Topic Editors

Robotics and Computer Technology Lab, University of Seville, 41012 Seville, Spain
Robotics and Computer Technology Lab, University of Seville, Seville, Spain
Dr. Antonis Billis
Lab of Medical Physics and Digital Innovation, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects

Abstract submission deadline
closed (31 October 2022)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (31 December 2022)
Viewed by
196746

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

We live in an era in which the rise of information technologies has spread to all areas of society.

This evolution has gradually affected the healthcare field throughout the 21st century, although advances have mainly been focused on supervised systems where the intervention of healthcare specialists was necessary.

However, the global pandemic in 2020 and part of 2021 left a large part of the population without regular face-to-face healthcare. This was a very important push against the clock for the digital transformation of medicine and represents an unprecedented situation in history that can be used by governments and health centres to further research and advancements in the field of e-Health and m-Health.

The main focus of this topic is to bring together works from different branches of research, integrated in different journals of this publishing house, in order to showcase all kinds of medical advances linked to new technologies, studies and future challenges, computer-aided diagnostic systems (CADs), wearable devices or unobtrusive ambient sensors for detecting daily life patterns and/or anomalies, accident prevention systems, rehabilitation-oriented technologies, biological and physiological signal processing, and medical image processing, to name a few. The application of new technologies to the medical field to reduce the workload of healthcare staff must remain at the forefront, empowering chronic patients through self-management, helping in the diagnosis of diseases and accelerating the diagnostic process.

It is envisioned that some of the described works may represent forerunners of future developments in the field of e-Health and m-Health.

Prof. Dr. Anton Civit
Dr. Manuel Dominguez-Morales
Dr. Antonis Billis
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • computer vision
  • image processing
  • medical imaging
  • decision support system
  • diagnostic aid system
  • machine learning
  • deep learning
  • ambient assisted living
  • gamification
  • wearable medical devices
  • biomedical signal processing
  • physiological signal processing
  • accident prevention systems
  • detection of abnormal situations

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Applied Sciences
applsci
2.7 4.5 2011 16.9 Days CHF 2400
Biomedicines
biomedicines
4.7 3.7 2013 15.4 Days CHF 2600
Entropy
entropy
2.7 4.7 1999 20.8 Days CHF 2600
Journal of Personalized Medicine
jpm
3.4 2.6 2011 17.8 Days CHF 2600
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
- 5.4 2004 29.6 Days CHF 2500

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Published Papers (67 papers)

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18 pages, 1838 KiB  
Article
Identifying Public Healthcare Priorities in Virtual Care for Older Adults: A Participatory Research Study
by Dai Pu, Victoria Palmer, Louise Greenstock, Cathie Pigott, Anna Peeters, Lena Sanci, Michele Callisaya, Colette Browning, Wendy Chapman and Terry Haines
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 4015; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20054015 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2552
Abstract
There has been increasing adoption and implementation of virtual healthcare in recent years, especially with COVID-19 impacting the world. As a result, virtual care initiatives may not undergo stringent quality control processes to ensure that they are appropriate to their context and meet [...] Read more.
There has been increasing adoption and implementation of virtual healthcare in recent years, especially with COVID-19 impacting the world. As a result, virtual care initiatives may not undergo stringent quality control processes to ensure that they are appropriate to their context and meet sector needs. The two objectives of this study were to identify virtual care initiatives for older adults currently in use in Victoria and virtual care challenges that could be prioritised for further investigation and scale-up and to understand why certain virtual care initiatives and challenges are prioritised over others for investigation and scale-up. Methods: This project used an Emerging Design approach. A survey of public health services in the state of Victoria in Australia was first carried out, followed by the co-production of research and healthcare priorities with key stakeholders in the areas of primary care, hospital care, consumer representation, research, and government. The survey was used to gather existing virtual care initiatives for older adults and any associated challenges. Co-production processes consisted of individual ratings of initiatives and group-based discussions to identify priority virtual care initiatives and challenges to be addressed for future scale-up. Stakeholders nominated their top three virtual initiatives following discussions. Results: Telehealth was nominated as the highest priority initiative type for scaling up, with virtual emergency department models of care nominated as the highest priority within this category. Remote monitoring was voted as a top priority for further investigations. The top virtual care challenge was data sharing across services and settings, and the user-friendliness of virtual care platforms was nominated as the top priority for further investigation. Conclusions: Stakeholders prioritised public health virtual care initiatives that are easy to adopt and address needs that are perceived to be more immediate (acute more so than chronic care). Virtual care initiatives that incorporate more technology and integrated elements are valued, but more information is needed to inform their potential scale-up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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15 pages, 1310 KiB  
Review
Effects of Medical Education Program Using Virtual Reality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Hyeon-Young Kim and Eun-Young Kim
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(5), 3895; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20053895 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3989
Abstract
Several studies have examined the effect of virtual reality (VR) education. However, they are mostly systematic reviews or meta-analyses focusing on doctors and residents; they fail to consider VR medical education for a broader range of learners. We evaluated the effectiveness of VR [...] Read more.
Several studies have examined the effect of virtual reality (VR) education. However, they are mostly systematic reviews or meta-analyses focusing on doctors and residents; they fail to consider VR medical education for a broader range of learners. We evaluated the effectiveness of VR education for health professionals and identified the essential features of education. Randomized controlled trials published from January 2000 to April 2020 were identified from PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library (n = 299). The randomized studies’ bias risk was evaluated using Cochrane’s Risk of Bias tool. Meta- and subgroup-analyses were conducted using Review Manager 5.4.1. The overall effect was measured using Hedges’ g and determined using Z-statistics (p < 0.05). Heterogeneity was assessed using X2 and I2 statistics. Among the identified records, 25 studies were selected through systematic review, and 18 studies were included in the meta-analysis. We identified a significant improvement in the VR group’s skill and satisfaction levels, and that less immersive VR was more efficacious for knowledge outcomes than fully immersive VR. Maximizing the advantages of VR will increase learning opportunities and complement the limited clinical experience, thus improving medical services. A systematic and efficient VR medical education program will greatly enhance learners’ core competencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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15 pages, 1295 KiB  
Article
Verification of the Effectiveness of a Communication Application in Improving Social Connectedness and Physical Health among Unacquainted Older Men: A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study
by Sakino Shinokawa, Hiroki Abe, Risa Takashima, Ryuta Onishi and Michiyo Hirano
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20031884 - 19 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
This study aimed to verify the effectiveness of an application (app) in establishing social connectedness among unacquainted older men, as well as improving their physical health. The nine participants were men aged 65 and older in the subarctic zone of Hokkaido, Japan. A [...] Read more.
This study aimed to verify the effectiveness of an application (app) in establishing social connectedness among unacquainted older men, as well as improving their physical health. The nine participants were men aged 65 and older in the subarctic zone of Hokkaido, Japan. A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods were adopted as the study design. A questionnaire survey was completed before and after the intervention, and a semi-structured interview was conducted after the intervention. An app-installed smartphone was loaned to the participants, which allowed them to share pictures, voice recordings, and their step count. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and qualitative data were analyzed using qualitative descriptive analysis to generate categories. The average age of the participants was 77.7 years. The relationship between participants who were interacting for the first time through the app advanced as their understanding of each other’s personalities deepened. The average step count during the third and fourth months was significantly higher than in the first two months. By using the app, older men were able to build relationships with one another. In addition, visualizing the number of steps on the app was effective in improving the number of steps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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23 pages, 1596 KiB  
Article
Digital Trends, Digital Literacy, and E-Health Engagement Predictors of Breast and Colorectal Cancer Survivors: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Survey
by Samar J. Melhem, Shereen Nabhani-Gebara and Reem Kayyali
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1472; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021472 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3165
Abstract
Introduction: Advances in information and communication technology (ICT) and post-COVID-19 tectonic changes in healthcare delivery have made it possible for cancer survivors to obtain disease-related information for remote management online rather than through healthcare providers. To comprehend and evaluate health information, digital literacy [...] Read more.
Introduction: Advances in information and communication technology (ICT) and post-COVID-19 tectonic changes in healthcare delivery have made it possible for cancer survivors to obtain disease-related information for remote management online rather than through healthcare providers. To comprehend and evaluate health information, digital literacy is crucial. Objectives: This study examined cancer survivors’ information-seeking behaviour, information sources, digital health literacy, and digital trends, as well as potential determinants of e-health information receptivity and online resource use. Methods: A national 30-item cross-sectional survey using a representative random sample of cancer survivors from Jordan’s cancer registry was conducted. Chi-square tests established categorical variable relationships. Using the mean and standard deviation, we calculated the Likert scale’s ordinal data average. A p-value < 0.05 was statistically significant. Logistic regression identified predictors of interest in late-trajectory information acquisition and use of e-health platforms (apps, portals) for cancer self-management. Results: Lower digital literacy and electronic searching were associated with older age and lower income, education, and employment status (p ≤ 0.001). Digital literacy independently predicted m-health app use for remote management and interest in cancer supportive care information. Digitally literate survivors preferred the use of digital platforms (p ≤ 0.001). Information acquisition barriers included “reliability” (26%, n = 25) and “health information trustworthiness” (16.2%, n = 25). Following treatment completion, Internet-seeking behaviour decreased significantly when compared to the early cancer trajectory. Conclusion: Our findings imply that Jordanian cancer survivors’ low digital literacy may hinder information acquisition and technology-enabled cancer care. Digital interventions for cancer survivors should be adaptable to varying levels of digital health literacy. Healthcare policymakers should recognise digital inequities and devise focused initiatives to bridge the digital divide while responding to the urgent need to digitalise cancer care delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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2 pages, 250 KiB  
Reply
Reply to Nwosu, C.; Ward, K.D. Comment on “Alharbi et al. Adoption of Health Mobile Apps during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Health Belief Model Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 4179”
by Nouf Sahal Alharbi, Amany Shlyan AlGhanmi and Mochammad Fahlevi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(24), 16915; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416915 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 912
Abstract
We really appreciate the comments given by [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
2 pages, 255 KiB  
Comment
Comment on Alharbi et al. Adoption of Health Mobile Apps during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Health Belief Model Approach. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 4179
by Chinonyelum Nwosu and Kenneth D. Ward
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(24), 16846; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416846 - 15 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
Alharbi and colleagues’ article, “Adoption of health mobile apps during the COVID-19 lockdown: a Health Belief Model approach”, was interesting, well-written, and informative [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
11 pages, 1582 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Internet-Connected Real-Time Remote Auscultation: An Open-Label Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial
by Takahiro Ito, Takanobu Hirosawa, Yukinori Harada, Shintaro Kakimoto and Taro Shimizu
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(12), 1950; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12121950 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1544
Abstract
The utility of remote auscultation was unknown. This study aimed to evaluate internet-connected real-time remote auscultation using cardiopulmonary simulators. In this open-label randomized controlled trial, the physicians were randomly assigned to the real-time remote auscultation group (intervention group) or the classical auscultation group [...] Read more.
