training, recognising the added value they could provide in prescribing practice. However, respondents expressed concerns in relation to resource availability and the need for formal educational practice mentoring. This research highlights the potential value of pharmacists’ input into medical education and the need for a discussion on strategies to expand this role to maximise the benefit from pharmacist skill mix in teaching safe prescribing.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0229.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: medical knowledge graphs; knowledge graphs reuse; ontology modularization
Online: 17 October 2022 (05:13:53 CEST)
During the creation and integration of a health care system based on medical knowledge graphs, it is necessary to review and select the vocabularies and definitions that best fit the information requirements of the system being developed. This implies the reuse of medical knowledge graphs; however, full importation of knowledge graphs is not a tractable solution in terms of memory requirements. In this paper we present a modularization-based method for knowledge graph reuse. A case study of graph reuse is presented by transforming the original model into a lighter one.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0408.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: hesitancy; covid-19; post-covid; medical doctors; indonesia
Online: 13 September 2022 (05:13:14 CEST)
This study is a cross-sectional survey involving physicians around Indonesia aimed to explore physician hesitancy to treat COVID-19 patients after experiencing COVID-19 infection coupled with associated occupational risk factors. The questionnaire was distributed via contact information from the Indonesian Physician Association database. Out of 383 participants, 25.6% suffered from moderate symptoms of COVID-19 and 2.9% were admitted for critical care. Hesitancy to treat suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19 patients was found in 20.3% of physicians. A higher hesitancy rate was found in older physicians and those with less experience in treating COVID-19 patients. Specialist trainees and those who work in public hospitals were physicians with the lowest hesitancy in treating COVID-19 patients. There is a significant hesitancy in treating COVID-19 patients among physicians who have suffered from COVID-19 which calls for further action by management and policy makers.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0041.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Deep Learning; Convolutional Neural Networks; Medical Image Segmentation
Online: 5 September 2022 (03:12:55 CEST)
Convolutional neural network architectures have become increasingly complex, which has improved the performance slowly on well-known benchmark datasets in the recent years. In this research, we have analyzed the true need for such complexity. We have introduced G-Net light, a lightweight modified GoogleNet with improved filter count per layer to reduce feature overlaps and complexity. Additionally, by limiting the amount of pooling layers in the proposed architecture, we have exploited the skip connections to minimize the spatial information loss. The investigations on the proposed architecture are evaluated on three retinal vessel segmentation publicly available datasets. The proposed G-Net light outperforms other vessel segmentation architectures by reducing the number of trainable parameters..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0175.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: survey; emergency medical services; training; stroke; prehospital care
Online: 16 June 2022 (10:58:04 CEST)
Background: Emergency medical services (EMS) are the first health care contact for the majority of stroke patients. However, there is a lack of data on the current paramedics’ hospital-directed feedback and training needs across different health care settings. We aimed to evaluate paramedics’ prehospital stroke care knowledge, training needs, and current status of feedback on suspected stroke patients. Methods: We surveyed paramedics from the Vilnius region from September to November 2019, and compared the answers between the city and the district agencies. The questionnaire content included questions on paramedics’ demographic characteristics, prehospital stroke care self-assessment, knowledge on stroke mimics, stroke training needs, and the importance of hospital-directed feedback on suspected stroke patients. Results: A total number of 161 paramedics were surveyed, with more district paramedics rating their prehospital stroke care knowledge as inadequate (44.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 32.8–57.6) vs 28.1% (95% CI 20.1–27.8), p = 0.028). In addition, more district paramedics indicated a need for additional stroke training (83.1% (95% CI 71.5–90.5) vs 69.8% (60.0–78.1), p = 0.043). However, respondents reported being the most confident while dealing with stroke (71.3%, 95% CI 63.8–77.7) compared to other time-critical conditions (p < 0.001). Vertigo (60.8%, 95% CI 53.0–68.0), brain tumours (56.3%, 95% CI 48.5–63.8), and seizures (54.4%, 95% CI 46.7–62.0) were indicated as the most common stroke mimics. Only 6.2% (95% CI 3.4–11.1) of respondents received formal feedback on the outcome of suspected stroke patients brought to the emergency department. Conclusion: A high proportion of paramedics self-perceive having inadequate stroke knowledge and an urgent need for further stroke training. The EMS staff indicate receiving an insufficient amount of feedback on suspected stroke patients, even though the usefulness is perceived to be paramount.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0019.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Medical device; surgery; hip arthroplasty; acoustics; vibration emissions
Online: 1 December 2021 (13:43:22 CET)
The success of total hip arthroplasty depends on the experience of the surgeon, and one of the ways the surgeon currently determines the final implant insertion depth is to listen to the change in audible pitch of the hammering sound. We investigated the use of acoustic vibration emissions as a novel method for insertion quality assessment. A non-invasive contact microphone-based measurement system for insertion depth estimation, fixation and fracture detection was developed using a simplified in vitro bone/implant (n=5). 2583 audio recordings were analysed in vitro to obtain energy spectral density functions. Out of the four main resonant peaks under in vitro conditions, broach insertion depth statistically correlates to increasing 3rd and 4th peak frequencies. Degree of fixation was also observed as higher goodness of fit (0.26-0.78 vs. 0.12-0.51 between two broach sizes, the latter undersized). Finally, however, the moment of fracture could not be predicted. A cadaver in situ pilot study suggests comparable resonant frequencies in the same order of magnitudes with the bone model. Further understanding of the signal patterns are needed for an early warning system diagnostic system for imminent fractures, bone damage, improving accuracy and quality of future procedures.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0471.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Big data; Health prevention; Machine learning; Medical data
Online: 24 August 2021 (14:00:12 CEST)
CVDs are a leading cause of death globally. In CVDs, the heart is unable to deliver enough blood to other body regions. Since effective and accurate diagnosis of CVDs is essential for CVD prevention and treatment, machine learning (ML) techniques can be effectively and reliably used to discern patients suffering from a CVD from those who do not suffer from any heart condition. Namely, machine learning algorithms (MLAs) play a key role in the diagnosis of CVDs through predictive models that allow us to identify the main risks factors influencing CVD development. In this study, we analyze the performance of ten MLAs on two datasets for CVD prediction and two for CVD diagnosis. Algorithm performance is analyzed on top-two and top-four dataset attributes/features with respect to five performance metrics –accuracy, precision, recall, f1-score, and roc-auc – using the train-test split technique and k-fold cross-validation. Our study identifies the top two and four attributes from each CVD diagnosis/prediction dataset. As our main findings, the ten MLAs exhibited appropriate diagnosis and predictive performance; hence, they can be successfully implemented for improving current CVD diagnosis efforts and help patients around the world, especially in regions where medical staff is lacking.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0348.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Nutraceuticals; pharmaceuticals; medical approach; therapeutic; therapies; emerging companies
Online: 28 June 2020 (20:10:09 CEST)
Nutraceuticals are combination of nutrients and pharmaceuticals and these are derived from various plants, microbes and animals too. The food products that are considered as nutraceuticals are categorised based on the availability in the market. It is a medical approach to improve health and remedy for illness. Nowadays there is an increase in shift towards use of nutraceuticals as its usage provides preventive therapies to various chronic diseases. Various natural nutraceuticals are based on extracts from Ginger, turmeric, garlic, amla, cinnamon, aloe vera etc. A wide variety of therapeutic values are provided by them such as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal properties, allergy relief, antidiabetic and cardiovascular problems. India is in its infancy stage but have many emerging companies that are trying to meet the demand of growing population. Overall ‘Nutraceuticals’ has been known as a new era of well being, in which the food industry has become a main player.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0118.v1
Online: 10 February 2020 (04:05:21 CET)
Introduction: Travel-based continuing medical education (CME) has become a popular format for physicians looking to combine education with travel. Emergency Medicine Update Europe is a biennial accredited CME program combining high quality Emergency Medicine education with structured group activities including cycling, hiking and social activities. This unique design incorporates innovative educational practices but as a whole has not yet been evaluated. Methods: This was a participant observation-based, ethnographic-style case study of the Emergency Medicine Update Europe conference in Provence, France in 2015. Participant interviews and embedded observation methods were used to collect data. Data was then analyzed using thematic content analysis techniques. Results: We describe three phenomena from the data that we feel are highly influential in the success of the program and impact on learning. These include “social engagement and a sense of community”; “the value of a stimulating escape” and “the ‘flat’ faculty-learner relationships”. Discussion: These unique features, prioritized by participants, seem to be key to the apparent success of this model over more traditional CME approaches. To our knowledge this is the first empirical research in this area and improves our understanding of how to leverage these more sociologic components for more effective continuing medical education.
