International Science Index
High-Value Health System for All: Technologies for Promoting Health Education and Awareness
Health for all is considered as a sign of well-being and inclusive growth. New healthcare technologies are contributing to the quality of human lives by promoting health education and awareness, leading to the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of the symptoms of diseases. Healthcare technologies have now migrated from the medical and institutionalized settings to the home and everyday life. This paper explores these new technologies and investigates how they contribute to health education and awareness, promoting the objective of high-value health system for all. The methodology used for the research is literature review. The paper also discusses the opportunities and challenges with futuristic healthcare technologies. The combined advances in genomics medicine, wearables and the IoT with enhanced data collection in electronic health record (EHR) systems, environmental sensors, and mobile device applications can contribute in a big way to high-value health system for all. The promise by these technologies includes reduced total cost of healthcare, reduced incidence of medical diagnosis errors, and reduced treatment variability. The major barriers to adoption include concerns with security, privacy, and integrity of healthcare data, regulation and compliance issues, service reliability, interoperability and portability of data, and user friendliness and convenience of these technologies.
Measuring Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Implementation in Riyadh Hospitals
Daily provision of high quality food and hygiene to patients is a challenging goal of the healthcare. In Saudi Arabia, matters related to food safety and hygiene are regulated by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA). The purpose of this research is to discuss the food safety management inconsistencies and flaws, in particular the ones related to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) in Riyadh’s MOH hospitals. As required by law, written HACCP regulations must be implemented, and food handlers need to receive the training accordingly. However, in Saudi hospitals, this is not a requirement, and the food handlers do not need to hold training certificates in food safety or HACCP. Nowadays, the matter of food safety and hygiene have become increasingly important since the decision makers want to align these regulations with the majority of the world and to implement HACCP fully and for this purpose, the SFDA was established.
A Case Study of Clinicians’ Perceptions of Enterprise Content Management at Tygerberg Hospital
Healthcare is a human right. The sensitivity of health issues has necessitated the introduction of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) at district hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The objective is understanding clinicians’ perception of ECM at their workplace. It is a descriptive case study design of constructivist paradigm. It employed a phenomenological data analysis method using a pattern matching deductive based analytical procedure. Purposive and s4nowball sampling techniques were applied in selecting participants. Clinicians expressed concerns and frustrations using ECM such as, non-integration with other hospital systems. Inadequate access points to ECM. Incorrect labelling of notes and bar-coding causes more time wasted in finding information. System features and/or functions (such as search and edit) are not possible. Hospital management and clinicians are not constantly interacting and discussing. Information turnaround time is unacceptably lengthy. Resolving these problems would involve a positive working relationship between hospital management and clinicians. In addition, prioritising the problems faced by clinicians in relation to relevance can ensure problem-solving in order to meet clinicians’ expectations and hospitals’ objective. Clinicians’ perception should invoke attention from hospital management with regards technology use. The study’s results can be generalised across clinician groupings exposed to ECM at various district hospitals because of professional and hospital homogeneity.
Healthcare Waste Management Practices in Bangladesh: A Case Study in Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Healthcare waste (HCW) is one of the major concerns in environmental issues due to its infectious and hazardous nature that is requires specific treatment and systematic management prior to final disposal. This study aimed to assess HCW management system in Dhaka City (DC), Bangladesh, by investigating the present practices implemented by the city. In this study, five different healthcare establishments were selected in DC. Field visits and interviews with health personnel and staff who are concerned with the waste management were conducted. The information was gathered through questionnaire focus on the different aspect of HCW management like, waste segregation and collection, storage and transport, awareness as well. The results showed that a total of 7,215 kg/day (7.2 ton/day) of waste were generated, of which 79.36% (5.6 ton/day) was non-hazardous waste and 20.6% (1.5 ton/day) was hazardous waste. The rate of waste generation in these healthcare establishments (HCEs) was 2.6 kg/bed/day. There was no appropriate and systematic management of HCWs except at few private HCEs that segregate their hazardous waste. All the surveyed HCEs dumped their HCW together with the municipal waste, and some staff members were also found to be engaged in improper handling of the generated waste. Furthermore, the used sharp instruments, saline bags, blood bags and test tubes were collected for resale or reuse. Nevertheless, the lack of awareness, appropriate policy, regulation and willingness to act, were responsible for the improper management of HCW in DC. There was lack of practical training of concerned healthcare to handle the waste properly, while the nurses and staff were found to be aware of the health impacts of HCW.
