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Special Issue "Healthcare Circular Economy: Opportunities and Challenges"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Economics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022 | Viewed by 8185

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Abdoulmohammad Gholamzadeh Chofreh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Sustainable Process Integration Laboratory – SPIL, NETME Centre, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology - VUT Brno, Technická 2896/2, 616 69 Brno, Czech Republic
Interests: sustainable enterprise resource planning (S-ERP) systems; sustainable development; sustainable business models; strategic management; integrated information systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Syed Abdul Rehman Khan
E-Mail
Guest Editor
1. School of Management and Engineering, Xuzhou University of Technology, Xuzhou 221006, China
2. Department of Management Sciences, ILMA University, Karachi 75190, Pakistan
Interests: logistics; supply chain; green supply chain; green logistics; economics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The idea of a circular economy suggests a path to save environmental natural resources, sustainable growth, decent jobs, and good health (Abad-Segura, González-Zamar, and Belmonte-Ureña, 2020; Lin, 2020). In addition, the transition from the linear economy to the circular economy is expected to support and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Corona, Shen, Reike, Rosales Carreón, and Worrell, 2019; Hanumante, Shastri, and Hoadley, 2019), especially the 12th goal of SDGs that focused on the production and consumption. A transition to the circular economy offers several opportunities to the healthcare benefits and contribution to the achieve various goals of sustainable development concept (SDGs) (Pieroni, McAloone, and Pigosso, 2019; Saidani, Yannou, Leroy, Cluzel, and Kendall, 2019). The benefits would be the direct and indirect health care sector savings and decrease the environmental impacts of consumption and production.

The understanding of the health impacts and their transition to the circular economy, mainly in terms of water reuse, distributional effects, chemicals of concern, and electronic and electrical waste, demonstrate significant gaps in both literature and practical views. Therefore, the global strategies, policy discussions, and action plans for regional and national for a circular economy should increase the coverage and better integrate the risks and benefits of health. In this regard, the healthcare sector would actively be involved in the transition process of the circular economy. However, heretofore, the health implication coverage for transiting to a circular economy is limited.

According to the above discussions and the current gap in the literature review to the transition of health to the circular economy, this Special Issue aims to address the transition of the health context. Therefore, in order to understand the importance of the transition of health to the circular economy, in this Special Issue, we are interested in sharing the state‐of‐the‐art literature in health’s circular concept and establishing a reliable connection to the sustainable development context.