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: metamaterial antennas; printed antennas; energy harvesting; medical systems
Online: 7 October 2019 (11:26:52 CEST)
Demand for green technologies and energy is in continuous growth in the last years. Compact efficient antennas are crucial for energy harvesting portable systems. Small antennas have low efficiency. The efficiency of communication and energy harvesting systems may be improved by using efficient passive and active antennas. The system dynamic range may be improved by connecting amplifiers to the printed antenna feed line. Design, design considerations, computed and measured results of wearable meta-materials antennas with high efficiency for energy harvesting applications are presented in this paper. All antennas were analyzed by using 3D full-wave software. The antennas electrical parameters on human body are presented. The directivity and gain of the antennas with Split-ring resonators, SRR, is higher by 2.5dB than the antennas without SRR. The resonant frequency of the antennas with SRR is lower by 5% to 10% than the antennas without SRR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0042.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: English proficiency, Earnings, Immigrants, MCMC, Medical Care Spending
Online: 2 July 2019 (11:37:52 CEST)
This paper investigates the role of English language proficiency (ELP) as a measure of cultural integration on U.S. immigrant families’ economic integration, as measured by annual earnings, and health care market integration, as captured by annual medical care spending. Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) estimation of a mixed bivariate ordered probit (MBOP) model of annual earnings and medical care spending is conducted using a nationally representative pooled cross-sectional sample data from the U.S. National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS). The results reveal that limited English proficiency is associated with lower marginal earnings propensities (-$44.83, -$50.66, and -$56.97), and higher marginal medical care spending propensities ($8.09, $6.09, and $4.32) for each of the three decreasing levels of ELP. Furthermore, we find a small yet statistically significant positive 7.2% correlation between immigrant families’ annual earnings and medical care spending propensities. Therefore investing to raise immigrants’ families ELP in the U.S. would not only contribute to more effective socio-economic integration, but also strengthen the U.S. workforce and economy for decades to come.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0594.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: cheating behavior, cheating during exam, 2nd medical laboratory
Online: 30 August 2018 (13:46:11 CEST)
Cheating during examination is now day serious problem spatially in Ethiopia where many students sit in one class to exam. When cheating occurs in medical schools, it has serious consequences for human life, social values, and the economy. Even though, cheating on exams has existed in any department, with unknown reason, prevalence of cheater among 2nd year laboratory students were high. So that assessing factors and improving cheating behavior of the students are mandatory to create competitive graduated students. To identify factors and to improve cheating behavior action research study design was conducted among 2nd year medical laboratory student. Criterion sampling technique was used to selects sixteen cheater students among 2nd year laboratory students. To gather necessary data, we used focus group discussions, individual interview, open-ended questionnaire and observation and collected information by using hand writing notes. During exam different cheating methods used by students like using a system of signals, writing on hands, desks and copy the other students answer. While the compelling reasons for cheating were like hard courses, hard exams, time pressure and fear of failure. To improve cheating behavior of the student’s different action strategies were taken like prepared exam by using code, arrangement sitting style during exam and sit with brainy students during class, reading and discussion. Most students were trying to done exam by themselves but their results are not good as previously. So that, we need more future action plan to avoid cheating behavior of the students. During, the next action plan we will be taken the remaining main action strategies and action evaluation we will be expected 50% of participants will be avoided their cheater behavior and done exam independently without forced by the environment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0486.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: sepsis; dysregulation; adaptation; evolution; natural selection; medical reversal
Online: 25 July 2018 (13:19:58 CEST)
For decades, sepsis research has been motivated by the idea of a dangerous overreaction of the immune system in sepsis. But is it true that the response to sepsis is dysregulated? This review surveys the history of sepsis trials and found that evidence for dysregulation does not exist in many of the physiologic mechanisms of sepsis. It is time to consider the alternative hypothesis, that sepsis traits are often functional, and do more harm than good. This review discusses the implications of this perspective for the future of sepsis research
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0022.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: electron beam; ethylene oxide; medical devices; polymers; sterilization
Online: 3 July 2018 (05:33:04 CEST)
In the last decades bioresorbable and biodegradable polymers have gained a very good reputation both in research and in industry thanks to their unique characteristics. They are, indeed, able to ensure high performances and biocompatibility, at the same time avoiding post-healing surgical interventions for devices removal. In the medical device industrial use of such biopolymers, it is widely known that product formulation and manufacturing need to follow specific procedures in order to ensure both proper mechanical properties and desired degradation profile. Moreover, also the sterilization method is crucial and its impact on physical properties is generally underestimated. In this work we focused our attention on the effect of different terminal sterilization methods on two commercially available poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) with equivalent chemical composition (70% PLA and 30% PCL) and relatively similar initial molecular weight, but different chains arrangement and crystallinity. Results obtained show that crystallinity plays a key role, helping in preserving the narrow distribution of chains and, as a consequence, defined physical properties. These statements can be used as guidelines for a better choice of the most adequate biodegradable polymers in the production of resorbable medical devices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0447.v1
Subject: Keywords: out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; emergency physician; medical decision; asystole; advanced life support; Charlson comorbidity index; emergency medical service; prehospital emergency
Online: 20 July 2021 (11:48:59 CEST)
The objective of this study was to identify the key elements used by prehospital emergency physicians (EP) to decide whether or not to attempt advanced life support (ALS) in asystolic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). From 01.01.2009 to 01.01.2017, all adult victims of asystolic OHCA in Geneva, Switzerland, were retrospectively included. Patients with signs of "obvious death" or with a Do-Not-Attempt-Resuscitation order were excluded. Patients were categorized as having received ALS if this was mentioned in the medical record, or, failing that, if at least one dose of adrenaline had been administered during cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Prognostic factors known at the time of EP's decision were included in a multivariable logistic regression model. 784 patients were included. Factors favourably influencing the decision to provide ALS were witnessed OHCA (OR=2.14, 95%CI1.43–3.20) and bystander CPR (OR=4.10, 95%CI2.28–7.39). Traumatic aetiology (OR=0.04, 95%CI0.02–0.08), age >80 years (OR=0.14, 95%CI0.09–0.24) and a Charlson comorbidity index greater than 5 (OR=0.12, 95%CI0.06–0.27) were the factors most strongly associated with the decision not to attempt ALS. Factors influencing the EP’s decision to attempt ALS in asystolic OHCA are the relatively young age of the patients, few comorbidities, presumed medical aetiology, witnessed OHCA and bystander CPR.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0031.v3
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Deep learning; Convolutional Neural Network; Coronavirus; COVID-19; radiology; CT scan; Medical image analysis; Automatic medical diagnosis; lung CT scan dataset
Online: 5 September 2020 (03:36:20 CEST)
COVID-19 is a severe global problem, and AI can play a significant role in preventing losses by monitoring and detecting infected persons in early-stage. This paper aims to propose a high-speed and accurate fully-automated method to detect COVID-19 from the patient's CT scan images. We introduce a new dataset that contains 48260 CT scan images from 282 normal persons and 15589 images from 95 patients with COVID-19 infections. At the first stage, this system runs our proposed image processing algorithm to discard those CT images that inside the lung is not properly visible in them. This action helps to reduce the processing time and false detections. At the next stage, we introduce a novel method for increasing the classification accuracy of convolutional networks. We implemented our method using the ResNet50V2 network and a modified feature pyramid network alongside our designed architecture for classifying the selected CT images into COVID-19 or normal with higher accuracy than other models. After running these two phases, the system determines the condition of the patient using a selected threshold. We are the first to evaluate our system in two different ways. In the single image classification stage, our model achieved 98.49% accuracy on more than 7996 test images. At the patient identification phase, the system correctly identified almost 234 of 245 patients with high speed. We also investigate the classified images with the Grad-CAM algorithm to indicate the area of infections in images and evaluate our model classification correctness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0251.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: laser beam characterization; laser therapy; medical devices; sports medicine
Online: 13 January 2023 (10:51:11 CET)
Laser therapy devices (LTDs) operating with near-infrared laser light are increasingly being used in sports medicine. For several reasons the users cannot evaluate whether or not such devices emit laser beams according to the specifications provided by the manufacturer and the settings of the device. In this study the laser beams from two different LTDs that can be used in sports medicine were thoroughly characterized by measuring the emitted power, pulse shapes and lengths, and spatial intensity distributions using professional, high-fidelity laser measurement technology. This was repeated for three units of each LDT independently to distinguish problems of individual units from potential intrinsic instrument design errors. The laser beams from the units of one LTD agreed with the settings at the device, with the measured average power for these units being within 3.3% of the set power. In contrast, the laser beams from the units of the other LTD showed large deviations between the settings and the actual emitted light. This device came with three laser diodes that could be used independently and simultaneously. The average power differed greatly between the units as well as between the laser diodes within each unit. Some laser diodes emitted essentially no light, which could lead to a lack of treatment of patients. Other laser diodes emitted much more power than set at the device (up to 230%) that could result in skin irritations or burnings of patients. These findings indicate a need for better standardization and consistency of therapeutic laser light sources.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0185.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: Substance Use Disorder; Attitudes; Medical Students; Education; Assessment; Stigma
Online: 10 January 2023 (11:40:26 CET)
To evaluate the impact of a new Substance Use Disorder (SUD) education program on medical students' representations, we selected the Substance Abuse Attitude Survey (SAAS) questionnaire, which we adapted to our curriculum and cultural context. To validate this adapted version, we conducted an exploratory factor analysis following the administration of our 29-items bSAAS questionnaire to 657 medical students in Belgium (response rate: 71,1%). 23 items correlated to 3 factors namely "Stereotypes and moralism", "Treatment optimism" and "Specialised treatment" were retained (70% of total variance explained, Cronbach's alpha= 0.80) and constituted the new questionnaire called beSAAS. The factor "Specialised treatment", stood out from previous studies which could be explained by our target population and the impact of the formal, informal, and hidden curriculum in medical education. This study highlighted certain factors influencing stereotypical representations such as age, gender, origin, and personal or professional experience with substance use. Our study allowed us to retain the beSAAS as a good questionnaire to evaluate SUD stigma and highlighted interesting findings to improve SUD training in medicine. Further studies are needed to complete its validity and reliability.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0140.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: breast cancer; stage-wise costs; direct medical costs; modeling
Online: 8 July 2022 (10:50:29 CEST)