A Settlement Strategy for Health Facilities in Emerging Countries: A Case Study in Brazil
A settlement strategy is to anticipate and respond the needs of existing and future communities through the provision of primary health care facilities in marginalized areas. Access to a health care network is important to improving healthcare coverage, often lacking, in developing countries. The study explores that a good sanitary system strategy of rural contexts brings advantages to an existing settlement: improving transport, communication, water and social facilities. The objective of this paper is to define a possible methodology to implement primary health care facilities in disadvantaged areas of emerging countries. In this research, we analyze the case study of Lauro de Freitas, a municipality in the Brazilian state of Bahia, part of the Metropolitan Region of Salvador, with an area of 57,662 km²
and 194.641 inhabitants. The health localization system in Lauro de Freitas is an integrated process that involves not only geographical aspects, but also a set of factors: population density, epidemiological data, allocation of services, road networks, and more. Data were collected also using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires to the local population. Synthesized data suggest that moving away from the coast where there is the greatest concentration of population and services, a network of primary health care facilities is able to improve the living conditions of small-dispersed communities. Based on the health service needs of populations, we have developed a methodological approach that is particularly useful in rural and remote contexts in emerging countries.
Achievements of Healthcare Services Vis-À-Vis the Millennium Development Goals Targets: Evidence from Pakistan
This study investigates the impact of public healthcare facilities and socio-economic circumstances on the status of child health in Pakistan. The complete analysis is carried out in correspondence with fourth and sixth millennium development goals. Further, the health variables chosen are also inherited from targeted indicators of the mentioned goals (MDGs). Trends in the Human Opportunity Index (HOI) for both health inequalities and coverage are analyzed using the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PLSM) data set for 2001-02 to 2012-13 at the national and provincial level. To reveal the relative importance of each circumstance in achieving the targeted values for child health, Shorrocks decomposition is applied on HOI. The annual point average growth rate of HOI is used to simulate the time period for the achievement of target set by MDGs and universal access also. The results indicate an improvement in HOI for a reduction in child mortality rates from 52.1% in 2001-02 to 67.3% in 2012-13, which confirms the availability of healthcare opportunities to a larger segment of society. Similarly, immunization against measles and other diseases such as Diphtheria, Polio, Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), and Hepatitis has also registered an improvement from 51.6% to 69.9% during the period of study at the national level. On a positive note, no gender disparity has been found for child health indicators and that health outcome is mostly affected by the parental and geographical features and availability of health infrastructure. However, the study finds that this achievement has been uneven across provinces. Pakistan is not only lagging behind in achieving its health goals, disappointingly with the current rate of health care provision, but it will take many additional years to achieve its targets.
IOT Based Process Model for Heart Monitoring Process
Connecting health services with technology has a huge demand as people health situations are becoming worse day by day. In fact, engaging new technologies such as Internet of Things (IOT) into the medical services can enhance the patient care services. Specifically, patients suffering from chronic diseases such as cardiac patients need a special care and monitoring. In reality, some efforts were previously taken to automate and improve the patient monitoring systems. However, the previous efforts have some limitations and lack the real-time feature needed for chronic kind of diseases. In this paper, an improved process model for patient monitoring system specialized for cardiac patients is presented. A survey was distributed and interviews were conducted to gather the needed requirements to improve the cardiac patient monitoring system. Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) language was used to model the proposed process. In fact, the proposed system uses the IOT Technology to assist doctors to remotely monitor and follow-up with their heart patients in real-time. In order to validate the effectiveness of the proposed solution, simulation analysis was performed using Bizagi Modeler tool. Analysis results show performance improvements in the heart monitoring process. For the future, authors suggest enhancing the proposed system to cover all the chronic diseases.