Dr. Abdoulmohammad Gholamzadeh Chofreh
Dr. Abbas Mardani
Dr. Syed Abdul Rehman Khan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Retrospective Literature Review of Eating Disorder Research (1990–2021): Application of Bibliometrics and Topical Trends
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7710; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137710 - 23 Jun 2022
Viewed by 225
Abstract
Despite the growing importance of eating disorders in society and academic literature, only a few bibliometric review studies using bibliometric analysis were available. Hence, this study aimed to explore and uncover hidden research topics and patterns in articles in terms of eating disorders [...] Read more.
Despite the growing importance of eating disorders in society and academic literature, only a few bibliometric review studies using bibliometric analysis were available. Hence, this study aimed to explore and uncover hidden research topics and patterns in articles in terms of eating disorders over the last 30 years. In total, 4111 articles on eating disorders were analyzed using bibliometrics, network analyses, and structural topic modeling as the basis of mixed methods. In addition to general statistics about the journal, several key research topics, such as eating disorder (ED) treatment, ED symptoms, factors triggering ED, family related factors, eating behaviors, and social factors, were found based on topic correlations. This study found the key research variables that are frequently studied with EDs, such as AN, BN, BED, and ARFID. This study may help clinicians comprehend important risk factors associated with EDs. Moreover, the findings about key ED research topics and their association can be helpful for future studies to construct a comprehensive ED research framework. To our knowledge, this is the first study to use topic modeling in an academic journal on EDs and examine the diversity in ED research over 30 years of published research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Circular Economy: Opportunities and Challenges)
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Article
Big Data-Enabled Solutions Framework to Overcoming the Barriers to Circular Economy Initiatives in Healthcare Sector
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7513; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147513 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
Ever-changing conditions and emerging new challenges affect the ability of the healthcare sector to survive with the current system, and to maintain its processes effectively. In the healthcare sector, the conservation of the natural resources is being obstructed by insufficient infrastructure for managing [...] Read more.
Ever-changing conditions and emerging new challenges affect the ability of the healthcare sector to survive with the current system, and to maintain its processes effectively. In the healthcare sector, the conservation of the natural resources is being obstructed by insufficient infrastructure for managing residual waste resulting from single-use medical materials, increased energy use, and its environmental burden. In this context, circularity and sustainability concepts have become essential in healthcare to meliorate the sector’s negative impacts on the environment. The main aim of this study is to identify the barriers related to circular economy (CE) in the healthcare sector, apply big data analytics in healthcare, and provide solutions to these barriers. The contribution of this research is the detailed examination of the current healthcare literature about CE adaptation, and a proposal for a big data-enabled solutions framework to barriers to circularity, using fuzzy best-worst Method (BWM) and fuzzy VIKOR. Based on the findings, managerial, policy, and theoretical implementations are recommended to support sustainable development initiatives in the healthcare sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Circular Economy: Opportunities and Challenges)
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Article
A Novel Image Processing Approach to Enhancement and Compression of X-ray Images
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6724; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136724 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
At present, there is an increase in the capacity of data generated and stored in the medical area. Thus, for the efficient handling of these extensive data, the compression methods need to be re-explored by considering the algorithm’s complexity. To reduce the redundancy [...] Read more.
At present, there is an increase in the capacity of data generated and stored in the medical area. Thus, for the efficient handling of these extensive data, the compression methods need to be re-explored by considering the algorithm’s complexity. To reduce the redundancy of the contents of the image, thus increasing the ability to store or transfer information in optimal form, an image processing approach needs to be considered. So, in this study, two compression techniques, namely lossless compression and lossy compression, were applied for image compression, which preserves the image quality. Moreover, some enhancing techniques to increase the quality of a compressed image were employed. These methods were investigated, and several comparison results are demonstrated. Finally, the performance metrics were extracted and analyzed based on state-of-the-art methods. PSNR, MSE, and SSIM are three performance metrics that were used for the sample medical images. Detailed analysis of the measurement metrics demonstrates better efficiency than the other image processing techniques. This study helps to better understand these strategies and assists researchers in selecting a more appropriate technique for a given use case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Circular Economy: Opportunities and Challenges)
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Article
Simulation and Improvement of Patients’ Workflow in Heart Clinics during COVID-19 Pandemic Using Timed Coloured Petri Nets
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8577; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228577 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1401
Abstract
The COVID-19 epidemic has spread across the world within months and creates multiple challenges for healthcare providers. Patients with cardiovascular disease represent a vulnerable population when suffering from COVID-19. Most hospitals have been facing difficulties in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and there [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 epidemic has spread across the world within months and creates multiple challenges for healthcare providers. Patients with cardiovascular disease represent a vulnerable population when suffering from COVID-19. Most hospitals have been facing difficulties in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and there is a need to minimise patient flow time so that staff health is less endangered, and more patients can be treated. This article shows how to use simulation techniques to prepare hospitals for a virus outbreak. The initial simulation of the current processes of the heart clinic first identified the bottlenecks. It confirmed that the current workflow is not optimal for COVID-19 patients; therefore, to reduce waiting time, three optimisation scenarios are proposed. In the best situation, the discrete-event simulation of the second scenario led to a 62.3% reduction in patient waiting time. This is one of the few studies that show how hospitals can use workflow modelling using timed coloured Petri nets to manage healthcare systems in practice. This technique would be valuable in these challenging times as the health of staff, and other patients are at risk from the nosocomial transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Circular Economy: Opportunities and Challenges)
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Review

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Review
More Is Not Enough: A Deeper Understanding of the COVID-19 Impacts on Healthcare, Energy and Environment Is Crucial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020684 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3387
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has magnified the insufficient readiness of humans in dealing with such an unexpected occurrence. During the pandemic, sustainable development goals have been hindered severely. Various observations and lessons have been highlighted to emphasise local impacts on a [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has magnified the insufficient readiness of humans in dealing with such an unexpected occurrence. During the pandemic, sustainable development goals have been hindered severely. Various observations and lessons have been highlighted to emphasise local impacts on a single region or single sector, whilst the holistic and coupling impacts are rarely investigated. This study overviews the structural changes and spatial heterogeneities of changes in healthcare, energy and environment, and offers perspectives for the in-depth understanding of the COVID-19 impacts on the three sectors, in particular the cross-sections of them. Practical observations are summarised through the broad overview. A novel concept of the healthcare–energy–environment nexus under climate change constraints is proposed and discussed, to illustrate the relationships amongst the three sectors and further analyse the dynamics of the attention to healthcare, energy and environment in view of decision-makers. The society is still on the way to understanding the impacts of the whole episode of COVID-19 on healthcare, energy, environment and beyond. The raised nexus thinking could contribute to understanding the complicated COVID-19 impacts and guiding sustainable future planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Circular Economy: Opportunities and Challenges)
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