The utility of remote auscultation was unknown. This study aimed to evaluate internet-connected real-time remote auscultation using cardiopulmonary simulators. In this open-label randomized controlled trial, the physicians were randomly assigned to the real-time remote auscultation group (intervention group) or the classical auscultation group (control group). After the training session, the participants had to classify the ten cardiopulmonary sounds in random order as the test session. In both sessions, the intervention group auscultated with an internet-connected electronic stethoscope. The control group performed direct auscultation using a classical stethoscope. The total scores for correctly identified normal or abnormal cardiopulmonary sounds were 97/100 (97%) in the intervention group and 98/100 (98%) in the control group with no significant difference between the groups (p > 0.99). In cardiac auscultation, the test score in the control group (94%) was superior to that in the intervention group (72%, p < 0.05). Valvular diseases were not misclassified as normal sounds in real-time remote cardiac auscultation. The utility of real-time remote cardiopulmonary auscultation using an internet-connected electronic stethoscope was comparable to that of classical auscultation. Classical cardiac auscultation was superior to real-time remote auscultation. However, real-time remote cardiac auscultation is useful for classifying valvular diseases and normal sounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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12 pages, 1509 KiB  
Article
Value of Online Videos as a Shoulder Injection Training Tool for Physicians and Usability of Current Video Evaluation Tools
by Chan Woong Jang, Myeonghwan Bang, Jung Hyun Park and Han Eol Cho
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 15177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192215177 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1416
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the reliability, overall quality, and educational value of online videos for learning the techniques related to shoulder injection treatments and analyzing the usability of video evaluation tools for musculoskeletal injections. Online video searches were performed in February 2022 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the reliability, overall quality, and educational value of online videos for learning the techniques related to shoulder injection treatments and analyzing the usability of video evaluation tools for musculoskeletal injections. Online video searches were performed in February 2022 using the terms “shoulder injection”, “glenohumeral joint injection”, “acromioclavicular joint injection”, and “subacromial bursa injection.” Included videos were scored by modified DISCERN (mDISCERN), global quality score (GQS), and shoulder injection score (SIS). Correlations between scoring systems were analyzed. Of the 150 videos, 49 (32.67%) contained highly reliable information. Regarding the assessment of overall quality by the GQS, 109 (72.67%) videos were of low quality. Regarding SIS, 114 (76.00%) scored not >5, of which 77 (51.33%) scored <3. Most of the SIS domains were fully explained in <40% of the included videos. A weak positive relationship was noted between the mDISCERN and SIS (r2 = 0.38), while a moderately positive relationship was observed between the GQS and SIS (r2 = 0.49). The majority of online videos about shoulder injection treatment showed low reliability, overall quality, and educational value. Additionally, a new scoring system is required to accurately evaluate musculoskeletal injection videos for educational purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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18 pages, 2447 KiB  
Review
Ethical Conundrums in the Application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare—A Scoping Review of Reviews
by Sreenidhi Prakash, Jyotsna Needamangalam Balaji, Ashish Joshi and Krishna Mohan Surapaneni
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(11), 1914; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12111914 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 6888
Abstract
Background: With the availability of extensive health data, artificial intelligence has an inordinate capability to expedite medical explorations and revamp healthcare.Artificial intelligence is set to reform the practice of medicine soon. Despite the mammoth advantages of artificial intelligence in the medical field, there [...] Read more.
Background: With the availability of extensive health data, artificial intelligence has an inordinate capability to expedite medical explorations and revamp healthcare.Artificial intelligence is set to reform the practice of medicine soon. Despite the mammoth advantages of artificial intelligence in the medical field, there exists inconsistency in the ethical and legal framework for the application of AI in healthcare. Although research has been conducted by various medical disciplines investigating the ethical implications of artificial intelligence in the healthcare setting, the literature lacks a holistic approach. Objective: The purpose of this review is to ascertain the ethical concerns of AI applications in healthcare, to identify the knowledge gaps and provide recommendations for an ethical and legal framework. Methodology: Electronic databases Pub Med and Google Scholar were extensively searched based on the search strategy pertaining to the purpose of this review. Further screening of the included articles was done on the grounds of the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: The search yielded a total of 1238 articles, out of which 16 articles were identified to be eligible for this review. The selection was strictly based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria mentioned in the manuscript. Conclusion: Artificial intelligence (AI) is an exceedingly puissant technology, with the prospect of advancing medical practice in the years to come. Nevertheless, AI brings with it a colossally abundant number of ethical and legal problems associated with its application in healthcare. There are manifold stakeholders in the legal and ethical issues revolving around AI and medicine. Thus, a multifaceted approach involving policymakers, developers, healthcare providers and patients is crucial to arrive at a feasible solution for mitigating the legal and ethical problems pertaining to AI in healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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9 pages, 981 KiB  
Article
Selection of Representative Questionnaire Items from the Asthma Control Test
by Min-Seok Chang, Iseul Yu, Sunmin Park, Ji-Ho Lee, Seok Jeong Lee, Won-Yeon Lee, Suk Joong Yong, Meounggun Jo and Sang-Ha Kim
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(11), 1913; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12111913 - 16 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Asthma is a disease characterized by the appearance of transient or persistent symptoms in response to allergens, viral upper respiratory infections, and cold air. Asthma treatment aims to control, rather than cure, and digital systems can be useful in this regard. However, conventional [...] Read more.
Asthma is a disease characterized by the appearance of transient or persistent symptoms in response to allergens, viral upper respiratory infections, and cold air. Asthma treatment aims to control, rather than cure, and digital systems can be useful in this regard. However, conventional assessment methods for asthma control are not suitable for digital healthcare. Therefore, we aimed to select representative questionnaire items suitable for digitally assessing the asthma control status. We analyzed the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and selected representative items. Throughout the year 2020, ACT results (2019 in total) collected from patients (>18 years old) with a principal diagnosis of asthma were analyzed. Individual questionnaire items were tested using Pearson’s correlation and receiver operating characteristic curves. Of the five questionnaire items, Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q5 yielded significant findings. Among these questionnaires, Q2 was the most descriptive and correlated questionnaire. Q5 was also significant but it was excluded since it was unable to apply to the digital health care system for asthma assessment method. The remaining three questionnaire items were selected and their sensitivity and specificity were assessed. Eight methods were analyzed, and the sum of scores of Q1–Q3 had the highest sensitivity and specificity (97% and 91%, respectively). The results suggested that, instead of the full items of ACT, the sum of Q1–Q3 can be used to assess the asthma control status. These findings will serve as the foundation for developing digital asthma control assessment tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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19 pages, 8921 KiB  
Article
Development of an Auxiliary Platform (Mentali) for the Primary Screening of Anxiety and Depression in Young Adults
by Jorge Alfonso Solis-Galvan, Sodel Vazquez-Reyes, Idalia Garza-Veloz, Perla Velasco-Elizondo, Alejandro Mauricio-Gonzalez and Margarita de la Luz Martinez-Fierro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(21), 14033; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114033 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
The current COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed people’s daily routines. This has had a big impact on mental health. In Mexico, medical school authorities are interested in understanding the mental health status of the student population to be able to provide support to [...] Read more.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed people’s daily routines. This has had a big impact on mental health. In Mexico, medical school authorities are interested in understanding the mental health status of the student population to be able to provide support to students who may need help from a mental health specialist. The aim of this study was to develop a platform comprised of a mobile and web application called Mentali, to be used as an auxiliary tool for the detection of conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as variations in mood, by analysis of the results of validated inventories. Following the Scrum software development methodology, Python, Dart and PHP programming languages were used for development of the application. This platform was used prospectively with 155 first year students taking part in the human medicine program. After 22 weeks, Mentali enabled the identification of 40 users with positive primary screening for anxiety and/or depression (45% for anxiety, 32.5% for both anxiety and depression, and 22.5% for altered mood). These students were contacted and referred to a psychologist; however, only 26 (65%) accepted psychological support. For all of these students a mental health disorder was confirmed. The results support the use of Mentali for the primary screening of anxiety and depression in young adults, including medical students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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11 pages, 1064 KiB  
Article
Anti-TNFα Drugs and Interleukin Inhibitors: Epidemiological and Pharmacovigilance Investigation in COVID-19 Positive Patients
by Zaira Maraia, Tony Mazzoni, Marco Bruno Luigi Rocchi, Denise Feliciani, Maria Chiara Romani, Giovanna Acciarri, Stefania Rafaiani and Isidoro Mazzoni
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(11), 1770; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12111770 - 27 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1629
Abstract
Cytokine patterns and immune activation in patients with Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) seem to resemble the case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Biological drugs, such as anti-tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and interleukin (IL) inhibitors, appear to be protective [...] Read more.
Cytokine patterns and immune activation in patients with Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) seem to resemble the case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Biological drugs, such as anti-tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and interleukin (IL) inhibitors, appear to be protective against adverse outcomes of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, these treatments are associated with an increased risk of secondary infections. The aim of the study was to examine the association between the use of immunomodulatory drugs and the risk of SARS-CoV-2-associated positivity, hospitalization and death compared to other commonly prescribed treatment regimens among patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. Methods: All patients with RA, Psoriasis and IBD were included in this observational analysis and treated with anti-TNFα, IL-inhibitors, Methotrexate (MTX) and Sulfasalazine drugs during the year 2020–2021. The population consisted of 932 patients and demographic, clinical and pharmacological data were analyzed. Results: Although no significant differences were observed between patients treated with biological and synthetic drugs in terms of hospitalization and death, the multivariate logistic model showed that the type of drug influences the possibility of COVID-19 positivity. Conclusions: The results of this analysis support the use of biological drugs and justify further research investigating the association of these biological therapies with COVID-19 outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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18 pages, 655 KiB  
Article
Effects of Attitudes towards Exercise Behaviour, Use of Sports Apps and COVID-19 on Intentions to Exercise
by Peng Gu, Zeheng Liang, Hao Zhang and Dazhi Zhang
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(9), 1434; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12091434 - 31 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2271
Abstract
The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic in 2019 disrupted the normal order of life and work, and the virus is still a major threat prevailing the globe. Confronted with the unknown virus, citizens have been following government policies of COVID-19 treatment [...] Read more.
The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic in 2019 disrupted the normal order of life and work, and the virus is still a major threat prevailing the globe. Confronted with the unknown virus, citizens have been following government policies of COVID-19 treatment and containment, and actively improving their immunity through physical activity (PA). This paper is concerned with ways to guide or promote people’s willingness to exercise, one of the most effective means to boost immunity. Based on the “attitude–intention” correlation defined in the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this study, by synchronizing online data about workouts, explores the influence of people’s attitudes towards PA behaviour in promoting their intentions to engage in such behaviours as a means to fight the pandemic. In addition, the attitudes towards the use of sports apps and the epidemic are also reckoned with to investigate influencing factors promoting physical activity during the lockdown. The results of the study have been derived from the data of 1223 valid questionnaires, which are subjected to hierarchical regression analysis. Attitudes towards exercise and the use of sports apps are proven to have a significant impact on PA intentions, and the two variables are in direct proportion, with more positive attitudes leading to higher intentions; in contrast, attitudes towards the epidemic do not exhibit an obvious effect. In this light, it is advisable that when clinicians treat COVID-19 patients and medical departments respond to the epidemic, they actively make affirmative influences on peoples’ attitudes towards exercise and formulate appropriate exercise plans based on indicators detected and recorded by sports apps such as vital capacity, heart rate, respiratory index and self-perceived intensity to help them face the risk of the epidemic with more confidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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16 pages, 566 KiB  
Review
A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Virtual Reality-Based Interventions on Pain and Range of Joint Movement Associated with Burn Injuries
by Elisa María Garrido-Ardila, María Santos-Domínguez, Juan Rodríguez-Mansilla, Silvia Teresa Torres-Piles, María Trinidad Rodríguez-Domínguez, Blanca González-Sánchez and María Jiménez-Palomares
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(8), 1269; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12081269 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2494
Abstract
Background: Burns are mild or severe lesions produced in living tissue, due to the action of different agents. This pathology is considered the third cause of accidental death in the world by the World Health Organization. Among the most disabling sequelae in these [...] Read more.