Creating Smart and Healthy Cities by Exploring the Potentials of Emerging Technologies and Social Innovation for Urban Efficiency: Lessons from the Innovative City of Boston
The wide-spread adoption of the Smart City concept has introduced a new era of computing paradigm with opportunities for city administrators and stakeholders in various sectors to re-think the concept of urbanization and development of healthy cities. With the world population rapidly becoming urban-centric especially amongst the emerging economies, social innovation will assist greatly in deploying emerging technologies to address the development challenges in core sectors of the future cities. In this context, sustainable health-care delivery and improved quality of life of the people is considered at the heart of the healthy city agenda. This paper examines the Boston innovation landscape from the perspective of smart services and innovation ecosystem for sustainable development, especially in transportation and healthcare. It investigates the policy implementation process of the Healthy City agenda and eHealth economy innovation based on the experience of Massachusetts’s City of Boston initiatives. For this purpose, three emerging areas are emphasized, namely the eHealth concept, the innovation hubs, and the emerging technologies that drive innovation. This was carried out through empirical analysis on results of public sector and industry-wide interviews/survey about Boston’s current initiatives and the enabling environment. The paper highlights few potential research directions for service integration and social innovation for deploying emerging technologies in the healthy city agenda. The study therefore suggests the need to prioritize social innovation as an overarching strategy to build sustainable Smart Cities in order to avoid technology lock-in. Finally, it concludes that the Boston example of innovation economy is unique in view of the existing platforms for innovation and proper understanding of its dynamics, which is imperative in building smart and healthy cities where quality of life of the citizenry can be improved.
Patient Support Program in Pharmacovigilance: Foster Patient Confidence and Compliance
The pharmaceutical companies are getting more inclined towards patient support programs (PSPs) which assist patients and/or healthcare professionals (HCPs) in more desirable disease management and cost-effective treatment. The utmost objective of these programs is patient care. The PSPs may include financial assistance to patients, medicine compliance programs, access to HCPs via phone or online chat centers, etc. The PSP has a crucial role in terms of customer acquisition and retention strategies. During the conduct of these programs, Marketing Authorisation Holder (MAH) may receive information related to concerned medicinal products, which is usually reported by patients or involved HCPs. This information may include suspected adverse reaction(s) during/after administration of medicinal products. Hence, the MAH should design PSP to comply with regulatory reporting requirements and avoid non-compliance during PV inspection. The emergence of wireless health devices is lowering the burden on patients to manually incorporate safety data, and building a significant option for patients to observe major swings in reference to drug safety. Therefore, to enhance the adoption of these programs, MAH not only needs to aware patients about advantages of the program, but also recognizes the importance of time of patients and commitments made in a constructive manner. It is indispensable that strengthening the public health is considered as the topmost priority in such programs, and the MAH is compliant to Pharmacovigilance (PV) requirements along with regulatory obligations.
Structuring and Visualizing Healthcare Claims Data Using Systems Architecture Methodology
Healthcare delivery systems around the world are in
crisis. The need to improve health outcomes while decreasing
healthcare costs have led to an imminent call to action to transform
the healthcare delivery system. While Bioinformatics and Biomedical
Engineering have primarily focused on biological level data and
biomedical technology, there is clear evidence of the importance
of the delivery of care on patient outcomes. Classic singular
decomposition approaches from reductionist science are not capable
of explaining complex systems. Approaches and methods from
systems science and systems engineering are utilized to structure
healthcare delivery system data. Specifically, systems architecture is
used to develop a multi-scale and multi-dimensional characterization
of the healthcare delivery system, defined here as the Healthcare
Delivery System Knowledge Base. This paper is the first to contribute
a new method of structuring and visualizing a multi-dimensional and
multi-scale healthcare delivery system using systems architecture in
order to better understand healthcare delivery.
Adverse Drug Reactions Monitoring in the Northern Region of Zambia
The Copperbelt University Health Services (CBUHS) was designated by the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), formally the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (PRA) as a regional pharmacovigilance centre to carryout activities of drug safety monitoring in four provinces in Zambia. CBUHS’s mandate included stimulating the reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), as well as collecting and collating ADR reports from health institutions in the four provinces. This report covers the researchers’ experiences from May 2008 to September, 2016. The main objectives are 1) to monitor ADRs in the Zambian population, 2) to disseminate information to all health professionals in the region advising that the CBU health was a centre for reporting ADRs in the region, 3) to monitor polypharmacy as well as the benefit-risk profile of medicines, 4) to generate independent, evidence based recommendations on the safety of medicines, 5) to support ZAMRA in formulating safety related regulatory decisions for medicines, and 6) to communicate findings with all key stakeholders. The methodology involved monthly visits, beginning in early May 2008 to September, 2016, by the CBUHS to health institutions in the programme areas. Activities included holding discussions with health workers, distribution of ADR forms and collection of ADRs reports. These reports, once collected, were documented and assessed at the CBUHS. A report was then prepared for ZAMRA on quarterly basis. At ZAMRA, serious ADRs were noted and recommendations made to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Zambia. The results show that 2,600 ADRs reports were received at the pharmacovigilance regional centre. Most of the ADRs reports that received were due to antiretroviral drugs, as well as a few from anti-malarial drugs like Artemether/Lumefantrine – Coartem®. Three hundred and twelve ADRs were entered in the Uppsala Monitoring Centre WHO Vigiflow for further analysis. It was concluded that in general, 2008-16 were exciting years for the pharmacovigilance group at CBUHS. From a very tentative beginning, a lot of strides were made and contacts established with healthcare facilities in the region. The researchers were encouraged by the support received from the Copperbelt University management, the motivation provided by ZAMRA and most importantly the enthusiasm of health workers in all the health care facilities visited. As a centre for drug safety in Zambia, the results show it achieves its objectives for monitoring ADRs, Pharmacovigilance (drug safety monitoring), and activities of monitoring ADRs as well as preventing them. However, the centre faces critical challenges caused by erratic funding that prevents the smooth running of the programme.