Breast cancer (BC) is a heterogeneous disease representing a substantial economic burden. In order to develop policies that successfully decrease this burden, the factors affecting costs need to be fully understood. Evidence suggests that early detection in Stage I has a lower cost than late detection. We aim to provide conservative estimates of BC's stage-wise medical costs from German healthcare and the payer's perspective. To this end, we conducted a literature review of articles evaluating stage-wise costs of BC in Germany through PubMed, Web of Science, and Econ Lit databases supplemented by Google Scholar. We developed a decision tree model to estimate BC related medical costs in Germany using available treatment and cost information. The review generated seven studies; none estimated the stage-wise costs of BC. The studies were classified into two groups: (1) case scenarios (five studies) and two studies based on administrative data. The first sickness funds data study (Gruber, Stock, et al. 2012) used 1999 information to approach BC attributable cost; their results suggest a range between €3,929 and €11,787 depending on age. The second study (Kreis, Plöthner, et al. 2020) used 2011-2014 data and suggested an initial phase incremental cost of €21,499, an intermediate phase cost of €2,620, and a terminal phase cost of €34,513 per incident case. Our decision tree model based BC stage-wise cost estimates were €21,523 for Stage I, €25,679 for Stage II, €30,156 for Stage III, €42,086 for Stage IV. Alternatively, the modeled cost estimates are €20,284 for the initial phase of care, €851 for the intermediate phase of care, and €34,963 for the terminal phase of care. Our estimates for phases of care are consistent with recent German estimates provided by Kreis and Plöthner et al. Furthermore, the data collected by sickness funds are collected primarily for reimbursement purposes, where the German ICD-10 classification system defines a cancer diagnosis. As a result, claims data lack the clinical information necessary to understand stage-wise BC costs. Our model-based estimates fill the gap and inform future economic evaluations of BC interventions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0205.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Other Keywords: pollutants; microplastics; heavy metals; PAH; pesticide residues; medical waste
Online: 21 April 2022 (10:53:10 CEST)
A quality marine ecosystem if it is free from GTP contaminants. Accuracy and caution are needed in the exploitation of marine resources as marine tourism destinations so that in the future, there will be no ecological hazards that cause chain effects, not only on aquatic ecosystems but also on humans. This article identifies exposure to GTP (MP, PAH, PR, HM, MW) in marine ecosystems in the MTA area and BCI waters. The combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis methods uses a combination of analytical instruments and mathematical formulas. The search results show the average total abundance of MP in seawater and fish samples (5.47 units/m3) and (7.03 units/m3), respectively, while in sediment and sponge samples (8.18 units/m3) and (8.32 units/m3). Based on the analysis of the polymer structure, it was identified that the dominant light group MP (PE, PP and PS), followed by PA and PC. Several PAH pollutants were identified in the samples, especially NL types found in all samples, followed by PN and AZ. BCI sea waters are suspected to be exposed to MW and PR. Pollutants of Pb+2 and Cu+2 around BCI were successfully calculated with average concentrations in seawater 0.164 mg/L and 0.294 mg/L, respectively, while in fish, 1.8110 µg/g and 2,452 µg/g, respectively. Based on these findings, the BCI area is not recommended as a marine tourism destination.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0235.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Antimicrobial; Prescribing; Drug Resistance; Knowledge; Perception; Medical Students; Malaysia
Online: 16 March 2022 (14:44:53 CET)
Background: Worldwide, microbes are becoming more dangerous by acquiring virulent skills to adapt and develop antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This is a concern as this increases morbidity, mortality, and costs. Consequently, physicians need to be trained inappropriate prescribing, starting with medical students. Objective: Evaluate medical students' confidence in antimicrobial agent prescribing and drug resistance Methods: Cross-sectional study assessing medical students' knowledge, perception, and confidence in prescribing antimicrobial agents and drug resistance in a Malaysian University. A universal sampling method was used. Results: Most respondents believe that educational input regarding overall prescribing was sufficient. Regarding the principle of appropriate and accurate prescriptions, female medical students had less knowledge [Odds Ratio (OR)=0.51; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.25-0.99; p=0.050]. Year-IV and Year-V students had more excellent knowledge than Year-III students regarding confidence in antibiotic prescribing. Year-V students also showed appreciably higher confidence in the broad principles of prescribing, including infectious diseases, compared to those in other years. Conclusion: Overall, medical students, gain more excellent knowledge and confidence regarding prescribing, including antimicrobials, as their academic careers progress.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0150.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: medical fear; children; psychometric properties; cross-cultural adaptation; Spanish
Online: 8 November 2021 (14:33:48 CET)
Having valid and reliable tools that help health professionals to assess fear in children undergoing medical procedures is essential to offer humanized and quality of care in the paediatric population. The aim of this study was to develop the cross-cultural adaptation and the evaluation of the psychometric properties of the Spanish version of the “Child Medical Fear Scale” in its shortened version (CMFS-R). The design consisted of two phases, first of cross-cultural adaptation and second of the psychometric validation of the CMFS-R with a sample of 262 children from Spain. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to assess construct validity and the Cronbach alpha and the adjusted item-total score correlation coefficients were performed to study reliability. The results confirmed internal consistency and construct validity of the Spanish version of the CMFS-R, indicating that the scale has an acceptable level of validity and reliability. Therefore, this study brings a new version of the scale to assess fear related to medical procedures for use in the Spanish paediatric population.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0150.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: medical moulage; low-cost; healthcare simulation; simulation-based learning
Online: 8 September 2021 (12:39:35 CEST)
Background: Simulation plays a crucial role in health studies, as it helps medical students apply their theoretical knowledge in real-life situations. Moulage is one of the techniques that helps in making simulation more realistic or high-fidelity. It uses special effects to emulate wounds for a better understanding of what the wound is like visually. Still, moulage is expensive, time-consuming, resource-intensive, and requires the training of staff, which is why we need to find low-cost substitutes for moulage materials. Method: When searching the database “PubMed” for the terms “Low-cost and Medical moulage”, we retrieved 222 studies, out of which when excluding results not related to low-cost, we obtained 62 studies, from which when removing studies that do not contain information regarding moulage, we found two papers, after referring to citations and cited articles of those papers, we ended up with six studies. Based on the selected articles and additional articles sourced from their reference list, a total of 11 studies were included in the review. Results: We understand that moulage is a technique that helps make simulations come alive, but the resources required to use it are at times, expensive, which is why we need to find methods to do low-cost moulage, and many studies address that it can be as simple as using homemade ingredients. Students from a previous study have talked about their opinions regarding the realistic component of moulage and whether if it is any different from other moulages. Most of the students agreed that the moulage ranked well in face and content validity. However, further innovations must be introduced in the field to be widely spread and lead to newer opportunities. Conclusion: Although the research done under moulage is limited, it is accepted that moulage is helpful for simulation-based studies and that low-cost moulage can help make medical studies a better experience for students studying it. Students have a favorable opinion on the realistic aspect of the low-cost moulage applied to them. Newer methods can be introduced to moulage, and it can be implemented in low-income countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0126.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Medical Education; Simulation; Low-Cost; Task trainers; procedural trainers
Online: 7 September 2021 (12:06:27 CEST)
Background: Simulations have historically aided training programs by providing a realistic and holistic replication of professional scenarios and procedures. Simulations have developed over the past 40 years to include varying fidelities and modalities of simulation. Learning in a simulation-centered environment has benefits, ranging from improved patient care to specific skills acquisition while catering to students’ numerous and varied learning approaches. Simulation is a multifaceted field that benefits all parties, the teachers, the learners, and the patients. The application of simulation to medical education and its amalgamation with other modes and substitutes allows for a more integrated learning and testing curriculum that advances the current trajectory of medical education. Such developments, however, are limited to resource rich areas, leaving behind low-middle income countries to use traditional, less evolved methodologies and practices. This review aimed to explore different aspects of simulation and focus specifically on low-cost task trainers and their accessibility. Method: The purpose of the study was to assess the accessibility of low-cost task trainers in terms of cost-effectiveness, distribution, validation, and frequency within specific specialties. To do so, 84 PubMed publications have been screened, and 39 filtered research studies have collected the necessary data. After analyzing the papers, we classified the following information – process, specialization, validation (y/n), costs, development location, and year of publication. Results: After carefully analyzing the accumulated data from the selected 39 publications, we found that most studies (i.e., 6 out of 39) were published in 2020. Emergency Medicine was the most common specialty for which low-cost trainers were developed (9 out of 39 procedural simulators); Otolaryngology followed this with 8 out of 39 trainers and general surgery with 7/39 of the task-trainers. The price ranges fluctuated and fell within the price bracket of USD 0 to USD 400 collectively. Our review also uncovered the concentration of development of such innovations solely in high income countries (HICs). Conclusion: Simulation is an invaluable tool applicable to a diverse range of phases of medical education. Future conjunction of simulation with low-cost substitutes along with increased encouragement and enthusiasm towards developing cost effective simulation-based learning environments (SBLEs) with the reserves and requirements of these areas in mind may prove to be a reliable option for low and middle resource settings
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0466.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Marijuana, cannabis, opioid epidemic, medical marijuana, opioids, pain management
Online: 19 April 2021 (11:58:52 CEST)
The US opioid overdose epidemic has risen to an all-time high. Prescription opioids often serve as a gateway to illicit opioids which have appreciable overdose potential. Recent investigations have highlighted the efficacy and safety of marijuana-based products for pain management. Providing alternative pain treatment options may help mitigate the opioid epidemic. The distribution of codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone per 100K people and by 3-digit zip codes and overdose rates from 2014 to 2018 in California, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, were compared to Texas, where marijuana is functionally prohibited. Drug weights were obtained from the Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System and converted to oral morphine milligram equivalents. Overdose data was retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control’s WONDER database. California (-43.7%) and Texas (-27.3%) showed significant reductions in cumulative opioid distribution from 2014 to 2018. Opioid distribution per 100K people decreased -38.9% in California relative to -26.4% in Texas. Opioid and heroin overdoses increased between 1999 and 2019 by +11.6% in California but +272.7% in Texas. This evidence supports marijuana legalization as a mitigating factor to the opioid epidemic and opioid misuse.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0043.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: Epilepsy, Theatre, Neurology, Cultural History, Drama, Engagement, Medical Communication
Online: 2 April 2021 (11:12:17 CEST)
The theatre has a tremendous ability to influence public discourse and shape societal opinions. And medical conditions can provide writers with a rich scope for plot development and characters with challenges to overcome. In particular, the neurological condition epilepsy has many possibilities with historical beliefs that people were possessed by gods and devils and the sudden, disabling seizures characteristic of the condition. But used unsympathetically, it can promote misunderstanding within audiences, resulting in discrimination for people with the condition. This review looks back at how epilepsy has been portrayed throughout history. How the Greeks portrayed epilepsy as a punishment from the gods. Then later, how Shakespeare utilised epilepsy to suggest characters as uncontrollable. However, we finish on a message of hope as modern writers look to collaboration to ensure accurate and honest portrayals of epilepsy, improving public understanding and removing many of the stigmas that have dogged the condition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0119.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; pandemic; medical staff; vaccine
Online: 3 March 2021 (09:36:41 CET)
Introduction: The SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the need for developing rapidly effective and safety vaccines to prevent infection, particularly in those at-risk populations such as medical personnel. The objective of this study was to assess perception of COVID-19 vaccination amongst Colombian physicians featuring two different sceneries of COVID-19 vaccination. Methods: A cross-sectional analytical study was carried out through an online survey, directed at medical staff in several cities in Colombia. The percentage of physicians who have a positive perception to be vaccinated and the associated factors that determine that decision were determined. A binomial regression analysis adjusted for age and sex was carried out, taking as a dependent variable the acceptance of free vaccination with an effectiveness of 60 and 80%. The most significant factors were determined in the non-acceptance of vaccination. Results: Between 77.1% and 90.8% of physicians in Colombia, accept COVID-19 vaccination, according to the scenario evaluated where the effectiveness of the vaccine was 60 or 80%, respectively. Medical specialty, have ever paid for a vaccine, recommend administrating the vaccine to their parents or people over 70 years and dispense the vaccine to their children were the factors to be vaccinated for free with an effectiveness of 60% and 80%. Conclusions: There is a high perception of the intention to vaccinate physicians in Colombia against COVID-19. But it is very similar to that of the general population, according to results reported in other studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0624.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: medical record systems; cutaneous malignant melanoma; survival analysis; immunotherapy