Background: Burns are mild or severe lesions produced in living tissue, due to the action of different agents. This pathology is considered the third cause of accidental death in the world by the World Health Organization. Among the most disabling sequelae in these patients, pain and range of motion have the greatest impact. A recommended tool to complement the treatment or management of the symptoms associated with burns is virtual reality. Objective: The objective of this study was to analyse the effectiveness of virtual-reality therapy for pain relief and the improvement of the range of joint movement in patients who have suffered burns. Methodology: This study is a systematic review conducted following the PRISMA statements. An electronic literature search was performed in the following databases: PubMed, Cochrane, Dialnet, Scopus and Science Direct. The inclusion criteria were: participants with burns in any part of the body, interventions with virtual reality with or without complementary treatment, studies in both Spanish and English, and outcome measures of pain and range of motion. Results: Finally, 10 studies were included in the review. The sample consisted of one pilot study, three randomized controlled clinical trials, one prospective randomized controlled clinical trial, one control group and treatment group trial, one interventional clinical trial and three comparative studies. The most commonly used assessment tools for pain were the graphic rating scale (GRS) and for range of motion the goniometer. The use of virtual-reality games significantly reduced pain scores during physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatments as well as in nursing care. The range of motion improved significantly during virtual-reality exercises performed during a physiotherapy treatment in 33% of studies included in this review. Conclusion: The results of the studies analysed in this systematic review suggest that the use of virtual reality for the management of pain and range of movement limitations associated with burn injuries could control these symptoms and decrease their negative consequences on the person. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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17 pages, 3375 KiB  
Article
Bridging the Generational Digital Divide in the Healthcare Environment
by Teresa Lopez de Coca, Lucrecia Moreno, Mónica Alacreu and Maria Sebastian-Morello
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(8), 1214; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12081214 - 26 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2520
Abstract
Increasing technological advances have generated a digital dependency in the population, resulting in a group of digitally excluded vulnerable people that lack basic digital skills. The aim of this study was to assess the digital divide in patients in relation to the healthcare [...] Read more.
Increasing technological advances have generated a digital dependency in the population, resulting in a group of digitally excluded vulnerable people that lack basic digital skills. The aim of this study was to assess the digital divide in patients in relation to the healthcare environment. We explored the extent and effects of the digital health divide by undertaking a systematic review of the academic literature and comparing our findings with the results of a cross-sectional in-person survey answered by 881 people at four community pharmacies. In terms of the sociodemographic profile of the patients, we collected data regarding their gender, age, education level, and location (periphery or urban). The parameters evaluated were use of the internet to search for health information, use of telemedicine, use of different medical/healthcare applications, understanding explanations given by physicians regarding health, and asking pharmacists for help about newly prescribed treatments. Moreover, 168 pharmacists answered an online survey about how often they helped patients to make health center appointments or to download their COVID-19 vaccination certificate. Gender did not influence these results, but age, education level, and population location did. Those with the lowest levels of education required more help to request a health center appointment. People with high education levels and those living in an urban environment more often searched the internet for information about treatments that were new to them. Finally, people living in periphery areas received more help from their pharmacists, 60% of which said they had helped patients to download their COVID-19 vaccination certificate, with 24% of them saying they helped patients with this on a daily basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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20 pages, 1266 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Review of Internet-Based Interventions for the Prevention and Self-Management of Cardiovascular Diseases among People of African Descent
by Jesse Enebi Usman, Charmaine Childs, David Rogerson and Markos Klonizakis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(14), 8872; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148872 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, morbidity, and mortality among people of African descent (PAD) appear to be higher than in the general population. While it has been found that lifestyle changes can prevent around 90% of CVDs, implementing an effective lifestyle programme is [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, morbidity, and mortality among people of African descent (PAD) appear to be higher than in the general population. While it has been found that lifestyle changes can prevent around 90% of CVDs, implementing an effective lifestyle programme is expensive and time-consuming. It has been demonstrated that Internet-based interventions (IbIs) can effectively and inexpensively encourage lifestyle modifications to prevent and manage chronic diseases. Although a number of studies have examined the effectiveness of IbIs in the general population, no comprehensive study of the usefulness and acceptability of IbIs among PAD has been conducted. This is the knowledge gap that this study aimed to address. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science to identify eligible studies published from inception to February 2022. Thirteen articles met our criteria for inclusion. Our textual narrative synthesis produced inconsistent results; nonetheless, high acceptability of IbIs and a considerable improvement in clinical and behavioural outcomes associated with CVDs were reported in several trials. The findings of this review are constrained by clinical, methodological and statistical variability among the studies. To have a good grasp on the effect of IbIs on behaviour change in PAD at risk of CVDs, large-scale longitudinal studies with long-term follow-up are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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13 pages, 716 KiB  
Review
Barriers and Supports in eHealth Implementation among People with Chronic Cardiovascular Ailments: Integrative Review
by Sophia Herrera, Alide Salazar and Gabriela Nazar
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(14), 8296; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148296 - 7 Jul 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2110
Abstract
eHealth interventions use information technology to provide attention to patients with chronic cardiovascular conditions, thereby supporting their self-management abilities. Objective: Identify barriers and aids to the implementation of eHealth interventions in people with chronic cardiovascular conditions from the perspectives of users, health professionals [...] Read more.
eHealth interventions use information technology to provide attention to patients with chronic cardiovascular conditions, thereby supporting their self-management abilities. Objective: Identify barriers and aids to the implementation of eHealth interventions in people with chronic cardiovascular conditions from the perspectives of users, health professionals and institutions. Method: An integrative database review of WoS, Scopus, PubMed and Scielo of publications between 2016 and 2020 reporting eHealth interventions in people with chronic cardiovascular diseases. Keywords used were eHealth and chronic disease. Following inclusion and exclusion criteria application, 14 articles were identified. Results: Barriers and aids were identified from the viewpoints of users, health professionals and health institutions. Some notable barriers include users’ age and low technological literacy, perceived depersonalization in attention, limitations in technology access and usability, and associated costs. Aids included digital education and support from significant others. Conclusions: eHealth interventions are an alternative with wide potentiality for chronic disease management; however, their implementation must be actively managed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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24 pages, 2698 KiB  
Article
Behavioral Patterns of Supply and Demand Sides of Health Services for the Elderly in Sustainable Digital Transformation: A Mixed Methods Study
by Siyu Zhou, Ziling Ni, Atsushi Ogihara and Xiaohe Wang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8221; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138221 - 5 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3339
Abstract
The aging transformation of digital health services faces issues of how to distinguish influencing factors, redesign services, and effectively promote measures and policies. In this study, in-depth interviews were conducted, and grounded theory applied to open coding, main axis coding, and selective coding [...] Read more.
The aging transformation of digital health services faces issues of how to distinguish influencing factors, redesign services, and effectively promote measures and policies. In this study, in-depth interviews were conducted, and grounded theory applied to open coding, main axis coding, and selective coding to form concepts and categories. Trajectory equifinality modeling clarified the evolution logic of digital transformation. Based on the theory of service ecology, a digital health service aging model was constructed from the “macro–medium–micro” stages and includes governance, service, and technology transformation paths. The macro stage relies on organizational elements to promote the institutionalization of management and guide the transformation of governance for value realization, including the construction of three categories: mechanism, indemnification, and decision-making. The meso stage relies on service elements to promote service design and realize service transformation that is suitable for aging design, including the construction of three categories: organization, resources, and processes. The micro stage relies on technical elements to practice experiencing humanization, including the construction of three categories: target, methods, and evaluation. These results deepen the understanding of the main behaviors and roles of macro-organizational, meso-service, and micro-technical elements in digital transformation practice and have positive significance for health administrative agencies to implement action strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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9 pages, 338 KiB  
Article
Validation of Content for an App for Caregivers of Stroke Patients through the Delphi Method
by Ismael Andrades-González and Jesús Molina-Mula
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7523; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127523 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1791
Abstract
The aim of this study was to reach a consensus among experts (using the Delphi technique) to validate the informative content that should be included in an App to be used by informal caregivers of stroke patients in order to improve their quality [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to reach a consensus among experts (using the Delphi technique) to validate the informative content that should be included in an App to be used by informal caregivers of stroke patients in order to improve their quality of life, facilitating access to the health care system and involving them in their own health. This technique was developed between June and December 2021. The group of experts was selected on the basis of previously established criteria, and the coefficient of variation (v) was used as a measure of consensus. In addition, the concordance index was calculated to determine the stability of the different rounds. In the first round, the preliminary content, previously elaborated by the research group, was evaluated as very appropriate for the objectives set (N-P < 1.07). In addition, averages of 4.5 out of five and a coefficient of variation of less than 0.5 were obtained, confirming the consensus. In the second round, suggestions were made by the experts on how to improve the content of the information, obtaining 100% agreement with the results obtained in the first round. The results obtained allow a positive evaluation of the use of the Delphi method for the elaboration of the information to be housed in an App. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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21 pages, 2508 KiB  
Article
Designing Personalized Persuasive Game Elements for Older Adults in Health Apps
by Yongyan Guo, Tongyao Yuan and Siyu Yue
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(12), 6271; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12126271 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3189
Abstract
The use of gamification elements in health apps has been shown to promote healthy behaviors. However, one-size-fits-all gamification strategy does not have the best persuasive effect. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to determine how to select personalized game elements for older [...] Read more.
The use of gamification elements in health apps has been shown to promote healthy behaviors. However, one-size-fits-all gamification strategy does not have the best persuasive effect. Therefore, the aim of this paper was to determine how to select personalized game elements for older adults and use them in health education app design. Firstly, based on the DMC model, the Kano model was used to identify the demand attributes of game mechanisms, and three gamification mechanisms (winning, feedback and reward) preferred by the elderly were selected. Secondly, the corresponding gamification elements were selected by the focus group method, and nine virtual products were generated. Thirdly, the virtual products were rated and conjointly analyzed to obtain the relative importance of gamification mechanisms and the utility values of gamification elements, and a comparative analysis was conducted on four characteristics of older adults: age, gender, personal income, and education. The results obtained the best combination of gamification elements chosen by the elderly under different classifications. Finally, design guidelines on persuasive gamification elements were developed based on the characteristics of older adults, and a modified gamification model was proposed. The results of this study provide suggestions and guidelines for the design of persuasive gamification in health education apps, which will help improve the satisfaction of older adults with health apps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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13 pages, 1004 KiB  
Article
Problematic Smartphone Use Leads to Behavioral and Cognitive Self-Control Deficits
by Rosa Angela Fabio, Alessia Stracuzzi and Riccardo Lo Faro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127445 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 10008
Abstract
Excessive use of smartphones has been associated with a number of negative consequences for individuals. Some of these consequences relate to many symptoms of behavioral addiction. The present study aims to investigate whether participants with high levels of smartphone usage may have difficulty [...] Read more.