A Case Study on Theme-Based Approach in Health Technology Engineering Education: Customer Oriented Software Applications
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Degree Programme provides full-time Bachelor-level undergraduate studies. ICT Degree Programme has seven different major options; this paper focuses on Health Technology. In Health Technology, a significant curriculum change in 2014 enabled transition from fragmented curriculum including dozens of courses to a new integrated curriculum built around three 30 ECTS themes. This paper focuses especially on the second theme called Customer Oriented Software Applications. From students’ point of view, the goal of this theme is to get familiar with existing health related ICT solutions and systems, understand business around health technology, recognize social and healthcare operating principles and services, and identify customers and users and their special needs and perspectives. This also acts as a background for health related web application development. Built web application is tested, developed and evaluated with real users utilizing versatile user centred development methods. This paper presents experiences obtained from the first implementation of Customer Oriented Software Applications theme. Student feedback was gathered with two questionnaires, one in the middle of the theme and other at the end of the theme. Questionnaires had qualitative and quantitative parts. Similar questionnaire was implemented in the first theme; this paper evaluates how the theme-based integrated curriculum has progressed in Health Technology major by comparing results between theme 1 and 2. In general, students were satisfied for the implementation, timing and synchronization of the courses, and the amount of work. However there is still room for development. Student feedback and teachers’ observations have been and will be used to develop the content and operating principles of the themes and whole curriculum.
Analytics Model in a Telehealth Center Based on Cloud Computing and Local Storage
Some of the main goals about telecare such as monitoring, treatment, telediagnostic are deployed with the integration of applications with specific appliances. In order to achieve a coherent model to integrate software, hardware, and healthcare systems, different telehealth models with Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, artificial intelligence, etc. have been implemented, and their advantages are still under analysis. In this paper, we propose an integrated model based on IoT architecture and cloud computing telehealth center. Analytics module is presented as a solution to control an ideal diagnostic about some diseases. Specific features are then compared with the recently deployed conventional models in telemedicine. The main advantage of this model is the availability of controlling the security and privacy about patient information and the optimization on processing and acquiring clinical parameters according to technical characteristics.
Impact of Flexibility on Patient Satisfaction and Behavioral Intention: A Critical Reassessment and Model Development
In the anticipation of demand fluctuations, services cannot be inventoried and hence it creates a difficult problem in marketing of services. The inability to meet customers (patients) requirements in healthcare context has more serious consequences than other service sectors. In order to meet patient requirements in the current uncertain environment, healthcare organizations are seeking ways for improved service delivery. Flexibility provides a mechanism for reducing variability in service encounters and improved performance. Flexibility is defined as the ability of the organization to cope with changing circumstances or instability caused by the environment. Patient satisfaction is an important performance outcome of healthcare organizations. However, the paucity of information exists in healthcare delivery context to examine the impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. The present study is an attempt to develop a conceptual foundation for investigating overall impact of flexibility on patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Several dimensions of flexibility in healthcare context are examined and proposed to have a significant impact on patient satisfaction and intention. Furthermore, the study involves a critical examination of determinants of patient satisfaction and development of a comprehensive view the relationship between flexibility, patient satisfaction and behavioral intention. Finally, theoretical contributions and implications for healthcare professionals are suggested from flexibility perspective.
