Lost-Cost Health

Editor's Note

This thematic issue majorly introduces the “Haiyun Project” and key progress in low-cost health, including low-cost information testing, development on mobile medical chip, research on brachytherapy robotics and body sensor network, and so no. Hope you will enjoy it.

Guest Editor

Lei Wang, Professor

Director, Center for Medical Robtics and Minimally Invasive Surgical Devices;

Deputy Director, the Institute of Biomedical and Health Engineering, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, China.


Professor Wang’s research centers on body sensor network, especially focusing on wearable medical devices, advanced AI methods and micro-device innovation in  surgical robots. He has extensive work experience in biomedical engineering translational research and discipline construction.


Jiancheng Lv, Professor

Vice-President, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology(SIAT), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen, China.

Prof. Lv’s research includes precision mechanical structure design and product development.

Article List

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  • Abstract List
  • 1  Implementation of Integrated Diagnostic Terminals and Cloud Computing Platform for Low-cost Healthcare Industry
    FAN Jian-ping ZHANG Yuan-ting WANG Lei
    2012, 1(2):4-9. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207001
    [Abstract](397) [HTML](0) [PDF 1.09 M](1693)
    Improving healthcare to rural Chinese communities is vital for promoting health equity in today's China. Chinese Academy of Sciences plays a predominant role in providing advanced technical solutions. The elaborated Integrated Diagnostic Terminals and Cloud Computing Platforms have made significant social impacts as well as they are of benefit for incubating the domestic low-cost healthcare industry.
    2  Discussion on Improving the Resource Allocation, Efficiency and Quality in Providing Healthcare Services in China's Rural Areas
    YANG Guo-zhong
    2012, 1(2):10-12. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207002
    [Abstract](453) [HTML](0) [PDF 626.01 K](1297)
    The development of healthcare services in China is an important premise for the progress of harmonious socialistic society and development of the New Countryside. The problems, related to the cost of healthcare services are nowadays a challenge not only in China but also worldwide. The difference among countries is only who covers the healthcare expenses – the individual himself, the society or the government. It is also proven that adequacy of investments is a complicated matter, and the problem cannot be simply solved by increasing the capital investments. Our group realized that the aforementioned issue is a global problem related to the entire healthcare system in rural areas, and it is not possible to provide operational guidelines and policies in a short period of time. The main practical problem faced now is the deployment of specialized healthcare equipment for rural population. This paper analyses the existing situations and presents some suggestions.
    3  Early Diagnosis Algorithms for ICU Emergencies
    LI Kai-shi FAN Jian-ping ZHOU Feng-feng
    2012, 1(2):13-19. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207003
    [Abstract](445) [HTML](0) [PDF 737.45 K](1432)
    The vital signs of patients in ICU are usually very unstable. This requires immediate assistance from medical personnel. Due to the limited resources, not all the emergencies were handled in time, leading to unexpected fatal outcomes. Most cases like these can be avoided, if they are predicted and the medical assistance is provided before the emergencies occur. Common emergencies include sudden death, septicemia, lung infection, acute hypotension, and organ failure. Current models based on the monitored physiological data can provide sensitive predictions for some emergency types. There are three types of commonly used data, i.e. static data, event data and time series data. The static data is easily obtained, but leads to less accurate predictions than the event data and time series data do. It is expected, that the interest for collecting and processing event data and time series data will grow in the near future.
    4  Research, Design and Implementation of a System-on-Chip Solution for Mobile Healthcare
    YAO Ai-ping ZHANG Jin-yong WANG Lei
    2012, 1(2):20-25. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207004
    [Abstract](577) [HTML](0) [PDF 825.36 K](1447)
    The combination of portable medical instruments, wireless communication technologies and Internet makes the growth of mobile medical applications possible. Taking into account the specific demands of physiological parameter detecting in mobile environment, the design of mobile medical applications faces a number of requirements, such as achieving low power consumption, low-frequency operation and low noise emissions. The present paper covers four aspects of our research work, i.e. implementation of fully differential analog front-end, power management, human body communication, and on-chip integration of digital signal co-processor. The System-on-Chip design is based on the 3-L principle: Low-frequency, Low-noise and Low-power.