Online: 29 October 2020 (16:02:44 CET)
Background: Cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) is one of the most aggressive types of skin cancer. Currently, innovative approaches such as target therapies and immunotherapies have been introduced in clinical practice for the treatment of metastatic CMM. Data of clinical trials and real life studies that evaluate the outcomes of these therapeutic associations are necessary to establish their clinical utility. The aim of this study is to investigate the types of oncological treatments employed in the real-life clinical management of patients with advanced CMM in several Italian centers which are part of the Clinical National Melanoma Registry (CNMR), and the oncological outcomes obtained. Methods: CNMR collects data of patients with a histologically confirmed diagnosis of primary CMM treated in one of the 38 Italian institutions (hospitals, research institutes, etc.) participating in the network. Melanoma-specific survival and Overall survival were calculated. Kaplan-Meier curves and medians of OS and 95% CI are presented overall and by immunotherapy and target treatments. The Log-rank test compared curves by treatments. Multivariate Cox regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratios adjusting for confounders and other prognostic factors. Results: The median follow-up time was 36 months (range 1.2-185.1). 787 CMM were included in the analysis with completed information about therapies.Global immunotherapy showed a significant improved survival compared with all other therapies (p=0.001). 75% was the highest reduction of death reached by nivolumab/pembrolizumab immunotherapy (anti-PD1 HR=0.25 95% CI 0.14-0.42), globally immunotherapy was significantly associated with improved survival, either for anti-CTL A4 monotherapy or combined with anti-PD1 (HR=0.47;95% CI 0.33-0.66 and HR=0.26; 95% CI 0.15-0.46, respectively). Conclusions: The nivolumab/pembrolizumab and the combination of ipilimumab can be considered the best therapy to improve survival in a real-world-population. The CNMR can complement clinical registries with the intent of improving cancer management and standardizing cancer treatment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0480.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: healthcare system; medical network; trust; mathematical modeling; complex network
Online: 23 October 2020 (10:33:20 CEST)
Medical Trust-Network is one of the most promising fields of study in network science. Establishment of trust within medical entities ensures better treatment and increases better medical facilities. The word ‘Trust’ signifies a very important behavioral aspect between any human entities, especially among doctors and patients. To represent such relationships Trust Network Models are built to express the interactions between human entities within such networks. Though the idea of a Trust-Network has traditionally been one of the major areas of research, yet the concept of a medical trust network model is relatively a new domain. In this paper, we introduce an overall multilayered Trust Network to represent the entire healthcare architecture. More specifically our model is based on an evolutionary graph system with a discrete relationship between the three most important entities of any healthcare system, namely – Doctors, Departments, and Hospitals. Observations indicate that based on our model, the medical healthcare system is a multilayered model unlike a feed-forward model as indicated by previous studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0315.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; ACE2 receptor; medical cannabis; CBD
Online: 19 April 2020 (02:45:50 CEST)
With the rapidly growing pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the new and challenging to treat zoonotic SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, there is an urgent need for new therapies and prevention strategies that can help curtail disease spread and reduce mortality. Inhibition of viral entry and thereby spread constitute plausible therapeutic avenues. Similar to other respiratory pathogens, SARS-CoV2 is transmitted through respiratory droplets, with potential for aerosol and contact spread. It uses receptor-mediated entry into the human host via angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) that is expressed in lung tissue, as well as oral and nasal mucosa, kidney, testes, and the gastrointestinal tract. Modulation of ACE2 levels in these gateway tissues may prove a plausible strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility. Cannabis sativa, especially one high in the anti-inflammatory cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been proposed to modulate gene expression and inflammation and harbour anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Working under the Health Canada research license, we have developed over 800 new Cannabis sativa lines and extracts and hypothesized that high-CBD C. sativa extracts may be used to modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 target tissues. Screening C. sativa extracts using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues, we identified 13 high CBD C. sativa extracts that modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels. Our initial data suggest that some C. sativa extract down-regulate serine protease TMPRSS2, another critical protein required for SARS-CoV2 entry into host cells. While our most effective extracts require further large-scale validation, our study is crucial for the future analysis of the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19. The extracts of our most successful and novel high CBD C. sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy. They can be used to develop easy-to-use preventative treatments in the form of mouthwash and throat gargle products for both clinical and at-home use. Such products ought to be tested for their potential to decrease viral entry via the oral mucosa. Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0370.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: polyurethane; polylactide; tissue engineering; skin scaffold; antibacterial; degradable; medical
Online: 31 October 2019 (09:52:06 CET)
The aim of performed studies was to fabricate an antibacterial and degradable scaffold that may be used in the field of skin regeneration. To reach the degradation criterion the biocompatible polyurethane (PUR), obtained by using amorphous macrodiol α,ω-dihydroxy(ethylene-butylene adipate) macrodiol (PEBA), was used and processed with so-called “fast-degradable” polymer polylactide (PLA) (5 wt% or 10 wt%). To meet the antibacterial requirement obtained hybrid PUR-PLA scaffolds (HPPS) were modified with ciprofloxacin (Cipro) (2 wt% or 5 wt%), the fluoroquinolone antibiotic inhibiting growth of bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia Coli and Staphylococcus aureus, which are main cause of wound infections. Obtained unmodified and Cipro-modified HPPS were studied towards their chemical composition to detect presence or absence of characteristic functional groups of PUR, PLA and Cipro, and as well to indicate the participation of hydrogen bonds in the HPPS structure in dependence on PLA addition and ciprofloxacin modification. Mechanical properties were studied to determine the possible application of HPPS as a skin tissue scaffold. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to study morphology of unmodified and Cipro-modified HPPS and to performed elementary analysis by using energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX) of obtained materials. Finally, the microbiological tests were performed to indicate the antibacterial effect of Cipro-modified HPPS on S.aureus growth. Performed studies showed that Cipro-modified HPPS, obtained by using 5 % of PLA, possess suitable mechanical characteristic, morphology, degradation rate and demanded antimicrobial properties to be further developed as a potential scaffolds for skin tissue engineering.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0323.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: cyber-physical systems; WBAN security; biometric authentication; medical systems
Online: 14 November 2018 (08:03:19 CET)
A Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) is a network of wirelessly connected sensing and actuating devices. WBANs used for recording biometric information and administering medication are classified as part of a Cyber Physical System (CPS). Preserving user security and privacy is a fundamental concern of WBANs, which introduces the notion of using biometric readings as a mechanism for authentication. Extensive research has been conducted regarding the various methodologies (e.g. ECG, EEG, gait, head/arm motion, skin impedance). This paper seeks to analyze and evaluate the most prominent biometric authentication techniques based on accuracy, cost, and feasibility of implementation. We suggest several authentication schemes which incorporate multiple biometric properties.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0309.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Medical ultrasound; Lossless compression; Universal code; Run-length encoding
Online: 17 August 2018 (12:55:05 CEST)
Software-based ultrasound imaging systems provide high flexibility that allows easy and fast adoption of newly developed algorithms. However, the extremely high data rate required for data transfer from sensors (e.g., transducers) to the ultrasound imaging systems is a major bottleneck in the software-based architecture, especially in the context of real-time imaging. To overcome this limitation, in this paper, we present a Binary cLuster (BL) code, which yields an improved compression ratio compared to the exponential Golomb code. Owing to the real-time encoding/decoding features without overheads, the universal code is a good solution to reduce the data transfer rate for software-based ultrasound imaging. The performance of the proposed method was evaluated using in vitro and in vivo data sets. It was demonstrated that the BL-beta code has a good stable lossless compression performance of 20 ~ 30% while requiring no auxiliary memory or storage.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0169.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: paramedic; Emergency Medical Services; competency; competency framework; professional com-petency
Online: 12 December 2022 (04:12:02 CET)
The National Occupational Competency Profile (NOCP) – the competency framework for paramedics in Canada – is presently undergoing revision. Since the NOCP was published in 2011, paramedic practice, healthcare and society have changed dramatically. To inform the revision, we sought to identify emerging concepts in the literature that would inform the development of competencies for paramedics. We conducted a restricted literature review and content analysis of all published and grey literature pertaining to or informing Canadian paramedicine from 2011 to 2022. Three authors performed a title and abstract, and full-text review to identify and label concepts informed by existing findings. A total of 302 articles were categorized into eleven emerging concepts related to competencies: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) in paramedicine; Social responsiveness, justice, equity and access; Anti-racism; Healthy Professionals; Evidence Informed Practice and Systems; Complex Adaptive Systems; Learning Environment; Virtual Care; Clinical Reasoning; Adaptive Expertise; and Planetary Health. This review identified emerging concepts to inform the development of the 2023 National Occupational Standard for Paramedics (NOSP). These concepts will inform data analysis, development group discussions, and competency identification.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0187.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: near-infrared; spectroscopy; tissue; medical imaging; diffuse optical tomography; fNIRS
Online: 12 December 2022 (03:26:45 CET)
The optical properties and physiology of biological tissue, as well as how near-infrared (NIR) light interacts with the tissue, both play a significant role in interpreting the tissue probing optical measurements, and in solving the inverse problem of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)-based medical imaging modalities such as diffuse optical tomography and functional near-infrared spectroscopy. This paper discusses the optical properties of tissue, specifically in the NIR wavelength range, which influence NIRS measurements in NIRS-based medical imaging. There is an easy-to-understand explanation given in this paper of the NIR light-tissue interaction phenomenon. The mathematical explanation, the processes involved in the interaction, and the rationale for a few approximations are described. Various types of chromophores present in the tissue, their composition in the tissue, and how these chromophores overall affect the scattering and absorption of NIR light are presented. The absorption spectra of these chromophores are shown. Finally, the paper concludes with the author’s perspective on two NIRS-based medical imaging modalities, diffuse optical tomography, and functional near-infrared spectroscopy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0506.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Integration; Medical and disease prevention; Mediating effect; Public health; Symbiotic
Online: 28 November 2022 (08:56:17 CET)
Background: The COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the huge difference between medical care and disease prevention in Chinese medical institutions. This study aimed to investigated the relationship between the symbiotic units, environments, models, and effects of the integration of medical and disease prevention. Methods: This cross-sectional study involved 762 employees of public hospitals in 11 cities in Zhejiang Province by random stratified sampling. We analyzed the influence paths of elements in the mechanism of integration of medical and disease prevention and the mediating effect of symbiotic models among symbiotic units, symbiotic environments, and effects for on this integration. Results: The path coefficient of symbiotic unit on the symbiosis model was 0.46 (p<.001), the path coefficient of symbiotic environment on symbiosis model was 0.52 (p<.001). The path coefficient of the symbiotic unit and environment was 0.91 (p<.001). The symbiotic models exhibited a partial mediation effect between symbiotic units and the effect of this integration. Sobel test = 3.27, β = 0.152, and the mediating effect accounted for 34.6%. Conclusions: It is suggested that Health policy-makers and public hospital managers should provide sufficient symbiotic units, establish collaborative symbiotic models, and improve the effects of integration of medical and disease prevention in public hospitals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0411.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: self-care; stress; medical students; doctors; public, drug/alcohol misuse