Excessive use of smartphones has been associated with a number of negative consequences for individuals. Some of these consequences relate to many symptoms of behavioral addiction. The present study aims to investigate whether participants with high levels of smartphone usage may have difficulty with their ability to wield the self-control that is needed to restrict smartphone usage compared to participants with lower levels of smartphone addiction. Specifically, we expect that people with high levels of smartphone usage may have problems in refraining from using a smartphone. In addition, we expect people with a high level of smartphone use may show deficiencies in cognitive tasks such as memory, executive control, and visual and auditory attention. An ABA design was applied to analyze the effects of smartphone withdrawal. The first A refers to baseline measurements: Visual RT, Auditory RT, Go/No-Go RT and N-Back RT and Eriksen flanker RT. The B refers to 3 days of smartphone withdrawal, whereas the second A refers to the same measurements used in the baseline. In addition, several standardized scales were administered, among them: Smartphone addiction scale-short version (SAS-SV), Fear of missing out scale (FoMOs), Procrastination scale, and Psychological General Well-Being Index. One hundred and eleven participants took part in the study. Based on median split they were divided into two groups: high level and low level smartphone users. Moreover, thanks to an app installed on the participants’ smartphones, it was possible to measure levels of compliance with the task. Results indicate that participants with low levels of smartphone usage show less difficulty in their ability to wield the self-control needed to withdraw smartphone use and faster reaction times on cognitive tests than participants with high levels of smartphone usage. Moreover, the profile of participants with high levels of smartphone usage shows higher scores on the FoMOs and Procrastination scale, and lower scores in the Psychological General Well-Being Index. The results are discussed in light of self-regulation theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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10 pages, 1200 KiB  
Article
An-m-Health Intervention Using Smartphone App to Improve Physical Activity in College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial
by Hala K. Al-Nawaiseh, William A. McIntosh and Lisako J. McKyer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127228 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2574
Abstract
Using m-Health apps can provide researchers and others with an effective way for improving physical activity (PA) and healthy lifestyle behaviors. The promotion of health should move from a model focused on the physical and biological basis of illness and towards a focus [...] Read more.
Using m-Health apps can provide researchers and others with an effective way for improving physical activity (PA) and healthy lifestyle behaviors. The promotion of health should move from a model focused on the physical and biological basis of illness and towards a focus on the behavioral changes that support health. Therefore, the aims of the current study were to improve PA (step-counts) and body weight using a theory-based m-Health app. A 12-week randomized treatment trial was carried out at Texas A&M University, Texas, college station. College students (n = 130) were recruited. They were randomized in an equal ratio of 1:1 to intervention (m-Health app) (n = 65) and control (n = 65) conditions. The response rate was (87.6%). Both groups utilized a Smartphone app. The intervention group received PA goals of (10,000 steps/day), using an m-Health app. The control group was provided with information related to daily recommended PA levels. The primary change was daily step count between the baseline and follow-up. The secondary outcome was the body mass index (BMI). Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the baseline differences between the control and intervention groups. Independent sample t-test were used for comparison between the intervention and control groups. Post-intervention PAs were higher for the intervention group (mean = 54,896.) vs. control group (mean = 45,530.12; p < 0.05). The intervention group’s step-counts increased significantly (pre-mean = 40,320.38 steps per week; post-mean = 54,896.27 steps per week, p < 0.05). The body-weight changes were significant among the intervention group (p < 0.05). m-Health apps can increase PA and improve body weight, with goal setting and feedback as key intervention components. Future studies should personalize PA goals and feedback. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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13 pages, 581 KiB  
Article
Videoconference-Based Physical Performance Tests: Reliability and Feasibility Study
by Ander Espin, Julia García-García, Unai Latorre Erezuma, Maialen Aiestaran, Jon Irazusta and Ana Rodriguez-Larrad
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(12), 7109; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19127109 - 9 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Validated tools to evaluate physical performance remotely with real-time supervision are lacking. We assessed test–retest and inter-rater reliability, as well as the feasibility of carrying out the five-repetition sit-to-stand (5RSTS), kneeling push-up (KPU) and Shirado–Ito trunk flexor endurance (SIF) tests by 1:1 real-time [...] Read more.
Validated tools to evaluate physical performance remotely with real-time supervision are lacking. We assessed test–retest and inter-rater reliability, as well as the feasibility of carrying out the five-repetition sit-to-stand (5RSTS), kneeling push-up (KPU) and Shirado–Ito trunk flexor endurance (SIF) tests by 1:1 real-time videoconference. We also evaluated the correlation of these tests with measures of self-reported physical fitness, physical activity, health state and pain. A total of 96 healthy adults participated in the study (18–65 years). Relative and absolute reliabilities were assessed with the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and standard error of measurement (SEM), respectively. Feasibility outcomes included testing duration, participant acceptability (1–5 Likert scale) and presence of adverse events. Self-reported measures were obtained with validated online questionnaires, and correlations were analyzed with Pearson’s partial correlation coefficients controlling for age. ICCs were excellent (>0.9), and SEMs were generally low (2.43–16.21%). The mean duration of all tests was <5 min, mean acceptability was ≥4.5, and adverse events were few. The KPU showed statistically significant correlations with various self-reported measures (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the 5RSTS, KPU and SIF were reliable and feasible when conducted by 1:1 real-time videoconference. This study provides a tool that could be logistically and economically advantageous. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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10 pages, 1855 KiB  
Article
Implementation Details for Controlling Contactless 3D Virtual Endoscopy
by Martin Zagar, Ivica Klapan, Alan Mutka and Zlatko Majhen
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(11), 5757; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12115757 - 6 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1513
Abstract
In the medical world, with the innovative application of medical informatics, it is possible to enable many aspects of surgeries that were not able to be addressed before. One of these is contactless surgery planning and controlling the visualization of medical data. In [...] Read more.
In the medical world, with the innovative application of medical informatics, it is possible to enable many aspects of surgeries that were not able to be addressed before. One of these is contactless surgery planning and controlling the visualization of medical data. In our approach to contactless surgery, we adopted a new framework for hand and motion detection based on augmented reality. We developed a contactless interface for a surgeon to control the visualization options in our DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) viewer platform that uses a stereo camera as a sensor device input that controls hand/finger motions, in contactless mode, and applied it to 3D virtual endoscopy. In this paper, we will present our proposal for defining motion parameters in contactless, incisionless surgeries. We enabled better surgeon’s experience, more precise surgery, real-time feedback, depth motion tracking, and contactless control of visualization, which gives freedom to the surgeon during the surgery. We implemented motion tracking using stereo cameras with depth resolution and precise shutter sensors for depth streaming. Our solution provides contactless control with a range up to 2–3 m that enables the application in the operating room. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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14 pages, 634 KiB  
Article
Digital Health Profile of South Korea: A Cross Sectional Study
by Kyehwa Lee, Libga Seo, Dukyong Yoon, Kwangmo Yang, Jae-Eun Yi, Yoomi Kim and Jae-Ho Lee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 6329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106329 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3018
Abstract
(1) Backgroud: For future national digital healthcare policy development, it is vital to collect baseline data on the infrastructure and services of medical institutions’ information and communication technology (ICT). To assess the state of medical ICT across the nation, we devised and administered [...] Read more.
(1) Backgroud: For future national digital healthcare policy development, it is vital to collect baseline data on the infrastructure and services of medical institutions’ information and communication technology (ICT). To assess the state of medical ICT across the nation, we devised and administered a comprehensive digital healthcare survey to medical institutions across the nation. (2) Methods: From 16 November through 11 December 2020, this study targeted 42 tertiary hospitals, 311 general hospitals, and 1431 hospital locations countrywide. (3) Results: Since 2015, most hospitals have implemented electronic medical record (EMR) systems (90.5 percent of hospitals, which is the smallest unit, and 100 percent of tertiary hospitals). The rate of implementation of personal health records (PHRs) varied significantly between 61.9 percent and 2.4 percent, depending on the size of the hospital. Hospitals have implemented around three to seven government-sponsored information/data transmission and receiving systems for statistical or investigative objectives. For secondary usage of medical data, more than half of tertiary hospitals have implemented a clinical data warehouse or shared data model. However, new service establishments utilizing modern medical technologies such as artificial intelligence or lifelogging were scarce and in the planning stages. (4) Conclusion: This study shows that the level of digitalization in Korean medical institutions is significant, despite the fact that the development and spending in ICT infrastructure and services provided by individual institutions imposes a significant cost. This illustrates that, in the face of a pandemic, strong government backing and policymaking are essential to activate ICT-based medical services and efficiently use medical data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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12 pages, 4067 KiB  
Article
Association of eHealth Literacy with Health Promotion Behaviors of Community-Dwelling Older People: The Chain Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy and Self-Care Ability
by Yinuo Wang, Yuting Song, Yaru Zhu, Heqian Ji and Aimin Wang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 6092; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19106092 - 17 May 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3289
Abstract
In the digital age, electronic health literacy (eHealth literacy) of community-dwelling older people plays a potentially important role in their health behaviors which are critical for health outcomes. Researchers have documented that self-efficacy and self-care ability are related to this relationship. This study [...] Read more.
In the digital age, electronic health literacy (eHealth literacy) of community-dwelling older people plays a potentially important role in their health behaviors which are critical for health outcomes. Researchers have documented that self-efficacy and self-care ability are related to this relationship. This study aimed to assess the relationship between eHealth literacy and health promotion behaviors among older people living in communities and explore the chain mediating role of self-efficacy and self-care ability. For this cross-sectional study, we used data from 425 older adults at 3 communities in Qingdao, Shandong Province in Northeastern China, from June to September 2021. Path analysis using the structural equation model was performed. We found that eHealth literacy was significantly associated with health promotion behaviors in older people. Additionally, eHealth literacy indirectly affected health promotion behaviors through self-efficacy and self-care ability, respectively. In addition, the chain mediation effect was identified in the relationship of eHealth literacy and health promotion behaviors: eHealth literacy→ self-efficacy→ self-care ability→ health promotion behaviors. These findings offer promising directions for developing interventions to modify older adults’ health behaviors through enhancing their eHealth literacy. These interventions should integrate components that target improving the self-efficacy and self-care ability of older people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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15 pages, 357 KiB  
Protocol
STAR-VITAL, a Four Year Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion Program: Study Design
by Klemen Širok, Mojca Stubelj, Matej Voglar, Denisa Manojlović, Darinka Radoja, Suzana Laporšek, Matija Vodopivec, Ana Arzenšek, Natalija Rozman, Mirna Macur, Katja Pesjak and Simona Perčič
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 5854; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105854 - 11 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1855
Abstract
Background: Premature death, chronic disease, and productivity loss can be reduced with the help of programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. Workplace health promotion programs have been shown to be an efficient way of improving employee health. These can also benefit employers by [...] Read more.