Energy-Efficient Clustering Protocol in Wireless Sensor Networks for Healthcare Monitoring
Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) can facilitate continuous monitoring of patients and increase early detection of emergency conditions and diseases. High density WSNs helps us to accurately monitor a remote environment by intelligently combining the data from the individual nodes. Due to energy capacity limitation of sensors, enhancing the lifetime and the reliability of WSNs are important factors in designing of these networks. The clustering strategies are verified as effective and practical algorithms for reducing energy consumption in WSNs and can tackle WSNs limitations. In this paper, an Energy-efficient weight-based Clustering Protocol (EWCP) is presented. Artificial retina is selected as a case study of WSNs applied in body sensors. Cluster heads’ (CHs) selection is equipped with energy efficient parameters. Moreover, cluster members are selected based on their distance to the selected CHs. Comparing with the other benchmark protocols, the lifetime of EWCP is improved significantly.
Knowledge and Attitude: Challenges for Continuing Education in Health
One of the great challenges presented in educational practice is how to ensure the students not only acquire knowledge of training courses throughout their academic life, but also how to apply it in their current professional activities. Consequently, aiming to incite changes in the education system of healthcare professionals noticed the inadequacy of the training providers to solve the social problems related to health, the education related to these procedures should initiate in the earliest years of process. Following that idea, there is another question that needs an answer: If the change in the education should start sooner, in the period of basic training of healthcare professionals, what guidelines should a permanent education program incorporate to promote changes in an already established system? For this reason, the objective of this paper is to present different views of the teaching-learning process, with the purpose of better understanding the behavior adopted by healthcare professionals, through bibliographic study. The conclusion was that more than imparting knowledge to the individual, a larger approach is necessary on permanent education programs concerning the performance of professional health services in order to foment significant changes in education.
Application of Systems Engineering Tools and Methods to Improve Healthcare Delivery Inside the Emergency Department of a Mid-Size Hospital
Emergency department (ED) is considered as a complex system of interacting entities: patients, human resources, software and hardware systems, interfaces, and other systems. This paper represents a research for implementing a detailed Systems Engineering (SE) approach in a mid-size hospital in central Indiana. This methodology will be applied by “The Initiative for Product Lifecycle Innovation (IPLI)” institution at Indiana University to study and solve the crowding problem with the aim of increasing throughput of patients and enhance their treatment experience; therefore, the nature of crowding problem needs to be investigated with all other problems that leads to it. The presented SE methods are workflow analysis and systems modeling where SE tools such as Microsoft Visio are used to construct a group of system-level diagrams that demonstrate: patient’s workflow, documentation and communication flow, data systems, human resources workflow and requirements, leadership involved, and integration between ER different systems. Finally, the ultimate goal will be managing the process through implementation of an executable model using commercialized software tools, which will identify bottlenecks, improve documentation flow, and help make the process faster.
Co-payment Strategies for Chronic Medications: A Qualitative and Comparative Analysis at European Level
The management of pharmacotherapy and the process of dispensing medicines is becoming critical in clinical pharmacy due to the increase of incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases, the complexity and customization of therapeutic regimens, the introduction of innovative and more expensive medicines, the unbalanced relation between expenditure and revenue as well as due to the lack of rationalization associated with medication use. For these reasons, co-payments emerged in Europe in the 70s and have been applied over the past few years in healthcare. Co-payments lead to a rationing and rationalization of user’s access under healthcare services and products, and simultaneously, to a qualification and improvement of the services and products for the end-user. This analysis, under hospital practices particularly and co-payment strategies in general, was carried out on all the European regions and identified four reference countries, that apply repeatedly this tool and with different approaches. The structure, content and adaptation of European co-payments were analyzed through 7 qualitative attributes and 19 performance indicators, and the results expressed in a scorecard, allowing to conclude that the German models (total score of 68,2% and 63,6% in both elected co-payments) can collect more compliance and effectiveness, the English models (total score of 50%) can be more accessible, and the French models (total score of 50%) can be more adequate to the socio-economic and legal framework. Other European models did not show the same quality and/or performance, so were not taken as a standard in the future design of co-payments strategies. In this sense, we can see in the co-payments a strategy not only to moderate the consumption of healthcare products and services, but especially to improve them, as well as a strategy to increment the value that the end-user assigns to these services and products, such as medicines.
Factors Affecting General Practitioners’ Transfer of Specialized Self-Care Knowledge to Patients
This study examines the key factors that influence general practitioners’ learning and transfer of specialized arthritis knowledge and self-care techniques to patients during normal patient visits. Drawing on the theory of planed behavior and using matched survey data collected from general practitioners before and after training sessions provided by specialized orthopedic physicians, the study suggests that the general practitioner’s intention to use and transfer learned knowledge was influenced mainly by intrinsic motivation, organizational learning culture and absorptive capacity, but was not influenced by extrinsic motivation. The results provide both theoretical and practical implications.