Online: 24 August 2022 (05:17:05 CEST)
This study examines demographic factors which may influence opinions concerning medical students’ self-care and substance use behaviors as a means of providing insights into how future doctors view these issues compared to Australian doctors and members of the public. We conducted national, multicenter, prospective, on-line cross-sectional surveys using hypothetical scenarios to three cohorts- Australian medical students, medical doctors, and the public. Participants’ responses were compared for the different contextual variables within the scenarios and the participants’ demographic characteristics. In total 2,602 medical students, 809 doctors and 503 members of the public participated. Compared with doctors and the public, medical students were least tolerant of alcohol intoxication, and most tolerant of using stimulants to assist with study, and cannabis for anxiety. Doctor respondents more often aligned with the public’s opinions on the acceptability of the medical students’ behaviors. Although opinions are not equivalent to behaviour, Australian students’ views on the acceptability for cannabis to help manage anxiety, and inappropriate use of prescription-only drugs are concerning; these future doctors will be responsible for prescribing drugs and managing patients with substance abuse problems. However, if current Australian medical student’s opinions on alcohol misuse persist, one of the commonest substance addictions amongst doctors may decrease in future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0151.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Covid-19; SARs-CoV-2; burnout; stress; resilience; medical students
Online: 11 January 2022 (16:57:30 CET)
Following the WHO's declaration of a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the subsequent quarantine and confinement measures that were adopted, including distance learning measures, were shown to have caused a significant deterioration in the mental health of medical students. The goal of this study was to explore the mediating role of resilience and life satisfac-tion in the relationship between perceived stress and burnout among medical students in the con-text of COVID-19. A transversal assessment was performed using an online questionnaire, to which 462 students responded. The instruments applied were the Perceived Stress Scale-10, the Resilience Scale-25 items, the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) and the Burnout Scale (Olden-burg Inventory). A regression model was estimated for each dimension of burnout. The results revealed that resilience and life satisfaction play a mediating role in the association between stress and the dimensions of burnout. This suggests that measures of promoting mental health based on resilience and improving perceptions of life should be implemented.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0194.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; medical residency; virtual interviews; satisfaction; survey; faculty member
Online: 10 December 2021 (20:17:44 CET)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, conducting face-to-face medical residency interviews was challenging due to infection prevention precautions, social distancing and travel restrictions. Virtual interviews were implemented by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) as an alternative process for residency matching while striving to maintain the same quality standards. This national survey was conducted to assess the satisfaction and perceptions of faculty members’ virtual interviews performance in the assessment for the medical training residency programs. Among the participating 173 faculty members (34.1%) did not have previous experience with video-conferencing. Zoom application was the most commonly used platform (65.9%). Most (89.6%) of the faculty perceived virtual interviews as “adequate” for the candidates to express themselves, while almost half of the faculty (53.8%) agreed that virtual interviews allowed them to accurately reach an impression about the candidates. Overall, 73.4% of faculty felt comfortable ranking the virtually interviewed candidates. We conclude that the acceptance of participating faculty members in the first Saudi medical residency training matching cycle virtual interviewing event was well perceived. This study provides evidence for future application and research of virtual interviews in residency candidates' assessment, especially after the pandemic crisis resolves.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0145.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: Role-play; medical roleplay; teddy bear hospital; teddy bear clinic
Online: 8 September 2021 (11:54:09 CEST)
Background: Role-playing is often used as a pedagogical method for learning communication in medical education. Therefore, medical play using the Teddy Bear Hospital (TBH) is a concept that can quickly familiarize children with health care and help them develop positive experiences in these areas. This review aims to assess the strengths of TBH, as a form of directed medical role play, in improving health outcomes and well-being in children, along with implanting an awareness of preventive health care in young children.Methods: For this scoping review, we examined the list of recommendations, including 11 studies from two databases, PubMed and Google Scholar. We incorporated pre/post quasi-experimental studies, ANOVA, qualitative research studies, systematic reviews, and control group studies that deliberately utilize the teddy bear hospital as an intervention.Results: The results of individual studies were further categorized into three sections. The first being upon the analysis of 11 studies, the Teddy Bear Hospital was mainly conducted in Europe and Asia. It is evident that regardless of the different approaches and strategies used to implement the Teddy Bear Hospital, they all ultimately share the same intent: to raise health care awareness and alleviate young children's anxiety over medical treatment while focusing on the promotion of positive healthy lifestyle. All studies portray the teddy bear hospital as an intervention of medical roleplay which analyzed the children's feelings, behaviors, and health awareness after visiting the Teddy Bear Hospital.Conclusion: The application of the teddy bear hospital has overwhelmingly positive results, with lower levels of anxiety and improved health knowledge. Its reported efficacy calls for future studies on aspects that lead to its efficacy and potential effectiveness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0550.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Medical Education; Healthcare; Family Medicine; Medicine; Public Administration & Public Policy
Online: 24 May 2021 (10:03:35 CEST)
Little is known about family medicine academic staff in Taiwan, and basic data about this workforce may aid healthcare decision makers. We analysed data on Taiwan’s 13 medical schools collected by the Taiwan Association of Family Medicine from June to September 2019. Items included medical school names and total staff, and the gender, age, degree, working title (part-time/full-time), academic level, and sub-specialty of each current family medicine faculty member. A total of 116 family medicine faculty members were reported; most were male (n= 85, 73.3%). Ages ranged between 30 and 69 years, with a mean (SD) age of 43.3 (8.09). Faculty members with a master’s degree were the largest group (n= 49, 42.2%), and most were academic lecturers (n=49, 42.2%). Additionally, only about one-fourth (n=26, 22.4%) of family medicine faculty in medical schools were full-time, while the other three-fourths (n=90, 77.6%) were part-time faculty; most were located in northern Taiwan (n=79, 68.1%) and specialized in gerontology and geriatrics (n=55, 47.4%) and hospice palliative care (n=53, 45.7%). Our research provides the most complete census of family medicine academic physicians in medical schools in Taiwan. The results inform efforts to improve the establishment and development of family medicine departments in Taiwan.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0571.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: medical students; travellers; MDR bacteria; CPE; mcr-1; mcr-8
Online: 24 September 2020 (08:05:32 CEST)
Background: In France, no previous studies had addressed the acquisition of multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria and colistin resistance genes by medical students when undertaking internships abroad. Methods: Nasopharyngeal, rectal, and vaginal swabs samples were collected from 382 French medical students before and after travel to investigate the acquisition of MDR bacteria. The bacterial diversity in the samples was assessed by culture on selective media. We also genetically characterised the isolates of MDR bacteria including Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriacae (CPE) using the real-time polymerase chain reaction method. The samples were collected from 293 students and were investigated for mcr colistin-resistance genes using RT-PCR directly on the samples, followed by conventional PCR and sequencing. Results: A proportion of 29.3% of the participants had acquired ESBL-E and 2.6% had acquired CPE. The most common species and ESBL-E encoding gene were Escherichia coli (98.4%) and blaCTX-M-A (95.3%), respectively. A proportion of 6.8% of the participants had acquired mcr-1 genes, followed by mcr-3 (0.3%) and mcr-8 (0.3%). We found that taking part in humanitarian missions to orphanages, being in contact with children during travel, the primary destination of travel being Vietnam and north India, using antibiotics during travel, and studying in 2017 were associated with the acquisition of ESBL-E. When the primary destination of travel was Vietnam and the year of study was 2018, this was associated with acquisition of colistin resistance genes. Conclusion: Medical students are at a potential risk of acquiring ESBL-E, CPE and colistin resistance genes. A number of risk factors have been identified, which may be used to develop targeted preventive measures.
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: cannabis; cannabinergic; drug; FDA-approved; medical conditions; pharmaceutical-grade; phytocannabinoid
Online: 31 August 2020 (10:38:32 CEST)
Despite the surge in the research of cannabis chemistry and its biological and medical activity, only a few cannabis-based pharmaceutical-grade drugs have been developed and marketed to date. Not many of these drugs are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved and some are still going through regulation processes. Active compounds including cannabinergic compounds (i.e., molecules targeted to modulate the endocannabinoid system) or analogs of phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids produced by the plant) may be developed into single-molecule drugs. However, since in many cases treatment with whole plant extract is preferred over treatment with a single purified molecule, some more recently developed cannabis-derived drugs contain several molecules. Different combinations of active plant ingredients (API) from cannabis with proven synergy may be identified and developed as drugs to treat different medical conditions. However, possible negative effects between cannabis compounds should also be considered, as well as the effect of the cannabis treatment on the endocannabinoid system. FDA registration of single, few or multiple molecules as drugs is a challenging process and certain considerations that should be reviewed in this process, including issues of drug-drug interactions, are also discussed here.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0416.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: food handlers; medical examinations; fitness; radiology; rectal and throat swabs
Online: 19 August 2020 (12:15:54 CEST)
Food handlers’ medical examinations are mandated by most countries as a way of safeguarding the health and safety of consumers. Food-borne diseases are an important cause of morbidity and mortality. In Zimbabwe, the use of chest radiographs and throat and rectal swab tests are a requirement during food handlers’ medical examinations. This study aimed at exploring the patterns and outcomes of physical medical examinations, chest radiographs, and other tests of food handlers. A cross-sectional review of retrospective occupational health records was carried out. The mean age for the study population was 37 years with an age range of 21 to 56 years. Males accounted for 73% of the study participants. All of the 157 rectal swabs were normal and did not culture any organism. Fifteen percent (24) of the throat swabs cultured one or more organisms. Ninety-seven percent of chest radiographs were normal. Ninety-seven percent of employees were certified as fit. Thirty-six percent of the food handlers were in the overweight and obese categories. Hypertension and high blood pressure were common conditions in the study sample. It can be concluded that routine radiological and laboratory testing of the food handlers in this study was of little value.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: disgust; DS-R; medical students; psychology students; academic orientation; specialization
Online: 7 July 2020 (08:08:20 CEST)
Disgust evolved as a way to protect one’s self from illness. DS-R measures disgust propensity of three kinds of disgust (Core, Animal Reminder and Contamination). Although the DS-R scale was refined mainly with young and largely female student population its impact on educational orientation has not been assessed. In the present study we examined the DS-R scoring and the choice of postgraduate studies in medical (n= 94) and psychology (n= 97) students. They responded to an anonymous web-based survey and completed the DS-R and a questionnaire on their demographics and plans for postgraduate studies. Female students outnumbered males (3:1) and scored higher in Total DS-R score (median: 59 vs. 50, p<0.05). Psychology students scored higher in all three kinds of disgust (p<0.05), indicating a higher level of disease avoidance. Medical students willing to follow Internal Medicine scored higher in Core Disgust (p<0.05) while psychology students willing to study Experimental Psychology scored lower in Animal Reminder subscale (p<0.001). Also, the higher the psychology students scored in Core Disgust scale the higher was the probability to choose Experimental Psychology. In conclusion, disgust propensity as rated by DS-R differentiates medical from psychology students and is also related to orientation preferences in postgraduate studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0323.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: medical education; augmented reality; virtual reality; mixed reality; extended reality