Background: Premature death, chronic disease, and productivity loss can be reduced with the help of programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. Workplace health promotion programs have been shown to be an efficient way of improving employee health. These can also benefit employers by improving retention, reducing worker turnover, and lowering healthcare costs. In Slovenia, a workplace health promotion program called “STAR-VITAL—Joint Measures for the Vitality of Older Workers” targeting small- and medium-sized enterprises has been ongoing since September 2017. We hypothesize that this workplace health promotion program will yield long-term health changes for the included employees and employers. Methods/Design: The manuscript presents a workplace health promotion program design that introduces some novel approaches and solutions to workplace health promotion program implementation. It also introduces a measurement of their effects that address the problem of low participation rates and the effectiveness of workplace health promotion programs, as follows: (1) the multifaceted and individualised approach to implementation, (2) customer relationship management (CRM) -based interaction management with program participants, and (3) impact evaluation based on employee health and labour market data observing both intermediate outcomes and the final outcomes based on national micro administrative data. Discussion: Although the novel approaches introduced with the STAR-VITAL program proved to be effective during the COVID-19 pandemic, they deserve the attention of scholars and practitioners. Further research is called for to further explore the potential of CRM in health promotion contexts, the effectiveness of multifaceted and individualised workplace health promotion program interventions, and micro administrative data-based impact evaluations. Conclusions: The STAR-VITAL program introduces several new approaches addressing the problem of low participation rates and the effectiveness of WHPPs. Further research is called for to discover and explore the potential of those novel approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
21 pages, 5555 KiB  
Article
A Regulatory Game Analysis of Smart Aging Platforms Considering Privacy Protection
by Tengfei Shi, Hanjie Xiao, Fengxia Han, Lan Chen and Jianwei Shi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5778; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095778 - 9 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2318
Abstract
Privacy and information protection are important issues in the era of big data. At present, China’s elderly care industry is gradually adopting the supply model of smart elderly care to alleviate the contradiction between supply and demand. However, the low level of regulation [...] Read more.
Privacy and information protection are important issues in the era of big data. At present, China’s elderly care industry is gradually adopting the supply model of smart elderly care to alleviate the contradiction between supply and demand. However, the low level of regulation of smart aging platforms may lead to a low level of privacy protection on the platforms. Therefore, in this paper, based on the evolutionary game and Lyapunov theory, we discuss the willingness of elderly people to participate in regulation, the privacy protection status of platform service providers, and the degree of government regulation, as well as the key factors affecting the equilibrium of the three-party game system, and conduct simulation analysis and game system optimization using MATLAB. The simulation results show that A1(0,0,1) and A5(0,0,0) can be transformed to A8(1,1,0) by adjusting the parameters, i.e., the optimal ESS is participation, high-quality protection, and low investment supervision; the service income of the elderly, the loss of privacy leakage, the investment cost of service providers, and the amount of government rewards and punishments are the key factors affecting the tripartite game system. By analyzing the impact of factors, such as benefits and costs, on privacy protection and the regulation of smart senior care platforms, the level of privacy protection of smart senior care platforms can be improved and the process of the comprehensive regulation of domestic senior care services can be promoted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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13 pages, 658 KiB  
Article
Codesign and Feasibility Testing of a Tool to Evaluate Overweight and Obesity Apps
by Elisa Puigdomènech, Noemi Robles, Mariona Balfegó, Guillem Cuatrecasas, Alberto Zamora, Francesc Saigí-Rubió, Guillem Paluzié, Montserrat Moharra and Carme Carrion
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(9), 5387; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19095387 - 28 Apr 2022
Viewed by 3516
Abstract
Background: Digital health interventions and mobile technologies can help to reduce the rates of obesity and overweight conditions. Although weight management apps are widely used, they usually lack professional content and evaluation, so the quality of these apps cannot be guaranteed. The EVALAPPS [...] Read more.
Background: Digital health interventions and mobile technologies can help to reduce the rates of obesity and overweight conditions. Although weight management apps are widely used, they usually lack professional content and evaluation, so the quality of these apps cannot be guaranteed. The EVALAPPS project aims to design and validate a tool to assess the safety and effectiveness of health-related apps whose main goal is to manage and prevent obesity and overweight conditions. Objective: The aim of this paper is two-fold: (a) to co-create and codesign the EVALAPPS assessment tool and (b) to pilot its feasibility among overweight and obese individuals that use weight control apps. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used. A multidisciplinary team (n = 12) participated in a co-creation workshop to provide proposals and inputs about the look and feel of the content, usability aspects, appearance, sections, and main features of the EVALAPPS tool. The tool was tested for its feasibility among 31 overweight and obese individuals, attending the CP Endocrinologia i Nutrició SL Clinic for the first time. Participants were asked to use a specific weight control app [Yazio (YAZIO GmbH, Erfurt, Germany), My FitnessPal (MyFitnessPal, Austin, TX, USA) or MyPlate (MyPlate, Santa Monica, CA, USA)] for two weeks and then evaluate them by using the EVALAPPS (EVALAPPS, David Ganyan, Barcelona, Spain) (June 2020, David Ganyan, Barcelona, Spain) tool. Seven participants were phone interviewed to gain more insight into the use of the EVALAPPS tool. Results: The co-creation workshop allowed conceptualizing the EVALAPPS tool. The feasibility study showed that all criteria from the Usability and Functionality dimensions had valid answers, while Reliability, Security, Privacy, and Health indicators were the dimensions with less valid answers. In all three apps, the dimension with the highest score was Usability/functionality, followed by app purpose. Clinical effectiveness and Development were the dimensions with the lowest scores in all three tested weight control apps. Conclusions: The participation of the multidisciplinary team and end-users in the conceptualization and testing of a tool to assess health apps was feasible and relevant for the usability of the tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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17 pages, 1684 KiB  
Review
Efficacy of Mobile Health Applications to Improve Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis for Physically Inactive Individuals
by Meng Zhang, Wei Wang, Mingye Li, Haomin Sheng and Yifei Zhai
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(8), 4905; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19084905 - 18 Apr 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3703
Abstract
Physical inactivity and sedentary behavior (SB) have attracted growing attention globally since they relate to noninfectious chronic diseases (NCDs) and could further result in the loss of life. This systematic literature review aimed to identify existing evidence on the efficacy of mobile health [...] Read more.
Physical inactivity and sedentary behavior (SB) have attracted growing attention globally since they relate to noninfectious chronic diseases (NCDs) and could further result in the loss of life. This systematic literature review aimed to identify existing evidence on the efficacy of mobile health (mHealth) technology in inducing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior for physically inactive people. Studies were included if they used a smartphone app in an intervention to improve physical activity and/or sedentary behavior for physically inactive individuals. Interventions could be stand-alone interventions or multi-component interventions, including an app as one of several intervention components. A total of nine studies were included, and all were randomized controlled trials. Two studies involved interventions delivered solely via a mobile application (stand-alone intervention) and seven studies involved interventions that used apps and other intervention strategies (multi-component intervention). Methodological quality was assessed, and the overall quality of the studies was ensured. The pooled data favored intervention in improving physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior. This review provided evidence that mobile health intervention improved physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior among inactive individuals. More beneficial effects can be guaranteed when interventions include multiple components. Further studies that maintain the effectiveness of such interventions are required to maximize user engagement and intervention efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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10 pages, 515 KiB  
Article
The Portrait of Cyberchondria—A Cross-Sectional Online Study on Factors Related to Health Anxiety and Cyberchondria in Polish Population during SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic
by Marta Ciułkowicz, Błażej Misiak, Dorota Szcześniak, Jolanta Grzebieluch, Julian Maciaszek and Joanna Rymaszewska
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4347; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074347 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2667
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has served as a magnifying glass for cyberchondria, while the internet emerged as one of the main sources of medical information and support. The core ambition of this study was to estimate the level of cyberchondria and describe the socio-demographic, [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has served as a magnifying glass for cyberchondria, while the internet emerged as one of the main sources of medical information and support. The core ambition of this study was to estimate the level of cyberchondria and describe the socio-demographic, clinical and pandemic-related factors affecting its severity amid the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. A cross-sectional study was performed between 16 May 2020 and 29 December 2020 in Poland within a sample of 538 adult internet users. The online survey tool included a Polish adaptation of the Cyberchondria Severity Scale (CSS-PL) and the Short Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI), complemented with a set of questions covering sociodemographic, clinical and pandemic-related factors. Participants were clustered according to severity of health anxiety and cyberchondria symptoms. The performed binary logistic regression indicated professional inactivity, having a chronic mental disorder and subjectively limited access to healthcare due to COVID-19 to be key determinants of severe health anxiety and cyberchondria. Cyberchondria might be a remarkable public health issue as large proportion of respondents from the analyzed sample population of internet users met the criteria for severe symptoms. Key determinants of intense cyberchondria corresponded with employment stability, mental resilience and accessibility of healthcare services, which could be greatly challenged amid the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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13 pages, 349 KiB  
Article
Perspectives and Views of Primary Care Professionals Regarding DiabeText, a New mHealth Intervention to Support Adherence to Antidiabetic Medication in Spain: A Qualitative Study
by Rocío Zamanillo-Campos, Maria Jesús Serrano-Ripoll, Joana Maria Taltavull-Aparicio, Elena Gervilla-García, Joana Ripoll, Maria Antonia Fiol-deRoque, Anne-Marie Boylan and Ignacio Ricci-Cabello
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4237; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074237 - 1 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2088
Abstract
Background: Antidiabetic medication is effective in preventing diabetes-related complications. However, 40% of type 2 diabetic patients do not adhere to their medication regimes adequately. Brief text messages represent a promising approach to support medication adherence. The aim of this study was to explore [...] Read more.
Background: Antidiabetic medication is effective in preventing diabetes-related complications. However, 40% of type 2 diabetic patients do not adhere to their medication regimes adequately. Brief text messages represent a promising approach to support medication adherence. The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives of primary care professionals (PCPs) concerning the DiabeText intervention, a new text messaging intervention to be developed to support medication adherence in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Mallorca, Spain. Methods: We conducted four focus groups (n = 28) and eight semi-structured interviews with doctors and nurses. Data collection and analysis were carried out by researchers independently following Braun and Clark’s methodology. Results: Three main themes were identified: (1) text messaging interventions have the potential to effectively support diabetes self-management; (2) involving PCPs in the intervention would facilitate its design and implementation; (3) obtaining evidence supporting the cost-effectiveness is a key prerequisite for large-scale implementation of the intervention. PCPs identified barriers and enablers of the design and implementation of the intervention and made suggestions about the content and format of the text messages. Conclusion: The DiabeText intervention is perceived as useful and acceptable by PCPs provided its cost-effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
9 pages, 898 KiB  
Case Report
Adoption of Health Mobile Apps during the COVID-19 Lockdown: A Health Belief Model Approach
by Nouf Sahal Alharbi, Amany Shlyan AlGhanmi and Mochammad Fahlevi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074179 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3584
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the adoption of the Sehha, Mawid, and Tetamman mobile health applications during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia. The present study investigated factors influencing app use intention based on the Health Belief Model (HBM) approach. This study was [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the adoption of the Sehha, Mawid, and Tetamman mobile health applications during the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia. The present study investigated factors influencing app use intention based on the Health Belief Model (HBM) approach. This study was conducted using a sample of 176 participants from the Riyadh and Makkah regions during the lockdown in May 2020. This study uses structural equation modeling for data collected using SmartPLS 3.3.9 (GmbH, Oststeinbek, Germany) to examine the effect of constructs on the model. The most important predictor was the perceived benefits of the mobile health apps, followed by self-efficacy. The perceived barriers and cues to action have no significant effect on behavioral intention. The perceived benefits and self-efficacy as keys can provide an overview to the government and to health organizations for taking into account the most important factors of the adoption of mobile health apps, meaning that the developer must adjust to the characteristics of the community of people that need applications that provide many benefits and have an impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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25 pages, 11011 KiB  
Review
A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Telemedicine in Glycemic Management among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in Primary Care
by Anqi Zhang, Jinsong Wang, Xiaojuan Wan, Ziyi Zhang, Shuhan Zhao, Zihe Guo and Chufan Wang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074173 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5092
Abstract
Introduction: Telemedicine interventions are gradually being used in primary health care to help patients with type 2 diabetes receive ongoing medical guidance. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of using telemedicine in primary health care for the management [...] Read more.