Mediation in Turkish Health Law for Healthcare Disputes
In order to prevent overburdened courts, rising costs of litigation, and lengthy trial resolutions, the Law on Mediation for Civil Disputes was enacted, which was aimed at defining the procedure and guiding principles for dispute resolutions under Civil Law, in 2012. This “Mediation Code” also applies for civil healthcare disputes in Turkey. Aside from mediation, reconciliation, governed by Articles 253-255 of Criminal Procedure Law, has emerged as an alternative way to resolve criminal medical disputes, but the difference between mediation and conciliation is mostly procedural. This article deals with mediation in Turkish health law and aspect of medical malpractice mediation in Turkey. In addition, this study examines the issue of mediation in health law from both a legal and normative point of view, including codes of mediation which regulate both the structural and professional practice of mediation providers. As a result, although there is not official record about success rate of medical malpractice litigations and malpractice mediation in Turkey, it is widely accepted that the success rate for medical malpractice cases is relatively low compared to other personal injury cases even if it is generally considered that medical malpractice case filings have gradually increased recently. According to the Justice Ministry’s Department of Mediation in Turkey, 719 civil disputes have referred to mediators since 2013 (when the first mediation law came into force) with a 98% success rate.
Criminal Justice System, Health and Imprisonment in India
Imprisonment is an expansive concept, as it is regulated by laws under criminal justice system of the state. The state sets principles of punishment to control offenders and also puts limits to excess punitive control. One significant way through which it exercises control is through rules governing healthcare of imprisoned population. Prisons signify specialized settings which accommodate both medical and legal concerns. The provision of care operates within the institutional paradigm of punishment. This requires the state to negotiate adequately between goals of punishment and fulfilment of basic human rights of offenders. The present study is based on a critical analysis of prison healthcare standards in India, which include government policies and guidelines. It also demonstrates how healthcare is delivered by drawing insights from a primary study conducted in a correctional home in the state of West Bengal, India, which houses both male and female inmates. Forty women were interviewed through semi-structured interviews, followed by focus group discussions. Doctors and administrative personnel were also interviewed. Findings show how institutional practices control women through subversion of the role of doctors to prison administration. Also, poor healthcare infrastructure, unavailability of specialized services, hierarchies between personnel and inmates make prisons unlikely sites for therapeutic intervention. The paper further discusses how institutional practices foster gender-based discriminatory practices.
Towards a Framework for Embedded Weight Comparison Algorithm with Business Intelligence in the Plantation Domain
Embedded systems have emerged as important elements in various domains with extensive applications in automotive, commercial, consumer, healthcare and transportation markets, as there is emphasis on intelligent devices. On the other hand, Business Intelligence (BI) has also been extensively used in a range of applications, especially in the agriculture domain which is the area of this research. The aim of this research is to create a framework for Embedded Weight Comparison Algorithm with Business Intelligence (EWCA-BI). The weight comparison algorithm will be embedded within the plantation management system and the weighbridge system. This algorithm will be used to estimate the weight at the site and will be compared with the actual weight at the plantation. The algorithm will be used to build the necessary alerts when there is a discrepancy in the weight, thus enabling better decision making. In the current practice, data are collected from various locations in various forms. It is a challenge to consolidate data to obtain timely and accurate information for effective decision making. Adding to this, the unstable network connection leads to difficulty in getting timely accurate information. To overcome the challenges embedding is done on a portable device that will have the embedded weight comparison algorithm to also assist in data capture and synchronize data at various locations overcoming the network short comings at collection points. The EWCA-BI will provide real-time information at any given point of time, thus enabling non-latent BI reports that will provide crucial information to enable efficient operational decision making. This research has a high potential in bringing embedded system into the agriculture industry. EWCA-BI will provide BI reports with accurate information with uncompromised data using an embedded system and provide alerts, therefore, enabling effective operation management decision-making at the site.
