Special Issue "Selected Papers from 2019 IEEE Eurasia Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Healthcare and Sustainability (IEEE ECBIOS 2019)"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Teen­-Hang Meen
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Guest Editor
Department of Electronic Engineering, National Formosa University, Yunlin 632, Taiwan
Interests: photovoltaic device; dye-sensitized solar cells; nanotechnology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Yusuke Matsumoto
Website
Guest Editor
Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, 1432-1 Horinouchi, Hachioji-city Tokyo 192-0392, Japan
Interests: computerization of pharmacy business; drug therapy for renal excretory drugs; eradication therapy of Hericobacter pylori
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Kuei-Shu Hsu
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Recreation and Health Care Management, Chia Nan University of Pharmacy & Science, Tainan City, Taiwan.
Interests: virtual reality; automation control; space design
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

2019 IEEE Eurasia Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Healthcare and Sustainability (IEEE ECBIOS 2019) will be held in Okinawa, Japan on May 31~June 3, 2019, and it will provide a unified communication platform for researchers in the topics of Biomedical Engineering, Healthcare, and Sustainability. Recently, Healthcare has been undergoing a sector-wide transformation thanks to advances in computing, networking technologies, big data, and artificial intelligence. Healthcare is not only changing from reactive and hospital-centered to preventive and personalized but is also changing from disease-focused to wellbeing-centered. Healthcare systems, as well as fundamental medicine research, are becoming smarter and more enabled in Biomedical Engineering. Furthermore, with cutting-edge sensors and computer technologies, healthcare delivery could also yield a better efficiency, higher quality, and lower cost.

This Special Issue on “Selected papers from 2019 IEEE Eurasia Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Healthcare and Sustainability (IEEE ECBIOS 2019)” is expected to select excellent papers presented in IEEE ECBIOS 2019 about the topics of environmental health sciences and public health. It will link several scientific disciplines, including biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, ecology, engineering, epidemiology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, oncology, pathology, pharmacology, and toxicology, in an integrated fashion, to address critical issues related to environmental quality and public health. We invite investigators to contribute original research articles as well as review articles to this Special Issue. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Environmental toxicology, mutagenesis, and carcinogenesis;
  • Environmental epidemiology and disease control;
  • Health risk assessment and management;
  • Ecotoxicology and ecological risk assessment and management;
  • Natural resources damage assessment;
  • Environmental chemistry and computational modeling;
  • Environmental policy and management;
  • Environmental engineering and biotechnology;
  • Emerging issues in environmental health and diseases;
  • Environmental education and public health.

Prof. Teen­Hang Meen
Prof. Dr. Yusuke Matsumoto
Prof. Kuei-Shu Hsu
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 papers will be 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 2300 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.

Keywords

  • Environmental toxicology, mutagenesis, and carcinogenesis
  • Environmental epidemiology and disease control
  • Environmental chemistry and computational modeling
  • Environmental engineering and biotechnology
  • Emerging issues in environmental health and diseases
  • Environmental education and public health

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Selected Papers from 2019 IEEE Eurasia Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Healthcare and Sustainability (IEEE ECBIOS 2019)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082738 - 16 Apr 2020
Abstract
Recently, healthcare has undergone a sector-wide transformation thanks to advances in computing, networking technologies, big data, and artificial intelligence. Healthcare is not only changing from being reactive and hospital-centered to preventive and personalized, but it is also changing from being disease focused to [...] Read more.