Online: 29 April 2019 (10:09:05 CEST)
Background: Since the advent of virtual reality (VR), it has been used in medical education for surgical training and anatomy teaching. Recently, other modalities of extended reality (XR) such as augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) has also made its way into medical education. Although there has been research validating XR’s use in medical education, there have been few studies on the research trends of the different XR modalities. The paper aims to compare the research trends of the XR modalities in general and in terms of the medical fields studied and outcomes measured. Methods: Web of Science was searched, and preliminary data was extracted to analyze the general trend. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were then applied, and finalized articles were analyzed and grouped based on the medical field studied and outcomes measured. Results: 31 articles on VR, eight on AR and one on MR were included in the final analysis. We found that there is increasing research in VR since 1990 and AR since 2008. The research in MR is constant. Most of the papers on VR studied endoscopic surgery and anatomy whereas AR studied mostly anatomy and endovascular procedures. Using Miller’s prism of clinical competence, the competency measured most for VR and AR is “show”. Discussion and conclusion: Advancement in computing, communication and display technologies since 1990 may contribute to the increase in research on VR whereas the ubiquity of smartphone since 2008 may explain the increase in research on AR. Although both VR and AR are used in surgical training and anatomy teaching, we found possible strengths of VR in counseling and AR in practical skills. The competency "show" was measured most as most of the papers were on surgery, and the XR simulators used can capture surgical parameters
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0464.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: genetic algorithms; trajectory planning; keyhole neurosurgery; risk assessment; medical imaging
Online: 22 October 2018 (04:40:10 CEST)
Keyhole neurosurgery implies reaching a target area inside the brain through an entry point specified by the neurosurgeon. In order to avoid complications, a risk assessment procedure must be done to establish the minimum risk trajectory from the entry point to the target area. The neurosurgeon establishes the risk values for the brain structure according to the type of intervention. The preset brain structure risk value is used to assess the risk value for each voxel of the brain. This paper proposes an improved risk assessment methodology based on the sum of N maximum risk values for each voxel. Then, risk assessment for a trajectory is done by adding the risk of all voxels that are part of the path. The safest trajectory is defined as the trajectory with the lower risk. Our proposed search trajectory methodology includes a Genetic Algorithm (GA) for finding the safest trajectories. The use of a GA drastically reduces the number of trajectories to analyze, speeding up the planning procedure. The achieved results were qualified by expert neurosurgeons as satisfactory. Our proposed method allows neurosurgeons to calibrate the surgical planning system by allowing them to establish the risk brain structure and the risk value for each structure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0588.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Noise; Noise Levels; Noise Measurement; Medical Intensive Care Units; Nursing
Online: 30 July 2018 (12:05:35 CEST)
This study was undertaken to investigate and analyze noise pollution in a large Chinese governmental hospital’s medical intensive care unit and compare to the WHO guidelines.This cross-sectional study was conducted in a MICU at a public governmental teaching hospital in Fujian province between July and August of 2017. A WENSN® WS1361 Integrated Sound Level Meter (China) was used for continuous every five seconds one week noise levels recording. After this measurement, the decibel meter was used for recording different location of isolation rooms and open bays, including occupied and unoccupied patient, and recording sound events occurs in the ICU to identify sources of noise. Peak and average noise levels were obtained from the meter, and data were downloaded from the WS1361 into a laptop computer. The measured mean equivalent sound pressure levels (L) and standard Aeq deviation over one week period were 66.64±7.57 dB(A), with acute spikes reaching 119.7 dB(A), the average sound level for a 24 hour period in a work day was 68.03±5.07 dB(A). These are higher than the current daytime environmental noise limit of 40-45 decibels in China and WHO. Mean work day noise was significantly louder than weekend time, there was a significant difference in work days and weekend (t=16.85;P=0.000).There was a statistical difference between the day time and night time shifts (t=34.67;P=0.000). The isolation rooms were significantly quieter than the open-bay rooms(t=46.15; p=0.00), sound levels in the occupied and unoccupied rooms also had significant difference(t=17.26; P=0.000).Two types of noise resources, including twenty kinds sources were identified and measured, mean noise levels ranged from of 61.33 to 79.21 dB(A). This study shows noise levels in intensive care units were exceeded the recommended. The study of the influence of noise on patient and staff is needed, and noise reduction strategies must be conduct in ICU.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0097.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: malaria; red blood cells segmentation; mathematical morphology; medical image analysis
Online: 14 December 2017 (17:10:19 CET)
This paper investigates existing mathematical morphology based techniques applied for performing malaria parasites detection and identification in both Giemsa and Leishman stained blood smears images. Malaria is an epidemic health disease and a rapid, accurate diagnosis is necessary for proper intervention. Generally, pathologists visually examine blood stained slides for malaria diagnosis; this kind of visual inspection is subjective, errorprone and time consuming. In order to cope with such issues, computer-aided methods have been increasingly evolved for abnormal erythrocyte and/or parasites detection, segmentation and semi/fully automated classification. The aim of this paper is to present a review of recent mathematical morphology based methods for malaria parasite detection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0116.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: big data； body area network；body sensor network；edge computing；Fog Computing； Medical Cyberphysical Systems； medical internet-of-things；telecare； tele-treatment；wearable devices
Online: 26 June 2017 (06:24:07 CEST)
In the era when the market segment of Internet of Things (IoT) tops the chart in various business reports, it is apparently envisioned that the field of medicine expects to gain a large benefit from the explosion of wearables and internet-connected sensors that surround us to acquire and communicate unprecedented data on symptoms, medication, food intake, and daily-life activities impacting one’s health and wellness. However, IoT-driven healthcare would have to overcome many barriers, such as: 1) There is an increasing demand for data storage on cloud servers where the analysis of the medical big data becomes increasingly complex; 2) The data, when communicated, are vulnerable to security and privacy issues; 3) The communication of the continuously collected data is not only costly but also energy hungry; 4) Operating and maintaining the sensors directly from the cloud servers are non-trial tasks.This book chapter defined Fog Computing in the context of medical IoT. Conceptually, Fog Computing is a serviceoriented intermediate layer in IoT, providing the interfaces between the sensors and cloud servers for facilitating connectivity, data transfer, and queryable local database. The centerpiece of Fog computing is a low-power, intelligent, wireless, embedded computing node that carries out signal conditioning and data analytics on raw data collected from wearables or other medical sensors and offers efficient means to serve telehealth interventions. We implemented and tested an fog computing system using the Intel Edison and Raspberry Pi that allows acquisition, computing, storage and communication of the various medical data such as pathological speech data of individuals with speech disorders, Phonocardiogram (PCG) signal for heart rate estimation, and Electrocardiogram (ECG)-based Q, R, S detection. The book chapter ends with experiments and results showing how fog computing could lessen the obstacles of existing cloud-driven medical IoT solutions and enhance the overall performance of the system in terms of computing intelligence, transmission, storage, configurable, and security. The case studies on various types of physiological data shows that the proposed Fog architecture could be used for signal enhancement, processing and analysis of various types of bio-signals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0479.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: open source; open hardware; COVID-19; medical hardware; RepRap; 3-D printing; open source medical hardware; high temperature 3-D printing; additive manufacturing; ULTEM; polycarbonate
Online: 31 May 2020 (16:18:20 CEST)
Thermal sterilization is generally avoided for 3-D printed components because of the relatively low deformation temperatures for common thermoplastics used for material extrusion-based additive manufacturing. 3-D printing materials required for high-temperature heat sterilizable components for COVID-19 and other applications demands 3-D printers with heated beds, hot ends that can reach higher temperatures than polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hot ends and heated chambers to avoid part warping and delamination. There are several high temperature printers on the market, but their high costs make them inaccessible for full home-based distributed manufacturing required during pandemic lockdowns. To allow for all these requirements to be met for under $1,000, the Cerberus – an open source three-headed self-replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) was designed and tested with the following capabilities: i) 200oC-capable heated bed, ii) 500oC-capabel hot end, iii) isolated heated chamber with 1kW space heater core and iv) mains voltage chamber and bed heating for rapid start. The Cereberus successfully prints polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) and polyetherimide (PEI, ULTEM) with tensile strengths of 77.5 and 80.5 MPa, respectively. As a case study, open source face masks were 3-D printed in PEKK and shown not to warp upon widely home-accessible oven-based sterilization.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0397.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: coranavirus; covid-19; diagnostic; epidemic; medical laboratory professionals; sars-cov-2
Online: 23 January 2023 (06:12:12 CET)
The disease COVID-19 is brought on by the acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) First appeared in China in December 2019 and quickly spread around the world after being declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. COVID-19, Medical Laboratory Professionals, SARS-COV-2, Diagnostic, Importance and difficulties for testing were the selected terms to search the databases of PubMed and Google Scholar for previously published material. Many diagnostic tests are applied in corona virus detection like Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR), Multiplex PCR, Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) and more. There is a lack of availability of molecular and serologic tests that have been clinically validated or authorized by national or international regulatory bodies. Clinical laboratory experts are tackling threats to our global defense and wellness, including infectious diseases. The opportunity to express gratitude to the unsung medical laboratory heroes and COVID0-19 pandemic allies is now greater than ever. Each year, Medical Laboratory Professionals Week should honors those who contribute key diagnostic data that help save lives. This review article explore overall summary on testing methods including Important and Difficult Tasks for Medical Laboratories which will provide good message for better public health matter.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0014.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: No-show; Medical Appointments; Healthcare; Artificial Intelligence; Data processing and management
Online: 1 September 2022 (08:57:07 CEST)
No-show appointments in healthcare is a problem faced by medical centers around the world, and understand the factors associated with the no-show behavior is essential. In the last decades, artificial intelligence took place in the medical field and machine learning algorithms can work as a efficient tool to understand the patients behavior and to achieve better medical appointment allocation in scheduling systems. In this work, we provide a systematic literature review (SLR) of machine learning techniques applied to no-show appointments aiming at establishing the current state-of-the-art. Based on a SLR following the Kitchenham methodology, 24 articles were found and analyzed, in which the characteristics of the database, algorithms and performance metrics of each studies were synthesized. Results regarding which factors have a higher impact on missed appointment rates were analyzed too. The results indicate that the most appropriate algorithms for building the models are decision tree algorithms. Furthermore, the most significant determinants of no-show were related to the patients age, whether the patient missed a previous appointment, and the distance between the appointment and the patients scheduling.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0102.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: endoscopes; medical diagnostic imaging; microwave antenna arrays; microwave imaging; colorectal cancer
Online: 7 June 2022 (09:55:21 CEST)
