Abstract: Smartphone-based devices and applications (SBDAs) with cost effectiveness and remote sensing are the most promising and effective means of delivering mobile healthcare (mHealthcare). Several SBDAs have been commercialized for the personalized monitoring and/or management of basic physiological parameters, such as blood pressure, weight, body analysis, pulse rate, electrocardiograph, blood glucose, blood glucose saturation, sleeping and physical activity. With advances in Bluetooth technology, software, cloud computing and remote sensing, SBDAs provide real-time on-site analysis and telemedicine opportunities in remote areas. This scenario is of utmost importance for developing countries, where the number of smartphone users is about 70% of 6.8 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide with limited access to basic healthcare service. The technology platform facilitates patient-doctor communication and the patients to effectively manage and keep track of their medical conditions. Besides tremendous healthcare cost savings, SBDAs are very critical for the monitoring and effective management of emerging epidemics and food contamination outbreaks. The next decade will witness pioneering advances and increasing applications of SBDAs in this exponentially growing field of mHealthcare. This article provides a critical review of commercial SBDAs that are being widely used for personalized healthcare monitoring and management.
Abstract: Gastric varices that arise secondary to the splenic vein occlusion can result in gastrointestinal hemorrhaging. Endoscopic color Doppler ultrasonography (ECDUS) was performed in 16 patients with gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion. This study retrospectively evaluated the role of ECDUS in the diagnosis of gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion. Thirteen patients had co-existing pancreatic diseases: 8 with chronic pancreatitis, 4 with cancer of the pancreatic body or tail and 1 with severe acute pancreatitis. Of the remaining 3 patients, 1 had myeloproliferative disease, 1 had advanced gastric cancer, and the third had splenic vein occlusion due to an obscure cause. The endoscopic findings of gastric varices were: variceal form (F) classified as enlarged tortuous (F2) in 12 cases and large, coil-shaped (F3) in 4 cases, and positive for erosion or red color sign of the variceal surface in 4 cases and negative in 12 cases. ECDUS color flow images of gastric variceal flow clearly depicted a round fundal region at the center, with varices expanding to the curvatura ventriculi major of the gastric body in all 16 cases. The velocities of F3 type gastric varices were significantly higher than those of the F2 type. The wall thickness of varices positive for erosion or red color sign was significantly less than the negative cases. I conclude that ECDUS color flow images of gastric variceal flow depicted specific findings of gastric varices secondary to splenic vein occlusion at the round fundal region at the center, with varices expanding to the curvatura ventriculi major of the gastric body.
Abstract: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a real-time optical imaging technique that is similar in principle to ultrasonography, but employs light instead of sound waves and allows depth-resolved images with near-microscopic resolution. Endoscopic OCT allows the evaluation of broad-field and subsurface areas and can be used ancillary to standard endoscopy, narrow band imaging, chromoendoscopy, magnification endoscopy, and confocal endomicroscopy. This review article will provide an overview of the clinical utility of endoscopic OCT in the gastrointestinal tract and of recent achievements using state-of-the-art endoscopic 3D-OCT imaging systems.
Abstract: In recent years, studies using ultrasound energy for cancer treatment have advanced, thus revealing the enhancement of drug effects by employing low-intensity ultrasound. Furthermore, anti-angiogenesis against tumors is now attracting attention as a new cancer treatment. Therefore, we focused on the biological effects and the enhancement of drug effects brought by this low-intensity ultrasound energy and reported on the efficacy against a uterine sarcoma model, by implementing the basic studies, for the first time, including the concomitant use of low-intensity ultrasound irradiation, as an expected new antiangiogenic therapy for cancer treatment. Furthermore, we have succeeded in simultaneously utilizing low-intensity ultrasound in both diagnosis and treatment, upon real time evaluation of the anti-tumor effects and anti-angiogenesis effects using color Doppler ultrasound imaging. Although the biological effects of ultrasound have not yet been completely clarified, transient stomas were formed (Sonoporation) in cancer cells irradiated by low-intensity ultrasound and it is believed that the penetration effect of drugs is enhanced due to the drug being more charged inside the cell through these stomas. Furthermore, it has become clear that the concomitant therapy of anti-angiogenesis drugs and low-intensity ultrasound blocks the angiogenic factor VEGF produced by cancer cells, inhibits the induction of circulating endothelial progenitor cells in the bone marrow, and expedites angiogenic inhibitor TSP-1. Based on research achievements in recent years, we predict that the current diagnostic device for color Doppler ultrasound imaging will be improved in the near future, bringing with it the arrival of an age of “low-intensity ultrasound treatment that simultaneously enables diagnosis and treatment of cancer in real time.”
Abstract: Blood glucose monitoring is considered the gold standard for diabetes diagnostics and self-monitoring. However, the underlying process is invasive and highly uncomfortable for patients. Furthermore, the process must be completed several times a day to successfully manage the disease, which greatly contributes to the massive need for non-invasive monitoring options. Human serums, such as saliva, sweat, breath, urine and tears, contain traces of glucose and are easily accessible. Therefore, they allow minimal to non-invasive glucose monitoring, making them attractive alternatives to blood measurements. Numerous developments regarding noninvasive glucose detection techniques have taken place over the years, but recently, they have gained recognition as viable alternatives, due to the advent of nanotechnology-based sensors. Such sensors are optimal for testing the amount of glucose in serums other than blood thanks to their enhanced sensitivity and selectivity ranges, in addition to their size and compatibility with electronic circuitry. These nanotechnology approaches are rapidly evolving, and new techniques are constantly emerging. Hence, this manuscript aims to review current and future nanomaterial-based technologies utilizing saliva, sweat, breath and tears as a diagnostic medium for diabetes monitoring.
Abstract: Hybrid clinical imaging is an emerging technology, which improves disease diagnosis by combining already existing technologies. With the combination of high-resolution morphological imaging, i.e., MRI/CT, and high-sensitive molecular detection offered by SPECT/PET/Optical, physicians can detect disease progression at an early stage and design patient-specific treatments. To fully exploit the possibilities of hybrid imaging a hybrid probe compatible with each imaging technology is required. Here, we present a hybrid nanoprobe for triple modality MR/SPECT/Fluorescence imaging. Our imaging agent is comprised of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs), labeled with 99mTc and an Alexa fluorophore (AF), together forming 99mTc-AF-SPIONs. The agent was stable in human serum, and, after subcutaneous injectionin the hind paw of Wistar rats, showed to be highly specific by accumulating in the sentinel lymph node. All three modalities clearly visualized the imaging agent. Our results show that a single imaging agent can be used for hybrid imaging. The use of a single hybrid contrast agent permits simultaneous hybrid imaging and, more conventionally, allow for single modality imaging at different time points. For example, a hybrid contrast agent enables pre-operative planning, intra-operative guidance, and post-operative evaluation with the same contrast agent.