Recently, healthcare has undergone a sector-wide transformation thanks to advances in computing, networking technologies, big data, and artificial intelligence. Healthcare is not only changing from being reactive and hospital-centered to preventive and personalized, but it is also changing from being disease focused to well-being centered. Healthcare systems, as well as fundamental medicine research, are becoming smarter and enabled in biomedical engineering. This special issue on “Selected Papers from 2019 IEEE Eurasia Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Healthcare, and Sustainability (IEEE ECBIOS 2019)” selected nine excellent papers from 160 papers presented at IEEE ECBIOS 2019 on the topics of environmental health sciences and public health. Our aim is to encourage scientists to publish their experimental and theoretical research to promote scientific predictions and impact assessments of global change and development. Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
An Indoor Gardening Planting Table Game Design to Improve the Cognitive Performance of the Elderly with Mild and Moderate Dementia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1483; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051483 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to improve the overall cognitive function of patients with dementia in Yunlin County, Taiwan, by designing an indoor gardening flower combination game suitable for home and maintenance institutions. This paper uses qualitative research (participatory interviews, case studies, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to improve the overall cognitive function of patients with dementia in Yunlin County, Taiwan, by designing an indoor gardening flower combination game suitable for home and maintenance institutions. This paper uses qualitative research (participatory interviews, case studies, and contextual observation methods in the demand exploration phase) and quantitative research (experimental methods and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Barthel Index questionnaires in the product verification phase). This study adopted a four-stage service design: demand exploration, demand definition, design implementation, and product verification. In the stage of demand exploration, 14 elderly people with mild or moderate dementia were interviewed, and two cases were selected for two in-depth observations of horticultural treatment activities. Common obstacles and potential demand points were listed after integration: (1) The safety of elderly patients with dementia can be improved by employing horticultural treatment activities transferred from outdoors to indoors; (2) the objects and facilities used in horticultural activities should be improved to reduce the attention burden of elderly patients with dementia; (3) the elements of reminiscence or familiarity of the mentally handicapped elderly should be increased; (4) the process of gardening and planting can be used by two or four people to improve social and language skills. According to this study, an indoor gardening planting table game was developed. This game includes a group of flower combination prompt cards (including five flower groups: camellia, cherry blossom, chrysanthemum, kapok, and lotus), a group of color and number prompt rings, and a flower base, which provides planting of up to 25 flowers and is matched with the number prompt color rings; then, the combined flowers are planted into the base. In the final experience experiment, 7 participants with free movement of the upper limbs and mild or moderate dementia were selected by the MMSE and Barthel Index to participate in a 5-week experiment. After using a combination of progressive low-level, medium-level, and high-level flower combination tasks, the results showed that the overall performance of the elderly patients with mild or moderate dementia in the MMSE test was improved by the indoor gardening planting table game. However, the treatment effect-size presented a low effect magnitude. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Relationship between the Third Places and the Level of Happiness for Seniors in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041172 - 12 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Taiwan has actively promoted the concept of "successful aging" in recent years. The Executive Yuan drafted the White Paper for Aged Society, which set the primary goal to enable seniors to deal with daily life more independently. Although ‘third places’ enable seniors [...] Read more.
Taiwan has actively promoted the concept of "successful aging" in recent years. The Executive Yuan drafted the White Paper for Aged Society, which set the primary goal to enable seniors to deal with daily life more independently. Although ‘third places’ enable seniors to live independently, the third places that Taiwanese seniors like are not well understood. Consequently, by investigating third places, this study will investigate the environment of achieving successful aging and happiness among seniors. This study uses the questionnaire survey, and the data of this study were collected from October to November 2018 in Taichung City Central District. A questionnaire survey was conducted in several administrative agencies and participants were selected by random sampling among the over-55-year-old citizens who were already retired. An estimate of 90% confidence limits with 5% marginal error gave us a sample size of 257. This study finally received 200 efficient samples. The women’s top five choices of third places are the traditional market, supermarket, restaurant, daily necessities shop, and coffee shop. The men’s top five choices of third places are the traditional market, supermarket, daily necessities shop, restaurant, and a friend’s house. For seniors familiar with the concept of third places, the more often they go to third places, the higher happiness they achieve. This result investigates the importance of having awareness of third places for seniors. Therefore, we should encourage them to go to third places and engage in social activities frequently to achieve successful aging. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Process of Constructing a Health Tourism Destination Index
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4579; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224579 - 19 Nov 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The purpose of the study is to identify a set of key indicators with weightings for health tourism destinations by using an advanced analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method, derived from the official, academic, and professional opinions of the experts. The AHP method allocated [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study is to identify a set of key indicators with weightings for health tourism destinations by using an advanced analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method, derived from the official, academic, and professional opinions of the experts. The AHP method allocated weightings to the evaluation criteria selected by the fifteen experts. After expert evaluations were conducted, the three dimensions and eleven sub-dimensions of the initial health tourism destination were obtained as follows: (1) special demands and indications—medical care, health promotion, and tourism and leisure; (2) natural environment—climate, air, water, and light; (3) leisure activities and general demands—sports, therapeutic activities, interactions with animals and plants, and diet. The results revealed that the dimensions of special demands and indications were given the most attention and that the sub-dimensions of sports promotion were the highest ranked by expert groups. The official and academic opinions suggested that health tourism destinations should focus on special demands and indications, while professionals tended to consider the natural environment as a primary concern. In particular, they considered that good air quality can help people release pressure, relax, activate lymphocytes, improve immune function, and enhance disease immunity. The health tourism destination index can contribute to the overall strategic planning process by identifying improvements in activities and enhancing competitiveness in health tourism management by using benchmarking to further improve tourists’ experience and satisfaction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Drama Therapy Counseling as Mental Health Care of College Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193560 - 23 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