This study assesses the efficacy of a microwave colonoscopy algorithm to detect colorectal cancer precursors or polyps in an ex-vivo human colon model. The algorithm works with a device composed of a cylindrical ring-shaped switchable antenna array, which can be attached to the tip of a conventional colonoscope as an accessory. The accessory is connected to an external processing unit that generates an acoustic signal when a polyp is detected. Nowadays, 22% of polyps go undetected with conventional colonoscopy and the risk of cancer after a negative colonoscopy can be up to 7.9%. Fifteen ex-vivo freshly excised human colons with cancer (n=12) or polyps (n=3) were examined with the microwave-assisted colonoscopy system simulating a real colonoscopy exploration. Successive measurements of the colon were taken with the microwave-based colonoscopy device and processed with a microwave imaging algorithm. After the experiment, the dielectric properties of the specimens were measured with a coaxial probe and finally the samples underwent a pathology analysis. The results show that all the neoplasms were detected with a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 87.4%.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0189.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: Raman Spectroscopy; Medical application; Disease screening and diagnosis; Machine learning analyses
Online: 13 May 2022 (10:17:00 CEST)
Raman Spectroscopy has long been anticipated to augment clinical decision making, such as classifying oncological samples. Unfortunately, the complexity of Raman data has thus far inhibited its routine use in clinical settings. Traditional machine learning models have been used to help exploit this information, but recent advances in deep learning have the potential to improve the field. However, there are a number of potential pitfalls with both traditional and deep learning models. We conduct a literature review to ascertain the recent machine learning methods used to classify cancers using Raman spectral data. We find that while deep learning models are popular, and ostensibly outperform traditional learning models, there are many methodological considerations which may be leading to an over-estimation of performance: primarily, small sample sizes which compound upon sub-optimal choices regarding sampling and validation strategies. Amongst several recommendations is a call to collate large benchmark Raman datasets, similar to those that have helped transform digital pathology, which researchers can use to develop and refine deep learning models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0306.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Atherogenesis; metabolic status; lipid index; coronary heart disease; medical check-up
Online: 23 March 2022 (03:34:35 CET)
We evaluated the usefulness of the novel cholesterol-triglyceride subgroup (CTS) indices that potentially reflect the metabolic status regarding risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) using a retrospective longitudinal study of the Japanese general population. We recruited 12,373 individuals from the annual users of our healthcare center. Among them, the first onset of CHD was recorded in 131 individuals between April, 2014 and March, 2020. The multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analyses for all normalized lipid indices revealed that the CTSqnt index showed a comparable hazard ratio for the CHD outcome to non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (nonHDL-c) and triglycerides. The HR of the CTSqlt index was significantly lower than for CTSqnt, but still comparable to that for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c). In comparison with the other indices, CTSqlt is more sensitive to risk increment while the index value increases. Linear regression analyses for the CTS indices and previously known lipid indices suggest that the CTSqnt and CTSqlt indices reflect the quantity of atherogenic lipoproteins and size of smaller and denser LDLs, respectively. Furthermore, the CTSqnt/HDL-c index can be used as a comprehensive risk indicator that may represent the status of lipid metabolism determined by the CTSqlt and CTSqnt indices and thus may be useful for screening. The CTS indices can be used to evaluate the metabolic status of individuals, which may increase the risk of future CHD.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Facemask; community mask; medical mask; recycling; reuse; carbon footprint; COVID-19
Online: 26 April 2021 (20:04:46 CEST)
IntroductionThe use of protective masks, especially medical masks, increased dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis. Medical masks are made of synthetic materials, mainly polypropylene, and a majority of them are produced in China and imported to the European market. The urgency of the need has so far prevailed over environmental considerations.ObjectiveAssess the environmental impact of different strategies for the use of facemaskMethod Different strategies for the use of medical and community masks are being investigated for their environmental impact in this study. 8 scenarios, differentiating the typologies of masks and the modes of reuse are compared using several environmental impact indicators, mainly the Global Warming Potential (GWP100), and the plastic leakage (PL). This study attempts to provide clear recommendations that consider both the environmental impact and the protective effectiveness of face masks used in the community.Results The environmental impact of single-use masks is the most unfavorable, with a GWP of 0.4 -1.3 kgCO2 eq., depending on the transport scenario, and a PL of 1.8 g, for a one month protection against COVID-19. The use of home-made cotton masks and prolonged use of medical masks through wait-and-reuse are the scenarios with the lowest impact.ConclusionThe use of medical masks with a wait and reuse strategy seems to be the most appropriate when considering both environmental impact and effectiveness. Our results also highlight the need to develop procedures and the legal/operational framework to extend the use of protective equipment during a pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0152.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: color vision deficiency; medical students; ishihara plates; humans; incidence; prevalence; frequency
Online: 5 February 2021 (09:58:31 CET)
Introduction Color vision deficiency (CVD) constitutes one of the frequently observed eye disorders in all human populations. Color is a prominent sign utilized in the medical profession to study and identify histopathological specimens, lab instruments, and patient examination. Color deficiency affects the medical skills of students resulting in poor clinical examination and color appreciation. There is no effective screening of CVD at any level of the medical profession. Hence, this study was aimed to determine the prevalence of CVD among medical students. Materials and methods This was a cross-sectional study conducted from September 2019 to February 2020 over a period of six months in Karachi, Pakistan. All medical students aged 18-21 years of either gender enrolled in the first and second years of medical college were included in this study. The examination was performed during daylight. Ishihara plates were placed at a distance of 75 cm from the subject and tilted so that the plane of the paper lies perpendicular to the line of vision. Students were given five seconds to read the plate and one examiner was instructed to mark the checklist. A score of less than 12 out of 14 red/green test plates (not including the demonstration plate) was considered as a CVD. All statistical analysis was performed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20.0 (Armonk, NY: IBM Corp). Results The mean age of the medical students was 19.61± 1.22 years. There were (n=123) 53.0% females and (n=111) 47.0% males. Most of the medical students (n=131, 56.0%) belonged to the upper-middle-class socioeconomic group. CVD was observed in (n=13) 6.0%of medical students. Age (p=0.001) and socioeconomic status (p=0.001) were the only demographic factors significantly associated with color deficiency. Conclusions Color deficiency, although an unnoticed concern, is fairly common among medical students. Medical students must be screened for CVD as this will enable them to be aware of their limitations in their future observational skills as a doctor and devise ways of overcoming them in clinical practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0007.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: mistrust; communication; appreciative inquiry; extra-curricular activities; medical student; mental health
Online: 2 July 2020 (13:07:51 CEST)
Students’ anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic was expressed by some medical students in the form of anger and mistrust. This study aims to explore the reasons for mistrust between students and faculty among medical schools in Egypt that have flared during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a three-phase exploratory qualitative study depending on thematic emergence from appreciative interviews (AI) sessions. Students are revealed to be very well-educated regarding contemporary medical education concepts. The most important factors from the student perspective were the presence of a well-designed assessment system aligned with the learning outcomes and teaching methodologies and the presence of extracurricular activities and soft skills, respectively. A balanced student life respecting their mental health was found important to increase trust. A roadmap to breaking the mistrust must be planned on several pivots: curriculum structure, extracurricular life, communication strategies, and identifying student roles in their learning and in decision making.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0220.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID-19; online learning; new teaching and assessment methods; medical education
Online: 17 June 2020 (13:23:11 CEST)
Coronavirus (COVID19) appears to be an inflection point that is forcing a disruption in medical education. However, it is not clear what the responses of the institutions are to this pandemic and how the adaptation of new methods may impact medical education in the post COVID-19 era. Objective: The study aims to explore how medical schools in Egypt responded to COVID-19 pandemic regarding the teaching and learning/assessment for undergraduate students. Design: A mixed method exploratory two-phase study was conducted. A survey was prepared and disseminated to a convenient non-probability sample of the medical school faculty through various social platforms. Then, a focus group guide was conducted to explore in more depth the findings. Results: The staff level of preparedness for that unexpected shift was evaluated by 55.1% of the survey participants as optimum to high and a good leadership support was reported by 70 % of them. They reported conflicting views about the proper role of medical education units but reinforced the idea of Egyptian Knowledge Bank’s crucial role in this transition. Additionally, there is a communication problem with the students that leads to their detachment. Subsequently, 84.6 % of the participants reported that their schools used alternative teaching methods for small groups, large groups, pre-clinical and clinical clerkships. However, 64.1 % of the participants identified a clinical skills teaching challenge. Although, 68.4% reported that alternative methods were used for formative assessment but absence of alternative methods for summative assessment was declared by 76.3%. Conclusions: Individuals moved faster than bodies and relied on support existing outside the universities when catastrophe happened. However, institutes which have experience in adapting modern engaging learning methods should organize a better response for crisis. Online learning should be integrated in the curriculum with a fair percentage especially in the early years of medical study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0274.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: big data; deep learning; intelligent systems; medical imaging; multi-data processing
Online: 16 May 2020 (17:43:42 CEST)
Big Data in medicine includes possibly fast processing of large data sets, both current and historical in purpose supporting the diagnosis and therapy of patients' diseases. Support systems for these activities may include pre-programmed rules based on data obtained from the interview medical and automatic analysis of test results diagnostic results will lead to classification of observations to a specific disease entity. The current revolution using Big Data significantly expands the role of computer science in achieving these goals, which is why we propose a Big Data computer data processing system using artificial intelligence to analyze and process medical images.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0296.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; bode index; charlson comorbidity index; medical burden
Online: 26 September 2019 (09:58:37 CEST)
COPD is currently the fourth leading cause of death in the world. Globally, due to continued exposure to COPD risk factors and an aging population, the burden of COPD is expected to increase in the coming decades. The BODE (body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnea, and exercise capacity) index is a practical and multidimensional predictor for prognosis of COPD, and better than FEV1.We used the database of Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital medical center, Taiwan to analyze the correlation between BODE index, healthcare resource utilization, and Charlson comorbidity index (CCI). This retrospective study to collect COPD patients with complete BODE index data who had undergone a 6-minute walk examination in our hospital from January 2015 to December 2016. The medical cost and comorbidities database were analyzed from January 1, 2015, to August 31, 2017. Of 396 patients, 382 (96.5%) were male, with an average age of 71.3 ± 8.4 years. There was a significant association between the BODE index and the CCI of COPD patients (p < 0.001). Healthcare resource utilization was positively correlated with the BODE index during the 32 months of retrospective clinical outcomes: positively correlated with the number of hospitalizations (p<0.001), hospitalization days (p<0.001), hospitalization expenses (p=0.005), and total medical expenses (p=0.024), respectively. Our findings provide the crucial information for clinician to predict medical burden and comorbidities in patients with COPD by using BODE index.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0334.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Fiber optics sensors; Fiber Bragg gratings; Clinical applications; Medical optics instrumentation
Online: 24 May 2018 (05:57:50 CEST)
Placing the needle inside the epidural space for locoregional anesthesia is a challenging procedure, which even today is left to the expertise of the operator. Recently, we have demonstrated that the use of optically sensorized needles significantly improve the effectiveness of such procedure. Here we propose an optimized configuration, where the optical fiber strain sensor is directly integrated inside the epidural catheter. The new design allows to solve the biocompatibility issues and increases the versatility of the former configuration. Through an in vivo study carried out on a porcine model we confirm the reliability of our approach, which also opens the way to catheter monitoring during its insertion inside biological spaces.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0117.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: computer-aided diagnosis; CAD algorithms; deep neural networks; medical diagnosis; review