The Opinions of Nursing Students Regarding Humanized Care through Volunteer Activities at Boromrajonani College of Nursing, Chonburi
This qualitative study aimed to describe the opinions in relation to humanized care emerging from the volunteer activities of nursing students at Boromarajonani College of Nursing, Chonburi, Thailand. One hundred and twenty-seven second-year nursing students participated in this study. The volunteer activity model was composed of preparation, implementation, and evaluation through a learning log, in which students were encouraged to write their daily activities after completing practical training at the healthcare center. The preparation content included three main categories: service minded, analytical thinking, and client participation. The preparation process took over three days that accumulates up to 20 hours only. The implementation process was held over 10 days, but with a total of 70 hours only, with participants taking part in volunteer work activities at a healthcare center. A learning log was used for evaluation and data were analyzed using content analysis. The findings were as follows. With service minded, there were two subcategories that emerged from volunteer activities, which were service minded towards patients and within themselves. There were three categories under service minded towards patients, which were rapport, compassion, and empathy service behaviors, and there were four categories under service minded within themselves, which were self-esteem, self-value, management potential, and preparedness in providing good healthcare services. In line with analytical thinking, there were two components of analytical thinking, which were analytical skill for their works and analytical thinking for themselves. There were four subcategories under analytical thinking for their works, which were evidence based thinking, real situational thinking, cause analysis thinking, and systematic thinking, respectively. There were four subcategories under analytical thinking for themselves, which were comparative between themselves, towards their clients that leads to the changing of their service behaviors, open-minded thinking, modernized thinking, and verifying both verbal and non-verbal cues. Lastly, there were three categories under participation, which were mutual rapport relationship; reconsidering client’s needs services and providing useful health care information.
Health Expenditure and its Place in Economy: The Case of Turkey
While health is a source of prosperity for individuals, it is also one of the most important determinants of economic growth for a country. Health, by increasing the productivity of labor, contributes to economic growth. Therefore, countries should give the necessary emphasis to health services. The primary aim of this study is to analyze the changes occurring in health services in Turkey by examining the developments in the sector. In this scope, the second aim of the study is to reveal the place of health expenditures in the Turkish economy. As a result of the analysis in the dataset, in which the 1999-2013 periods is considered, it was determined that some increase in health expenditures took place and that the increase in the share of health expenditures in GDP was too small. Furthermore, analysis of the results points out that in financing health expenditures, the public sector is prominent compared to the private sector.
Lean Healthcare: Barriers and Enablers in the Colombian Context
Lean philosophy has evolved over time and has been implemented both in manufacturing and services, more recently lean has been integrated in the companies of the health sector. Currently it is important to understand the successful way to implement this philosophy and try to identify barriers and enablers to the sustainability of lean healthcare. The main purpose of this research is to identify the barriers and enablers in the implementation of Lean Healthcare based on case studies of Colombian healthcare centers. In order to do so, we conducted semi-structured interviews based on a maturity model. The main results indicate that the success of Lean implementation depends on its adaptation to contextual factors. In addition, in the Colombian context were identified new factors such as organizational culture, management models, integration of the care and administrative departments and triple helix relationship.
Object Detection Based on Plane Segmentation and Features Matching for a Service Robot
With the aging of the world population and the
continuous growth in technology, service robots are more and more
explored nowadays as alternatives to healthcare givers or personal
assistants for the elderly or disabled people. Any service robot
should be capable of interacting with the human companion, receive
commands, navigate through the environment, either known or
unknown, and recognize objects. This paper proposes an approach
for object recognition based on the use of depth information and
color images for a service robot. We present a study on two of the
most used methods for object detection, where 3D data is used to
detect the position of objects to classify that are found on horizontal
surfaces. Since most of the objects of interest accessible for service
robots are on these surfaces, the proposed 3D segmentation reduces
the processing time and simplifies the scene for object recognition.
The first approach for object recognition is based on color histograms,
while the second is based on the use of the SIFT and SURF feature
descriptors. We present comparative experimental results obtained
with a real service robot.
Use of Cloud Computing and Smart Devices in Healthcare
Cloud computing can reduce the start-up expenses of implementing EHR (Electronic Health Records). However, many of the healthcare institutions are yet to implement cloud computing due to the associated privacy and security issues. In this paper, we analyze the challenges and opportunities of implementing cloud computing in healthcare. We also analyze data of over 5000 US hospitals that use Telemedicine applications. This analysis helps to understand the importance of smart phones over the desktop systems in different departments of the healthcare institutions. The wide usage of smartphones and cloud computing allows ubiquitous and affordable access to the health data by authorized persons, including patients and doctors. Cloud computing will prove to be beneficial to a majority of the departments in healthcare. Through this analysis, we attempt to understand the different healthcare departments that may benefit significantly from the implementation of cloud computing.