Introduction: Telemedicine interventions are gradually being used in primary health care to help patients with type 2 diabetes receive ongoing medical guidance. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of using telemedicine in primary health care for the management of patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: A systematic search was conducted from database inception to August 2021 in nine databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, EBSCO, CNKI, Wanfang Data, VIP, and CBM. Data extraction and quality assessment were performed for studies that met the inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis was performed using Review Manager 5.4 (Cochrane) and Stata v.16.0SE (College Station, TX, USA). Results: A total of 32 articles were included in this study. Analysis showed a reduction in glycated hemoglobin, fasting glucose, and postprandial glucose after the telemedicine intervention. Systolic blood pressure and self-efficacy improved significantly, but there was no significant improvement in weight, lipid metabolism, or diabetes awareness. Subgroup analysis based on the duration of intervention showed significant improvement in glycated hemoglobin at 6 months of intervention. Conclusions: Telemedicine interventions may help patients with type 2 diabetes to effectively control blood glucose and improve self-management in primary health care. There is only moderate benefit, and the benefit may not be sustained beyond 6 months. However, the evidence for the improvement in lipid metabolism is insufficient and further studies are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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13 pages, 659 KiB  
Article
Standardising Training of Nurses in an Evidence-Based Psychosocial Intervention for Perinatal Depression: Randomized Trial of Electronic vs. Face-to-Face Training in China
by Anum Nisar, Juan Yin, Yiping Nan, Huanyuan Luo, Dongfang Han, Lei Yang, Jiaying Li, Duolao Wang, Atif Rahman and Xiaomei Li
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4094; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074094 - 30 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2179
Abstract
Background: Rates of perinatal depression in China are high. The Thinking Healthy Programme is a WHO-endorsed, evidence-based psychosocial intervention for perinatal depression, requiring five days of face-to-face training by a specialist trainer. Given the paucity of specialist trainers and logistical challenges, standardized training [...] Read more.
Background: Rates of perinatal depression in China are high. The Thinking Healthy Programme is a WHO-endorsed, evidence-based psychosocial intervention for perinatal depression, requiring five days of face-to-face training by a specialist trainer. Given the paucity of specialist trainers and logistical challenges, standardized training of large numbers of nurses is a major challenge for scaling up. We developed an electronic training programme (e-training) which eliminates the need for specialist-led, face-to-face training. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the e-training compared to conventional face-to-face training in nursing students. Methods: A single blind, non-inferiority, randomized controlled trial was conducted. One hundred nursing students from two nursing schools were randomly assigned to either e-training or conventional face-to-face training. Results: E-training was not inferior to specialist-led face-to-face training immediately post-training [mean ENhancing Assessment of Common Therapeutic factors (ENACT) score (M) 45.73, standard deviation (SD) 4.03 vs. M 47.08, SD 4.53; mean difference (MD) −1.35, 95% CI; (−3.17, 0.46), p = 0.14]. There was no difference in ENACT scores at three months [M = 42.16, SD 4.85 vs. M = 42.65, SD 4.65; MD = −0.481, 95% CI; (−2.35, 1.39), p = 0.61]. Conclusions: E-training is a promising tool with comparative effectiveness to specialist-led face-to-face training. E-training can be used for training of non-specialists for evidence-based psychosocial interventions at scale and utilized where there is a shortage of specialist trainers, but practice under supervision is necessary to maintain competence. However, continued practice under supervision may be necessary to maintain competence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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15 pages, 1670 KiB  
Article
Impact of Digital Device, Exercise, and Music Intervention Programs on the Cognition and Depression of the Elderly in South Korea: A Meta-Regression Analysis
by Jaeeon Yoo, Junga Oh, Sang-Youn Kim, Jungmin Shin, Siekyeong Kim and Changhyun Roh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074036 - 29 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2228
Abstract
Background: This study examined the effect of digital devices, exercise, and music intervention programs for the elderly in Korea on their cognition and depression. Methods: This study selected 70 cognition programs and 46 depression programs for the elderly in Korea. This study controlled [...] Read more.
Background: This study examined the effect of digital devices, exercise, and music intervention programs for the elderly in Korea on their cognition and depression. Methods: This study selected 70 cognition programs and 46 depression programs for the elderly in Korea. This study controlled the characteristics of the programs and participants, and conducted a meta-regression analysis to estimate the intervention effect size of digital devices, exercise, and music on cognition and depression. Results: The meta-regression analysis revealed that digital device programs had a smaller effect size with respect to the improvement of cognitive functions than programs that did not use digital devices. The exercise programs had a small effect size on depression, but their effect size on cognition was not significantly different. Discussion: These findings provide implications for developing a program that combines music therapy with digital devices and exercise interventions, which can be effective in addressing both cognition and depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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13 pages, 653 KiB  
Article
A Novel Intensity-Based Approach to Increasing Prefrontal Cerebral Oxygenation by Walking Exercise
by Ya-Wen Hsiao, Hsin-Ya Tzeng, Chi-Ming Chu, Hsiang-Yun Lan and Hui-Hsun Chiang
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(4), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12040510 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2132
Abstract
Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) increases after moderately intense exercise and is significantly correlated with cognitive function. However, no intensity-based physiological indicator for enhancing rCBF during low- to-moderate-intensity exercise has been proposed. The purpose of this study was to develop a physiological indicator [...] Read more.
Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) increases after moderately intense exercise and is significantly correlated with cognitive function. However, no intensity-based physiological indicator for enhancing rCBF during low- to-moderate-intensity exercise has been proposed. The purpose of this study was to develop a physiological indicator housed in a wearable device to determine whether low-to-moderate intensity walking can increase rCBF. A cross-sectional study with four parallel arms was performed. Each of 114 participants was randomly assigned to either the moderate, low-to-moderate, low, or very low walking intensity groups. A novel dynamic cardiac force meter (CFM) was used to quantify walking intensity. Heart rate and hemoencephalography (HEG) were measured during each phase of the session. Compared to baseline, HEG significantly increased in both the submaximal exercise and recovery phases in members of the low-to-moderate intensity group but not the very low intensity group. Low-to-moderate intensity walking improves prefrontal cerebral blood oxygenation. The present results demonstrate the usefulness of a dynamic CFM housed in a wearable device for quantifying the intensity of walking exercise aimed at increasing prefrontal blood oxygenation. The results of the study may help guide further development of exercise strategies for brain disease patients and the ageing population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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14 pages, 414 KiB  
Article
Fast Phylogeny of SARS-CoV-2 by Compression
by Rudi L. Cilibrasi and Paul M. B. Vitányi
Entropy 2022, 24(4), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/e24040439 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2175
Abstract
The compression method to assess similarity, in the sense of having a small normalized compression distance (NCD), was developed based on algorithmic information theory to quantify the similarity in files ranging from words and languages to genomes and music pieces. It has been [...] Read more.
The compression method to assess similarity, in the sense of having a small normalized compression distance (NCD), was developed based on algorithmic information theory to quantify the similarity in files ranging from words and languages to genomes and music pieces. It has been validated on objects from different domains always using essentially the same software. We analyze the whole-genome phylogeny and taxonomy of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for causing the COVID-19 disease, using the alignment-free compression method to assess similarity. We compare the SARS-CoV-2 virus with a database of over 6500 viruses. The results suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is closest in that database to the RaTG13 virus and rather close to the bat SARS-like coronaviruses bat-SL-CoVZXC21 and bat-SL-CoVZC45. Over 6500 viruses are identified (given by their registration code) with larger NCDs. The NCDs are compared with the NCDs between the mtDNA of familiar species. We address the question of whether pangolins are involved in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The compression method is simpler and possibly faster than any other whole-genome method, which makes it the ideal tool to explore phylogeny. Here, we use it for the complex case of determining this similarity between the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2 and many other viruses. The resulting phylogeny and taxonomy closely resemble earlier results from by alignment-based methods and a machine-learning method, providing the most compelling evidence to date for the compression method, showing that one can achieve equivalent results both simply and quickly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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14 pages, 1485 KiB  
Article
Digital Health Literacy and Information-Seeking Behavior among University College Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Study from Denmark
by Carsten K. Bak, Jeanne Ø. Krammer, Kevin Dadaczynski, Okan Orkan, Jesper von Seelen, Christina Prinds, Lene M. Søbjerg and Heidi Klakk
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3676; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063676 - 19 Mar 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 5720
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic and the concomitant infodemic have emphasized the importance of digital health literacy (DHL) to global public health research and practice. The aim of this study was to examine information-seeking behavior, the ability to find, understand and deal with health information [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the concomitant infodemic have emphasized the importance of digital health literacy (DHL) to global public health research and practice. The aim of this study was to examine information-seeking behavior, the ability to find, understand and deal with health information among university college students in Denmark and/in addition we wanted to examine the impact of their close social network on students’ ability to find and understand health information. This research was carried out as part of the COVID-HL university student survey by using a uniform questionnaire consisting of elaborated scales. Data were collected from a cross-sectional survey conducted at University College South during 4 weeks in April and May 2020. To capture DHL, four subscales of the DHL instrument were adapted to the pandemic context. A total of 59.9% of the students have sufficient DHL—most students find it rather easy to find information and are satisfied with the information they find on the internet. However, some (28.1%) students find it difficult to judge the quality and reliability of the information. Students with a sufficient level of DHL are more likely to seek information through search engines and websites of official institutions, while students with a limited level of DHL more often use social media for health information. Students with sufficient DHL more often share health information and less often ask for support in their network Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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18 pages, 1624 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of an Electronic Medical Record Module for Nursing Documentation in Paediatric Palliative Care: Involvement of Nurses with a Think-Aloud Approach
by Sven Kernebeck, Theresa Sophie Busse, Chantal Jux, Larissa Alice Dreier, Dorothee Meyer, Daniel Zenz, Boris Zernikow and Jan Peter Ehlers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3637; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063637 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5431
Abstract
Background: Paediatric palliative care (PPC) is a noncurative approach to the care of children and adolescents with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses. Electronic medical records (EMRs) play an important role in documenting such complex processes. Despite their benefits, they can introduce unintended consequences if [...] Read more.