(1) Background: This study aims to apply drama therapy to a counseling group to address the mental health problems of college students in Taiwan due to the increasingly serious psychological problems that have happened in recent times. Based on the healing factors in [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This study aims to apply drama therapy to a counseling group to address the mental health problems of college students in Taiwan due to the increasingly serious psychological problems that have happened in recent times. Based on the healing factors in drama therapy, we applied such therapy activities to four counseling groups composed of 12 high-risk students from Taiwan. (2) Methods: “Questionnaire-based assessment, participant self-assessment and participant attitude assessment” methods were used to evaluate the six mental health indicators of the participants in the evaluation of drama therapy’s effect and the groups’ pre-test and post-test (the first group and the last group). The six indicators were self-awareness, self-expression, interpersonal and communication skills, self-cognitive reconstruction ability, social role ability, and decision-making ability. Data were collected and assessed for the frequencies and percentages of each indicator item. Sets of paired-samples t-tests, independent t-tests, and two-way repeated measures ANOVAs were employed to evaluate the different designs. (3) Results: The results revealed that drama therapy could deliver significantly positive effects for and improve the six mental health indicators of the participants. Males’ self-awareness and decision-making actions were more positively affected than females. (4) Conclusions: The study helps to provide a path of establishing the mental health module of drama therapy in the education sector in Taiwan. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Epiphytes and Depth on Seagrass Spectral Profiles: Case Study of Gulf St. Vincent, South Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2701; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152701 - 29 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Seagrasses are a crucial indicator species of coastal marine ecosystems that provide substratum, shelter, and food for epiphytic algae, invertebrates, and fishes. More accurate mapping of seagrasses is essential for their survival as a long-lasting natural resource. Before reflectance spectra could properly be [...] Read more.
Seagrasses are a crucial indicator species of coastal marine ecosystems that provide substratum, shelter, and food for epiphytic algae, invertebrates, and fishes. More accurate mapping of seagrasses is essential for their survival as a long-lasting natural resource. Before reflectance spectra could properly be used as remote sensing endmembers, factors that may obscure the detection of reflectance signals must be assessed. The objectives in this study are to determine the influence of (1) epiphytes, (2) water depth, and (3) seagrass genus on the detection of reflectance spectral signals. The results show that epiphytes significantly dampen bottom-type reflectance throughout most of the visible light spectrum, excluding 670–679 nm; the depth does influence reflectance, with the detection of deeper seagrasses being easier, and as the depth increases, only Heterozostera increase in the exact “red edge” wavelength at which there is a rapid change in the near-infrared (NIR) spectrum. These findings helped improve the detection of seagrass endmembers during remote sensing, thereby helping protect the natural resource of seagrasses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Training and Evaluation of Human Cardiorespiratory Endurance Based on a Fuzzy Algorithm
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2390; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132390 - 05 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Cardiorespiratory endurance refers to the ability of the heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to working muscles during continuous physical activity, which is an important indicator of physical health. Cardiorespiratory endurance is typically measured in the laboratory by maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max [...] Read more.
Cardiorespiratory endurance refers to the ability of the heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to working muscles during continuous physical activity, which is an important indicator of physical health. Cardiorespiratory endurance is typically measured in the laboratory by maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) which is not a practical method for real-life use. Given the relative difficulty in measuring oxygen consumption directly, we can estimate cardiorespiratory endurance on the basis of heart beat. In this paper, we proposed a fuzzy system based on the human heart rate to provide an effective cardiorespiratory endurance training program and the evaluation of cardiorespiratory endurance levels. Trainers can respond correctly with the help of a smart fitness app to obtain the desired training results and prevent undesirable events such as under-training or over-training. The fuzzy algorithm, which is built for the Android mobile phone operating system receives the resting heart rate (RHR) of the participants via Bluetooth before exercise to determine the suitable training speed mode of a treadmill for the individual. The computer-based fuzzy program takes RHR and heart rate recovery (HRR) after exercise as inputs to calculate the cardiorespiratory endurance level. The experimental results show that after 8 weeks of exercise training, the RHR decreased by an average of 11%, the HRR increased by 51.5%, and the cardiorespiratory endurance evaluation level was also improved. The proposed system can be combined with other methods for fitness instructors to design a training program that is more suitable for individuals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Pharmacist Intervention on a Population in Taiwan with High Healthcare Utilization and Excessive Polypharmacy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122208 - 21 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Patients with high healthcare utilization are at increased risk of polypharmacy and drug interactions. This study investigated the changes in the number of medications, drug interactions and interaction severity in high frequency outpatients with polypharmacy at hospitals and clinics in Taiwan after home [...] Read more.