Health Care Waste Management Practices in Liberia: An Investigative Case Study
Healthcare waste management continues to present an
array of challenges for developing countries, and Liberia is of no
exception. There is insufficient information available regarding the
generation, handling, and disposal of health care waste. This face
serves as an impediment to healthcare management schemes. The
specific objective of this study is to present an evaluation of the
current health care management practices in Liberia. It also presented
procedures, techniques used, methods of handling, transportation, and
disposal methods of wastes as well as the quantity and composition
of health care waste. This study was conducted as an investigative
case study, covering three different health care facilities; a hospital, a
health center, and a clinic in Monrovia, Montserrado County. The
average waste generation was found to be 0-7kg per day at the clinic
and health center and 8-15kg per/day at the hospital. The composition
of the waste includes hazardous and non-hazardous waste i.e. plastic,
papers, sharps, and pathological elements etc. Nevertheless, the
investigation showed that the healthcare waste generated by the
surveyed healthcare facilities were not properly handled because of
insufficient guidelines for separate collection, and classification, and
adequate methods for storage and proper disposal of generated
wastes. This therefore indicates that there is a need for improvement
within the healthcare waste management system to improve the
Transforming Health Information from Manual to Digital (Electronic) World–Reference and Guide
Introduction: To update ourselves and understand the
concept of latest electronic formats available for Health care
providers and how it could be used and developed as per standards.
The idea is to correlate between the patients Manual Medical Records
keeping and maintaining patients Electronic Information in a Health
care setup in this world. Furthermore, this stands with adapting to the
right technology depending upon the organization and improve our
quality and quantity of Healthcare providing skills. Objective: The
concept and theory is to explain the terms of Electronic Medical
Record (EMR), Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Personal Health
Record (PHR) and selecting the best technical among the available
Electronic sources and software before implementing. It is to guide
and make sure the technology used by the end users without any
doubts and difficulties. The idea is to evaluate is to admire the uses
and barriers of EMR-EHR-PHR. Aim and Scope: The target is to
achieve the health care providers like Physicians, Nurses, Therapists,
Medical Bill reimbursements, Insurances and Government to assess
the patient’s information on easy and systematic manner without
diluting the confidentiality of patient’s information. Method: Health
Information Technology can be implemented with the help of
Organisations providing with legal guidelines and help to stand by
the health care provider. The main objective is to select the correct
embedded and affordable database management software and
generating large-scale data. The parallel need is to know how the
latest software available in the market. Conclusion: The question lies
here is implementing the Electronic information system with
healthcare providers and organization. The clinicians are the main
users of the technology and manage us to “go paperless”. The fact is
that day today changing technologically is very sound and up to date.
Basically, the idea is to tell how to store the data electronically safe
and secure. All three exemplifies the fact that an electronic format
has its own benefit as well as barriers.
Improving 99mTc-tetrofosmin Myocardial Perfusion Images by Time Subtraction Technique
Quantitative measurement of myocardium perfusion is possible with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) using a semiconductor detector. However, accumulation of 99mTc-tetrofosmin in the liver may make it difficult to assess that accurately in the inferior myocardium. Our idea is to reduce the high accumulation in the liver by using dynamic SPECT imaging and a technique called time subtraction. We evaluated the performance of a new SPECT system with a cadmium-zinc-telluride solid-state semi- conductor detector (Discovery NM 530c; GE Healthcare). Our system acquired list-mode raw data over 10 minutes for a typical patient. From the data, ten SPECT images were reconstructed, one for every minute of acquired data. Reconstruction with the semiconductor detector was based on an implementation of a 3-D iterative Bayesian reconstruction algorithm. We studied 20 patients with coronary artery disease (mean age 75.4 ± 12.1 years; range 42-86; 16 males and 4 females). In each subject, 259 MBq of 99mTc-tetrofosmin was injected intravenously. We performed both a phantom and a clinical study using dynamic SPECT. An approximation to a liver-only image is obtained by reconstructing an image from the early projections during which time the liver accumulation dominates (0.5~2.5 minutes SPECT image-5~10 minutes SPECT image). The extracted liver-only image is then subtracted from a later SPECT image that shows both the liver and the myocardial uptake (5~10 minutes SPECT image-liver-only image). The time subtraction of liver was possible in both a phantom and the clinical study. The visualization of the inferior myocardium was improved. In past reports, higher accumulation in the myocardium due to the overlap of the liver is un-diagnosable. Using our time subtraction method, the image quality of the 99mTc-tetorofosmin myocardial SPECT image is considerably improved.