Background: Paediatric palliative care (PPC) is a noncurative approach to the care of children and adolescents with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses. Electronic medical records (EMRs) play an important role in documenting such complex processes. Despite their benefits, they can introduce unintended consequences if future users are not involved in their development. Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the acceptance of a novel module for nursing documentation by nurses working in the context of PPC. Methods: An observational study employing concurrent think-aloud and semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 11 nurses working in PPC. Based on the main determinants of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT), data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results: The main determinants of UTAUT were found to potentially influence acceptance of the novel module. Participants perceived the module to be self-explanatory and intuitive. Some adaptations, such as the reduction of fragmentation in the display, the optimization of confusing mouseover fields, and the use of familiar nursing terminology, are reasonable ways of increasing software adoption. Conclusions: After adaptation of the modules based on the results, further evaluation with the participation of future users is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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20 pages, 2062 KiB  
Article
Medical Students’ Online Learning Perceptions, Online Learning Readiness, and Learning Outcomes during COVID-19: The Moderating Role of Teacher’s Readiness to Teach Online
by Muddassar Sarfraz, Ghulam Hussain, Muhammad Shahid, Amir Riaz, Muhammad Muavia, Yahya Saleem Fahed, Faiza Azam and Mohammad Tallal Abdullah
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3520; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063520 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3676
Abstract
This study determined the direct and indirect effects of medical students’ online learning perceptions on learning outcomes via their readiness for online learning. It also determined the moderating effect of teachers’ online teaching readiness on medical students’ online learning perceptions and learning outcomes. [...] Read more.
This study determined the direct and indirect effects of medical students’ online learning perceptions on learning outcomes via their readiness for online learning. It also determined the moderating effect of teachers’ online teaching readiness on medical students’ online learning perceptions and learning outcomes. We apply the theoretical lens of self-determination theory and constructivist theory to formulate hypotheses. We used self-administered and postal survey methods to collect data from fourth and fifth-year medical students on online learning perceptions, readiness for online learning, and learning outcomes in two waves. We also collected data from the teachers about their perceptions of online teaching readiness. We received 517 usable students’ responses (Level-1) and 88 usable teachers’ responses (Level-2). We tested Level-1 hypotheses about direct and indirect effects in Analysis of Moment Structures (AMOS), and a Level-2 hypothesis about moderating effect was tested using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM). The results for the Level-1 hypotheses supported the positive effects of students’ online learning perceptions and readiness for online learning on learning outcomes. Student readiness for online learning significantly mediated the relationship between online learning perceptions and learning outcomes. HLM results also supported a moderating effect of teachers’ online teaching readiness on medical students’ online learning perceptions and learning outcomes in such a way that learning outcomes were high when students’ online learning perceptions and teachers’ online teaching readiness were high. Based on the study’s findings, we offer contributions to theory and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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16 pages, 1117 KiB  
Article
Confirmatory Validation of an Evaluation Instrument for Interventions Based on the Healthy Habits App Healthy Jeart with Adolescents
by María Ángeles Merino-Godoy, Carmen Yot-Domínguez, Jesús Conde-Jiménez and Ana María de la Calle-Cabrera
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(3), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12030470 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 2344
Abstract
Mobile devices are widely used among young people, and their use for health promotion is in-creasing. Healthy Jeart is a mobile application aimed at promoting healthy life habits among people aged 8–16 years. The aim of this study was to develop and validate [...] Read more.
Mobile devices are widely used among young people, and their use for health promotion is in-creasing. Healthy Jeart is a mobile application aimed at promoting healthy life habits among people aged 8–16 years. The aim of this study was to develop and validate an instrument that allows evaluating the healthy knowledge, habits and attitudes learned by adolescents aged 12–16 years through the Healthy Jeart application. Attending to the content of Healthy Jeart, a first version of the evaluation instrument was generated. It was subjected to expert judgement. The second version was administered to 429 adolescents from six educational centres of Andalusia to carry out the validation of the construct through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. After exploration, a six-factor model was confirmed, with a very adequate level of fit and good internal consistency. The six factors were: (1) knowledge about eating and physical activity, (2) habits about eating and physical activity, (3) emotional health, (4) consumption of alcohol and drugs, (5) social relationships and (6) sexual activities and use of technologies. There are at least four instruments that could be used to measure health-promoting behaviours. However, this new instrument was created ad hoc. It measures exactly the results that can be expected. Healthy Jeart will now have a valid and reliable evaluation instrument: Ev-HealthyJRT v.1.0. Young people, teachers and other professionals who carry out health-promotion interventions based on Healthy Jeart with adolescents will have at their disposal an instrument integrated in this app that allows verifying the learning results. However, the validated instrument can be used for evaluation in other interventions, as long as the multiple and essential aspects of a healthy living are addressed as in Healthy Jeart. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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8 pages, 563 KiB  
Article
High SUVmax Is an Independent Predictor of Higher Diagnostic Accuracy of ROSE in EBUS-TBNA for Patients with NSCLC
by Ying-Yi Chen, Hsin-Ya Huang, Chi-Yi Lin, Kuan-Liang Chen and Tsai-Wang Huang
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(3), 451; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12030451 - 13 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1670
Abstract
Introduction: This study aimed to verify the predictors of the diagnostic accuracy of rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE) in endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) among patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: We retrospectively reviewed consecutive patients with NSCLC who underwent EBUS-TBNA [...] Read more.
Introduction: This study aimed to verify the predictors of the diagnostic accuracy of rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE) in endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) among patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: We retrospectively reviewed consecutive patients with NSCLC who underwent EBUS-TBNA for staging or diagnosis at our hospital from June 2016 to June 2018. The patients were divided into two groups—those with a correct diagnosis and an incorrect diagnosis after ROSE. Kaplan–Meier plots and log-rank tests were used to estimate outcomes. Results: A total of 84 patients underwent EBUS-TBNA for staging and diagnosis. Sixty patients with demonstrated malignant mediastinal lymph nodes were enrolled. In the univariate analysis, lymph nodes < 1.5 cm (HR = 3.667, p = 0.031) and a SUVmax > 5 (HR = 41, p = 0.001) were statistically significant for diagnostic accuracy of ROSE. In the multivariate Cox regression analysis, only a SUVmax > 5 (HR = 20.258, p = 0.016) was statistically significant. Conclusions: A SUVmax > 5 is an independent predictor of higher diagnostic accuracy of ROSE in EBUS-TBNA in patients with NSCLC with malignant mediastinal lymph nodes. Therefore, ROSE in patients with a SUVmax < 5 might not be reliable and requires further prudent assessment (more shots or repeated biopsies at mediastinal LNs) in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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11 pages, 369 KiB  
Article
Spanish Cross-Cultural Validation of the Electronic Version of the International Index of Erectile Function-5 (IIEF-5)
by Raquel Lizarraga-Limousin, Esther M. Medrano-Sánchez, Esther Díaz-Mohedo and Lorena Vergara-de-Carlos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 3115; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053115 - 7 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2009
Abstract
The IIEF-5 questionnaire is a validated scale used as a diagnostic tool in erectile dysfunction (ED). This simplified version includes five items that focus on erectile function and satisfaction during sexual intercourse; it has favourable properties for detecting the presence and severity of [...] Read more.
The IIEF-5 questionnaire is a validated scale used as a diagnostic tool in erectile dysfunction (ED). This simplified version includes five items that focus on erectile function and satisfaction during sexual intercourse; it has favourable properties for detecting the presence and severity of erectile dysfunction The main objective of this study was to make a cross-cultural adaptation to Spanish of the IIEF-5 scale and to evaluate its psychometric properties of validity, reliability, and feasibility in the Spanish population. Validation of the IIEF-5 included: (i) professional translation of the scale; (ii) scientific evaluation of the translation; (iii) professional retranslation; (iv) assessment of 10 individuals to test correct comprehension and idiomatic adequacy; (v) validation of the IIEF-5 by an online survey. The study sample consisted of 100 participants, who received the online form either directly or through other participants who distributed it. Participants obtained a mean score of 22.3 (SD 2.7), implying normal erectile function. However, 23 results of mild dysfunction (n = 23) and 2 of mild to moderate dysfunction (5.1%) were identified. A Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.75 was obtained for the total of the final questionnaire, indicating high reliability. Validity analysis had a value of 0.784 (>0.5) and was therefore considered appropriate. The IIEF-5 scale is a reliable tool to test ED, and its Spanish version is satisfactorily understood by patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
16 pages, 1301 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Peer Effect of Physicians’ and Patients’ Participation Behavior: Evidence from Online Health Communities
by Qiuju Yin, Haoyue Fan, Yijie Wang, Chenxi Guo and Xingzhi Cui
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052780 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2030
Abstract
Background: Little research has studied the peer effect of physicians and patients in online health communities (OHCs) simultaneously. The study investigates the impact of the focal physician’s peers (F-peers) on the focal physician (F-physician), and the impact of patients of the focal physician’s [...] Read more.
Background: Little research has studied the peer effect of physicians and patients in online health communities (OHCs) simultaneously. The study investigates the impact of the focal physician’s peers (F-peers) on the focal physician (F-physician), and the impact of patients of the focal physician’s peers (F-P-patients) on the focal physician’s patients (F-patients). Moreover, based on brand extension and accessible–diagnosable theories, this study explores the moderating effects of the intensity of F-peers’ knowledge sharing behavior and department reputation. Methods: This study collects data of 3297 physicians and related patients from Haodf.com platform between January 2019 and December 2019. Both two-way fixed effect and panel negative binomial regression are adopted to quantify the effects. Results: Results show that the behavior of F-peers positively affects the behavior of the F-physician, while the behavior of F-P-patients positively affects the behavior of F-patients. Moreover, both the intensity of F-peers’ knowledge sharing behavior and department reputation have a compound moderating effect. Conclusions: This study contributes to the literature of peer effects by constructing the conceptual framework of different types of individual participation behaviors in OHCs. The findings offer practical guides for establishing an incentive mechanism and formulating peer incentives or competition strategies in OHCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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15 pages, 3545 KiB  
Article
Digitized Prenatal Newsletter: Impact on Obstetric Patient Satisfaction and Loyalty
by María Caballero-Galilea, Esther Martínez-Miguel, Juan Carlos Fernández Gonzalo, Ricardo Saiz de la Cuesta Abbad and Margarita Rubio Alonso
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2773; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052773 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2628
Abstract
The high demand for health information from pregnant women has encouraged the creation of an informative program through a weekly digital newsletter. The objective of this study is to evaluate its quality as a digital communication medium, in terms of satisfaction and loyalty [...] Read more.