Online: 17 October 2017 (11:57:17 CEST)
With recent focus on deep neural network architectures for development of algorithms for computer-aided diagnosis (CAD), we provide a review of studies within the last 3 years (2015-2017) reported in selected top journals and conferences. 29 studies that met our inclusion criteria were reviewed to identify trends in this field and to inform future development. Studies have focused mostly on cancer-related diseases within internal medicine while diseases within gender-/age-focused fields like gynaecology/pediatrics have not received much focus. All reviewed studies employed image datasets, mostly sourced from publicly available databases (55.2%) and few based on data from human subjects (31%) and non-medical datasets (13.8%), while CNN architecture was employed in most (70%) of the studies. Confirmation of the effect of data manipulation on quality of output and adoption of multi-class rather than binary classification also require more focus. Future studies should leverage collaborations with medical experts to aid future with actual clinical testing with reporting based on some generally applicable index to enable comparison. Our next steps on plans for CAD development for osteoarthritis (OA), with plans to consider multi-class classification and comparison across deep learning approaches and unsupervised architectures were also highlighted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0055.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: EMR; data preprocessing; text mining; information extraction; medical decision support system
Online: 15 August 2017 (05:46:43 CEST)
At present, medical institutes generally use EMR to record patient's condition, including diagnostic information, procedures performed and treatment results. EMR has been recognized as a valuable resource for large scale analysis. However, EMR has the characteristics of diversity, incompleteness, redundancy and privacy, which make it difficult to carry out data mining and analysis directly. Therefore, it is necessary to preprocess the source data in order to improve data quality and improve the data mining results. Different types of data require different processing technologies. Most structured data commonly needs classic preprocessing technologies, including data cleansing, data integration, data transformation and data reduction. For semi-structured or unstructured data, such as medical text, containing more health information, it requires more complex and challenging processing methods. The task of information extraction for medical texts mainly includes NER (Named Entity Recognition) and RE (Relation Extraction). In this paper, we introduce the process of EMR processing, including data collection, data preprocessing, data mining, evaluation and knowledge application, analyze the current status of the key technologies, such as data preprocessing and data mining, and provide an overview of the application domains and prospects of EMR mining technologies. Finally, we summarize the existing problems in the research of EMR mining, and review the development trends.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0373.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Applied Physics Keywords: Diffuse Optical Tomography, Near-infrared, Inverse problem, Spectroscopy, Medical Imaging, fNIRS, Tissue
Online: 21 December 2022 (02:21:42 CET)
Diffuse optical tomography (DOT) is an optical medical imaging method that can assess the structural properties of tissues and their functional characteristics, such as hemoglobin concentration, water content, as well as lipid concentration, via three-dimensional image reconstruction. This paper presents the theoretical basis and working principle of diffuse optical tomography. The paper explains how the optical properties of tissue can be imaged by photon migration techniques based on diffusion theory. The author presents the reasoning for near-infrared (NIR) imaging as the most effective technique in terms of quantitative recovery of spectroscopic optical parameters. This work also listed various advantages, applications, and challenges of DOT. The paper also briefly discusses current progress in near-infrared medical imaging and its future direction.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0434.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: COVID-19; 3D Printing; Additive Manufacturing; Medical Applications; Open-source files; Innovation
Online: 25 August 2022 (10:24:14 CEST)
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) rapidly spread to over 180 countries and abruptly disrupted the production rates and supply chains worldwide. Since then, 3D printing also recognized as additive manufacturing (AM) and known to be a novel technique that uses layer-by-layer deposition of material to produce the intricate 3D geometry, has been engaged in reducing the distress caused by the outbreak. During the early stages of this pandemic, shortages of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), including facemasks, shields, respirators, and other medical gears, were significantly answered by remotely 3D printing them. Amidst the growing testing requirements, the 3D printing emerged as a potential and fast solution manufacturing process to meet the production needs due to its flexibility, reliability, and rapid response capabilities. In the recent past, some of the other medical applications that have gained prominence in the scientific community include 3D printed ventilator splitters, device components, and patient-specific products. Regarding the non-medical applications, researchers have successfully developed contact-free devices to address the sanitary crisis in public places. This work aims to systematically review the applications of 3D printing or AM techniques that have been involved in producing various critical products essential to limit this deadly pandemic's progression.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0219.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Numerical Analysis & Optimization Keywords: Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning; deep learning; medical imaging; tomography; image reconstruction
Online: 25 April 2022 (05:35:17 CEST)
Over recent years, the importance of patent literature has become more recognized in the academic setting. In the context of artificial intelligence, deep learning, and data sciences, patents are relevant to not only industry but also academe and other communities. In this article, we focus on deep tomographic imaging and perform a preliminary landscape analysis of the related patent literature. Our search tool is PatSeer . Our patent bibliometric data is summarized in various figures and tables. In particular, we qualitatively analyze key deep tomographic patent literature.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0644.v1
Subject: Keywords: Medical Education; Serious games; Escape room; E-learning; Edutainment; Game-based learning
Online: 29 July 2021 (10:30:44 CEST)
Background: Serious games are conceptualized as a broad topic and overlap segments of more modern forms of education: e-learning, edutainment, game-based learning, and digital game-based learning. Serious Games aligns with digitalization and the modern era and creates novel opportunities for learning and assessment in medical education. Escape rooms, a type of serious games, merge mental and physical aspects to reinforce critical skills useful in daily life. It challenges logic and reasoning and demands careful analysis of situations to correlate and solve different stages of the escape room under pressurized, timed conditions. Furthermore, it serves as an adequate environment to build problem-solving skills, communication skills, and leadership skills through the collaboration of people to achieve a common goal. The aim of this study was to investigate the applications of escape rooms in Medical Education. Method: This study investigated the applications of escape rooms in medical education. Serious games are expanding in education and have attained great relevance due to their intriguing and intrinsically motivating attributes. Within serious games, we focused on escape rooms in which participants are locked in a room, faced with puzzles that must be solved to ‘escape the room’. Compiling the data from the first 100 hits of medical application of escape rooms, we found 72 cases and categorized them by year, specialty, participants structure, simulation experience, and design. Results: We reported on escape rooms in medical education by the year in which they were reported, the medical specialty, the participant structure, grouped or individual, the experience design; real, hybrid, or digital, and the modality of the delivery. 72% of the escape rooms focused on four main areas: nursing education (25.0%), emergency medicine (22.2%), pharmacy (12.5%), and interprofessional education (12.5%). Most of the escape rooms had a group-based physical design and little attention was given to provide a detailed description of the design considerations, such as the pathway type (linear, semi-linear, open). Conclusion: Escape rooms are applied in a wide range of medical education areas. In Medical Education, group-based on-site escape rooms with a focus on nursing, emergency medicine, pharmacy and interprofessional education dominates the implementation landscape. To further advance the field, stronger emphasis on making explicit the design considerations will advance the research and inform implementations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0754.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: attitudes; depression; developing countries; medical education; mental health; psychosis; service users; stigma
Online: 30 December 2020 (14:12:49 CET)
This study evaluated the impact of didactic videos and service user testimonial videos on mental illness stigma among medical students. Two randomized controlled trials were conducted in Nepal. Study 1 examined stigma reduction for depression. Study 2 examined depression and psychosis. Participants were Nepali medical students (Study 1:n=94, Study 2:¬n=213) randomized to three conditions: a didactic video based on the mental health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), a service user video about living with mental illness, or a control condition with no videos. In Study 1, videos only addressed depression. In Study 2, videos addressed depression and psychosis. In Study 1, both didactic and service user videos reduced stigma compared to the control (F2,91=6.37, p=0.003). In Study 2 (depression and psychosis), there were no differences among the three arms (F2,210=2.07, p=0.13). When comparing Study 1 and 2, there was greater stigma reduction in the service user video arm with only depression versus service user videos with depression and psychosis (t(31)=-3.04, p=0.005). In summary, didactic and service user videos were associated with decreased stigma when content addressed only depression. However, no stigma reduction was seen when including depression and psychosis. This calls for different strategies based on types of mental illnesses. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03231761
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0215.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: COVID-19; deep learning; radiography; automated detection; medical imaging; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 19 October 2020 (10:49:25 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the whole world, taking over half a million lives and capsizing the world economy in unprecedented magnitudes. With the world scampering for a vaccine, early detection and containment is the only redress. Existing diagnostic technologies with high accuracy like RT-PCRs are expensive and sophisticated, requiring skilled individuals for specimen collection and screening, resulting in lower outreach. So, methods excluding direct human intervention are much sought after, and artificial intelligence-driven automated diagnosis, especially with radiography images, captured the researchers' interest. This survey marks a detailed inspection of the deep-learning-based automated detection of COVID-19 works done to date, a comparison of the available datasets, methodical challenges like imbalanced datasets, and others, along with probable solutions with different pre-processing methods, and scopes of future exploration in this arena. We also benchmarked the performance of 315 deep models in diagnosing COVID-19, Normal, and Pneumonia from x-ray images of a custom dataset created from four others. The dataset is publicly available at https://github.com/rgbnihal2/COVID-19-X-ray-Dataset. Our results show that DenseNet201 model with Quadratic SVM classifier performs the best (accuracy: 98.16%, sensitivity: 98.93%, specificity: 98.77%) and maintains high accuracies in other similar architectures as well. This proves that even though radiography images might not be conclusive for radiologists, but it is so for deep learning algorithms for detecting COVID-19. We hope this extensive review will provide a comprehensive guideline for researchers in this field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0340.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: marching cubes; histogram pyramids; volumetric rendering; 3D medical model; smooth voxel; isosurface
Online: 15 August 2020 (06:42:31 CEST)
This paper aims to implement histogram pyramids with marching cubes method for 3D medical volumetric rendering. The histogram pyramids are used for feature extraction by segmenting the image into the hierarchical order like the pyramid shape. The histogram pyramids can decrease the number of sparse matrixes that will occur during voxel manipulation. The important feature of the histogram pyramids is the direction of segments in the image. This feature will be then used for connecting pixels (2D) to form up voxel (3D) during marching cubes implementation. The proposed method is fast and easy to implement and it also produces a smooth result (compared to the traditional marching cubes technique). The experimental results show that time consuming for generating 3D model can be reduced by 15.59% in average. The paper also shows the comparison between the surface rendering using the traditional marching cubes and the marching cubes with histogram pyramids. Therefore, for the volumetric rendering such as 3D medical models and terrains where a large number of lookups in 3D grids are performed, this method is a particularly good choice for generating the smooth surface of 3D object.