    5  A Review of the Methods for Non-Contact, Low-cost Acquisition of Physiological Information based on Photoplethysmographic Imaging
    LIU He WANG Ya-dong WANG Lei
    2012, 1(2):26-30. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207005
    [Abstract](430) [HTML](0) [PDF 635.83 K](1566)
    In recent years, there has been increasing interest in low-cost, non-contact and pervasive methods for measuring physiological information, such as heart rate (HR), respiratory rate, heart rate variability (HRV) and oxyhemoglobin saturation. The conventional methods, such as wet adhesive Ag/AgCl electrodes for HR and HRV, the capnograph device for respiratory status, and pulse oximetry for oxyhemoglobin saturation could provide excellent signals but are expensive and inconvenient. A method to monitor physiological information based on photoplethysmographic imaging offers a new means for health monitoring. Blood volume can be indirectly assessed in terms of blood velocity, blood flow rate and blood pressure, which, in turn, can reflect changes in physiological parameters. Changes in blood volume can be determined from the spectra of light reflected from or transmitted through body tissues. Images of an area of the skin surface are consecutively captured with the color camera of a computer or smartphone and, by processing and analyzing the light signals, physiological information such as HR, respiratory rate, HRV and oxyhemoglobin saturation can be acquired. In this paper, we review the latest developments in using photoplethysmographic imaging for non-contact health monitoring and discuss the challenges and future directions for this field.
    6  Body Sensor Network for Daily Healthcare
    GUO Yan-wei ZHAO Guo-ru HUANG Bang-yu
    2012, 1(2):31-34. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207006
    [Abstract](515) [HTML](0) [PDF 747.19 K](1798)
    Body Sensor Network (BSN) incorporates biomedical engineering technology and wireless sensor network and has characteristics such as miniaturized size, low power consumption, easy and safe operation. It can monitor human physiological information and movement information in real-time and provide versatile vital quantitative information. This paper primarily describes BSN and its application in mobile healthcare, such as human gesture acquisition, fall detection, and recovery training. We also have implemented a body inertial-sensing network for gait analysis of hemiplegic patients.
    7  Research on Brachytherapy Robotics
    XING Lei CHEN Yan GU Jia NIU Tian-ye RONG Yi WANG Le-jing WEN Ning XIE Yao-qin YU Shao-de ZHENG Bo ZHENG Guo-yan ZHOU Shou-jun
    2012, 1(2):35-39. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207007
    [Abstract](5498) [HTML](0) [PDF 726.73 K](2368)
    Medical robotics has become a popular and cutting-edge technology, with increasing importance on the medical service market. Brachytherapy robotics integrates brachytherapy technology and image-guided therapy technology. This paper provides introduction to the brachytherapy technology and image-guided therapy, and then discusses brachytherapy robotic systems. Future perspectives are given at the end.
    8  SOA Modeling of Clinical Trial Information for Collaborative Cancer Research
    SUN Ming-rui ZANG Tian-yi Nadir K.Salih
    2012, 1(2):40-45. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207008
    [Abstract](611) [HTML](0) [PDF 854.33 K](1746)
    The open-standards cancer informatics is being developed to address the challenges posed by modern cancer clinical trials. In this paper, a service-oriented software paradigm is presented to derive clinical trial information management systems for collaborative cancer research across multiple institutions. Our proposal is founded on a combination of a clinical trial (Meta) model and WSRF (Web Services Resource Framework)-based SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture), and is evaluated for use in early phase trials. Although primarily targeted at cancer research, our approach is readily applicable to other areas for which a similar information model is available.
    9  Elaboration of Microfluidic Biochip for Cancer Cell Gene Expression Analysis
    ZHANG Bao-yue FENG Hong-tao SHU Wei-liang CHEN Yan
    2012, 1(2):46-49. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207009
    [Abstract](550) [HTML](0) [PDF 671.14 K](1253)
    Microfluidic devices provide powerful platforms for single-cell transcriptome analysis for many advantages such as highly parallel processing and low consumption of reagents. We have elaborated an integrated system with individual controller for effective single-cell transcriptome analysis. Inside this integrated microfluidic device, the cells are individually manipulated and isolated in an array using micro sieve structures, then transferred into different nanoliter reaction chambers for parallel processing of single-cell transcriptome analysis. The result demonstrates that this platform has the potential for assessment of genetic stability in cancer diagnosis.