Patients with high healthcare utilization are at increased risk of polypharmacy and drug interactions. This study investigated the changes in the number of medications, drug interactions and interaction severity in high frequency outpatients with polypharmacy at hospitals and clinics in Taiwan after home pharmaceutical care, to understand the effectiveness of interventions by pharmacists. This was a retrospective observational study. Cases with excessive polypharmacy (10+ drugs) were selected from the Pharmaceutical Care Practice System database of the Taiwan Pharmacist Association in 2017. After the home care intervention, the number of drug types used decreased 1.89-fold (p < 0.001), and the number of medications fell 61.6%. The incidence of drug interaction was 93.82%. In an average case, the incidence of drug interaction after the pharmacist intervention decreased 0.6-fold (p < 0.001). The drug most commonly causing interactions was aspirin, followed by diclofenac; also common were three used in diabetes, two psycholeptics and two beta blockers. Among 22 cases of severe drug interaction, seven resulted in increased risk of extrapyramidal symptoms and neuroleptic malignant syndrome. By analyzing the relationship between the side effects of individual drugs and the pharmacokinetic Tmax, a sequential thermal zone model of adverse drug reactions can be established, the value of which could prompt physicians and pharmacists to intervene in order to prevent adverse events. It is concluded that home pharmaceutical care by pharmacists can significantly reduce the number of medications and interactions in patients with excessive polypharmacy and high healthcare utilization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use and Chronic Diseases in the Elderly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(12), 2189; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16122189 - 20 Jun 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Long-term continuous exposure to potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) can lead to adverse events in the elderly. However, the effects of long-term exposure of the elderly to PIM and the relationship between PIM and chronic diseases remain unclear. The objective of this study was [...] Read more.
Long-term continuous exposure to potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) can lead to adverse events in the elderly. However, the effects of long-term exposure of the elderly to PIM and the relationship between PIM and chronic diseases remain unclear. The objective of this study was to investigate the continuous use of PIMs in a community-dwelling elderly population. A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted using community pharmacy–filed dispensing records from the Hcare system. Twenty-three community pharmacies were sampled from 2013 to 2015 to obtain records of patients above 65 years-old with continuous prescriptions. PIM were identified according to the 2015 Beers Criteria. The prevalence of patients using PIM was highest in patients with co-morbid mental disorders (40.05%), followed by neurological system disorders (28.91%). Patients who were prescribed a PIM were more than three times as likely to have a mental disorder as those (odds ratio 3.16, 95% confidence interval: 3.06–3.28) with non-chronic diseases. The most prescribed PIM agents were central nervous system drugs (53.16%), and benzodiazepines (35.15%). Patients with mental disorders had the highest rate of long-term persistent PIM exposure, with benzodiazepines being the most frequently dispensed. Drug safety concerns should be closely monitored in elderly patients with the abovementioned conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Survey on Satisfaction of Type 2 Diabetes Patients with Different Demographic Variables to Medical Services
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071142 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Taking Type 2 diabetes as the research object, and through questionnaire interviews, this study sought to determine the degree of satisfaction of patients with different attributes with medical services according to the distribution of demographic variables. Finally, the statistical results were taken as [...] Read more.
Taking Type 2 diabetes as the research object, and through questionnaire interviews, this study sought to determine the degree of satisfaction of patients with different attributes with medical services according to the distribution of demographic variables. Finally, the statistical results were taken as the reference basis for medical personnel to provide care to patients. Regarding the questionnaire survey, the questionnaire items were designed through face-to-face interviews aiming at their medical treatment process, thus, patients could truly reflect their feelings. This study used the SPSS statistical software (IBM, Armonk, New York, NY, USA) for analysis, and the results show that: (1) Patients of different genders had different degrees of satisfaction with medical services. (2) The difference in age, monthly disposable income, occupational category, and education level had no significant effect on service satisfaction. (3) The research subjects were all on the high side regarding their satisfaction with the service provided by medical facilities. This study is a pilot study, and it is hoped it will be used as a guideline for improving patient care quality in the future, thus, reducing the occurrence of diabetic complications through better medical care. The long-term goal is to continuously improve care and medical service quality, thus, reducing the waste of medical resources. Full article
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