    10  Matching Technique of Vascular Segments in Coronarographic Image By Means of Chain Code
    GU Jia
    2012, 1(2):50-54. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207010
    [Abstract](393) [HTML](0) [PDF 979.98 K](1475)
    A method aimed at the formation of intermediate and high level primitives in angiographies, i.e. vessel segments and branches, is reported. The pairing of vessel contours and centrelines is performed using attributed string matching techniques. After a brief review of string-matching technique, some key elements involved in these algorithms for imaging applications: chain encoding, cost function, normalized edit distance are proposed and analyzed. Their performances are compared on simulated data by means of subjective and objective criteria and further evaluated on coronarographic images.
    11  Using Total-Variation Regularization for Deformable Registration of the Lungs
    XIE Yao-qin WANG Li-li QI En
    2012, 1(2):55-60. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207011
    [Abstract](819) [HTML](0) [PDF 1.01 M](1463)
    A prerequisite of thoracic radiotherapy planning is the accurate modeling of respiratory motion of thoracic structures. While the emergence of 4D imaging techniques makes it possible to visualize the anatomic changes during the respiratory process, attaining accurate voxel-to-voxel correspondence between different breathing phases remains to be a challenging task. We mainly study the deformable registration in thoracic radiotherapy, using the fast free-form deformable (FFD) registration strategy with total-variation regularization in consideration of the discontinuous movements of the involved anatomic structures. We describe the registration problem as minimizing an energy function that includes both similarity and smoothness metrics. By using calculus of variations, the minimization problem was represented as a set of nonlinear Euler-Lagrange partial differential equations (PDEs). Finite difference scheme, tri-linear interpolation and Newton iteration were used to solve the PDE, figuring out the displacement field. The performance of the proposed technique was demonstrated by using a 2D thoracic image, a 3D CT volume of lungs and three 3D MRI volumes of fetus. A comparison with the Levenberg-Marquardt least square optimization and 2norm regularization method showed that the registration accuracy was markedly improved, and our technology can handle the registration including organs' discontinuous movements better. Combining the properties of preserving the image edges of TV norm and huge degrees of freedom (DOF) of FFD, our method is fast, accurate and fully automatic. Given the increased interest in 4D thoracic radiation therapy, the deformable registration method described here should find useful application in future clinical practice.
    12  A Primal-Dual Algorithm for OCT Image Denoising
    LI Ji-zhou YANG Yu-fei WANG Li-ke ZHENG Yong-ping ZHOU Yong-jin
    2012, 1(2):61-64. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207012
    [Abstract](1042) [HTML](0) [PDF 1.01 M](1575)
    Considering the OCT image noise characteristics and the general structure of the saddle point, this paper proposes a primal-dual algorithm for OCT image noise reduction. After incorporating the log of the speckle noise model, the primal-dual structure is used, which is easy to implement. From our experiments, this algorithm is compared with the mean filter and semisoft shrinkage methods, and it shows that noises in OCT images were removed and important details were preserved simultaneously. The proposed algorithm reduced the speckle noise in OCT images effectively and improved the quality of the images. At the same time, the wide applicability of the proposed algorithm was demonstrated on image segmentation, target recognition and motion estimation.
    13  Solution for ECG Signal Processing based on a Dedicated FFT Circuit
    LUO Yu ZHANG Feng-juan NIE Ze-dong
    2012, 1(2):65-68. DOI: 10.12146/j.issn.2095-3135.201207013
    [Abstract](526) [HTML](0) [PDF 709.01 K](1574)
    Electromagnetic Interference induced by 50/60 Hz power line is a major problem in physiological measurements. Conventional methods using embedded software are time-consuming and require a great amount of calculations. In this paper we present a digital filter based on hardware acceleration. The design was based on ASIC that incorporated a reconfigurable Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) unit, a licensed ARM7TDMI IP hardcore and several peripheral IP blocks. Comparing with other methods, this design achieved satisfactory results in the low-frequency range, which is suitable for physiological signals acquisitions. Our method is remarkably faster than conventional methods. The simulation and experimental results confirmed the accuracy and efficiency of the proposed method.

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