The high demand for health information from pregnant women has encouraged the creation of an informative program through a weekly digital newsletter. The objective of this study is to evaluate its quality as a digital communication medium, in terms of satisfaction and loyalty to the pregnancy follow-up and delivery service. A cross-sectional, prospective study was carried out, surveying 179 patients by means of an online self-referral questionnaire including variables related to humanization, information needs, perceived accompaniment and satisfaction, as well as factors related to its influence on their decision to remain loyal to the center. A total of 81.2% of the participants showed high levels of satisfaction with the program. Satisfaction among nulliparous patients was significantly lower in several aspects. The resolution of doubts and the perception of peace of mind following the information received was positive for 54.8%. Of the patients in the program, 88.8% finally remained at the center, showing a strong influence of the program on their decision (mean value 75 on 1 to 100 scale). A weekly digital newsletter with specific information reduced the demand for information from pregnant women, generating high levels of satisfaction and positively influencing the decision to remain loyal to the Center. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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18 pages, 666 KiB  
Review
Teledermatology versus Face-to-Face Dermatology: An Analysis of Cost-Effectiveness from Eight Studies from Europe and the United States
by Remedios López-Liria, María Ángeles Valverde-Martínez, Antonio López-Villegas, Rafael Jesús Bautista-Mesa, Francisco Antonio Vega-Ramírez, Salvador Peiró and Cesar Leal-Costa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2534; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052534 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3006
Abstract
(1) Background: The aim of this systematic review was to compare the cost-effectiveness of two follow-up methods (face-to-face and telemedicine) used in dermatology in the last ten years. (2) Methods: A search for articles that included economic analyses was conducted in August 2021 [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The aim of this systematic review was to compare the cost-effectiveness of two follow-up methods (face-to-face and telemedicine) used in dermatology in the last ten years. (2) Methods: A search for articles that included economic analyses was conducted in August 2021 in the databases PubMed, Medline, Scielo and Scopus using the following keywords: “Cost–Benefit Analysis”, “Dermatology”, “Telemedicine”, “Primary Health Care”, as well as other search terms and following the PICOS eligibility criteria. (3) Results: Three clinical trials and five observational studies were analyzed, providing information for approximately 16,539 patients (including four cost-minimization or saving analyses, three cost-effectiveness analyses, and one cost–utility analysis) in Europe and the United States. They describe the follow-up procedures in each of the cases and measure and analyze the direct and indirect costs and effectiveness. All the articles indicate that teledermatology lowers costs and proves satisfactory to both patients and professionals. (4) Conclusions: Although it has been found that follow-up via teledermatology can be more efficient than traditional hospital follow-up, more work is needed to establish evaluation protocols and procedures that measure key variables more equally and demonstrate the quality of the evidence of said studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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14 pages, 389 KiB  
Communication
Inequity in the Access to eHealth and Its Decomposition Case of Poland
by Justyna Rój
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2340; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042340 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2162
Abstract
The aim of this research is to analyze the disparities in the distribution of information and communication technologies and skills across geographically determined population groups and to identify the source of the inequity. Literature showed that the nature of e-Health has the potential [...] Read more.
The aim of this research is to analyze the disparities in the distribution of information and communication technologies and skills across geographically determined population groups and to identify the source of the inequity. Literature showed that the nature of e-Health has the potential to resolve health inequalities. However, its successful implementation depends on such factors as the accessibility of required technologies to all people, the existence of technical infrastructure as well as people having the necessary information and communication skills. Employment of the Theil index allowed us to measure and decompose the national inequality into both: between and within macro-regions differences. Data was collected from Statistics Poland. The results showed the existence of inequity and its drivers. The novelty of this research results from application of the Theil index in the field of eHealth and identification of the barrier in access to e-Health, which can be a basis for improvement in government policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
22 pages, 1428 KiB  
Protocol
Advancing Behavioral Intervention and Theory Development for Mobile Health: The HeartSteps II Protocol
by Donna Spruijt-Metz, Benjamin M. Marlin, Misha Pavel, Daniel E. Rivera, Eric Hekler, Steven De La Torre, Mohamed El Mistiri, Natalie M. Golaszweski, Cynthia Li, Rebecca Braga De Braganca, Karine Tung, Rachael Kha and Predrag Klasnja
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042267 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3187
Abstract
Background: Recent advances in mobile and wearable technologies have led to new forms of interventions, called “Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions” (JITAI). JITAIs interact with the individual at the most appropriate time and provide the most appropriate support depending on the continuously acquired Intensive Longitudinal [...] Read more.
Background: Recent advances in mobile and wearable technologies have led to new forms of interventions, called “Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions” (JITAI). JITAIs interact with the individual at the most appropriate time and provide the most appropriate support depending on the continuously acquired Intensive Longitudinal Data (ILD) on participant physiology, behavior, and contexts. These advances raise an important question: How do we model these data to better understand and intervene on health behaviors? The HeartSteps II study, described here, is a Micro-Randomized Trial (MRT) intended to advance both intervention development and theory-building enabled by the new generation of mobile and wearable technology. Methods: The study involves a year-long deployment of HeartSteps, a JITAI for physical activity and sedentary behavior, with 96 sedentary, overweight, but otherwise healthy adults. The central purpose is twofold: (1) to support the development of modeling approaches for operationalizing dynamic, mathematically rigorous theories of health behavior; and (2) to serve as a testbed for the development of learning algorithms that JITAIs can use to individualize intervention provision in real time at multiple timescales. Discussion and Conclusions: We outline an innovative modeling paradigm to model and use ILD in real- or near-time to individually tailor JITIAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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15 pages, 1045 KiB  
Article
Mobile Applications in Mood Disorders and Mental Health: Systematic Search in Apple App Store and Google Play Store and Review of the Literature
by Sophie Eis, Oriol Solà-Morales, Andrea Duarte-Díaz, Josep Vidal-Alaball, Lilisbeth Perestelo-Pérez, Noemí Robles and Carme Carrion
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2186; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042186 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6273
Abstract
Objectives: The main objective of this work was to explore and characterize the current landscape of mobile applications available to treat mood disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia. Methods: We developed a tool that makes both the Apple App Store and [...] Read more.
Objectives: The main objective of this work was to explore and characterize the current landscape of mobile applications available to treat mood disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia. Methods: We developed a tool that makes both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store searchable using keywords and that facilitates the extraction of basic app information of the search results. All app results were filtered using various inclusion and exclusion criteria. We characterized all resultant applications according to their technical details. Furthermore, we searched for scientific publications on each app’s website and PubMed, to understand whether any of the apps were supported by any type of scientific evidence on their acceptability, validation, use, effectiveness, etc. Results: Thirty apps were identified that fit the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The literature search yielded 27 publications related to the apps. However, these did not exclusively concern mood disorders. 6 were randomized studies and the rest included a protocol, pilot-, feasibility, case-, or qualitative studies, among others. The majority of studies were conducted on relatively small scales and 9 of the 27 studies did not explicitly study the effects of mobile application use on mental wellbeing. Conclusion: While there exists a wealth of mobile applications aimed at the treatment of mental health disorders, including mood disorders, this study showed that only a handful of these are backed by robust scientific evidence. This result uncovers a need for further clinically oriented and systematic validation and testing of such apps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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13 pages, 1303 KiB  
Article
A Blockchain-Applied Personal Health Record Application: Development and User Experience
by Ji Woong Kim, Su Jin Kim, Won Chul Cha and Taerim Kim
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 1847; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12041847 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3872
Abstract
This study aims to introduce a novel blockchain-applied personal health records (PHR) application and validate its user experience. The system transmits the part corresponding to the patient’s personal information off-chain and prevents data forgery and falsification by storing encrypted data on-chain. Patients may [...] Read more.
This study aims to introduce a novel blockchain-applied personal health records (PHR) application and validate its user experience. The system transmits the part corresponding to the patient’s personal information off-chain and prevents data forgery and falsification by storing encrypted data on-chain. Patients may easily trace the opt-in and opt-out history of their consent data and dynamically store the consent system for data exchange on the blockchain. A mixed-method study using a questionnaire, in-depth interviews, and usability evaluation were conducted for 30 participants. The system usability score was 74.0, indicating the high usability of the application. Those who were familiar with blockchain showed confidence in the application, but those unfamiliar wanted their data to be safe using another way. Most of the participants were interested in exchanging and using their medical data and considered security important but those unfamiliar wanted their data to be safe using another way. We found that participants were concerned about data security and considered a blockchain-based PHR as a novel way to store and exchange their medical information securely. Blockchain is not a visible technology. However, a blockchain-applied PHR must be able to win user trust through visualizations, certificates, and system descriptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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14 pages, 373 KiB  
Article
Patients’ Views on the Design of DiabeText, a New mHealth Intervention to Improve Adherence to Oral Antidiabetes Medication in Spain: A Qualitative Study
by Rocío Zamanillo-Campos, Maria Jesús Serrano-Ripoll, Joana Maria Taltavull-Aparicio, Elena Gervilla-García, Joana Ripoll, Maria Antonia Fiol-deRoque, Anne-Marie Boylan and Ignacio Ricci-Cabello
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1902; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031902 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2615
Abstract
Background: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a long-term condition affecting around 10% of people worldwide. This study aimed to explore T2DM patients’ views on DiabeText, a new text messaging intervention to be developed to support adherence to diabetes medication. Methods: A total [...] Read more.
Background: Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a long-term condition affecting around 10% of people worldwide. This study aimed to explore T2DM patients’ views on DiabeText, a new text messaging intervention to be developed to support adherence to diabetes medication. Methods: A total of four focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of people with T2DM (n = 34). The data were analysed by multiple researchers independently, and coded using thematic analysis. Results: There were two main themes that emerged: (1) “patients’ perspectives on unmet needs for diabetes self-management”, and (2) “acceptability and perceived utility of DiabeText”. The patients identified a number of barriers for diabetes self-management, including lack of appropriate information and support with diet and physical activity. Support for medication-taking was not perceived as urgently needed, although several barriers were identified (eating outside, traveling, polymedication, dispensation at the pharmacy). The participants anticipated that the proposed intervention would present high levels of patient acceptability and perceived utility as long as its content addresses the barriers that were identified, and includes specific features (short and clear messages, and personalized information). Conclusion: The proposed intervention has the potential to be well accepted and perceived as useful by T2DM patients who require support not only in terms of medication-taking, but more prominently of lifestyle behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
13 pages, 19991 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Virtual Reality-Based Training on Oral Healthcare for Disabled Elderly Persons: A Randomized Controlled Trial
by Ai-Hua Chang, Pei-Chen Lin, Pei-Chao Lin, Yi-Ching Lin, Yuji Kabasawa, Cheng-Yu Lin and Hsiao-Ling Huang
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12020218 - 4 Feb 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3081
Abstract
(1) Background: Virtual reality (VR) technology is a widely used training tool in medical education. The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of VR training of oral hygiene students on providing oral healthcare to disabled elderly persons. (2) Methods: A randomized controlled [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Virtual reality (VR) technology is a widely used training tool in medical education. The present study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of VR training of oral hygiene students on providing oral healthcare to disabled elderly persons. (2) Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted. In 2021, oral hygiene students were randomly assigned to a VR experimental group (EG; n = 11) and a control group (CG; n = 12). The EG received two-hour, thrice-repeated VR-based training interventions at 2-week, 4-week, and 6-week follow-ups. The CG received no VR-based interventions. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire before and immediately after each intervention. We performed generalized estimating equations to compare the responses. (3) Results: The EG exhibited a more significant improvement in oral care-related knowledge, attitude, self-efficacy, and intention at the 6-week follow-up than the CG. The students’ intention to assist the elderly in using interdental brushes (β = 0.91), with soft tissue cleaning (β = 0.53), and with oral desensitization (β = 0.53), and to have regular dental visits (β = 0.61) improved significantly at the 6-week follow-up. (4) Conclusions: VR training positively affected students’ knowledge, attitude, self-efficacy, and intentions on providing oral healthcare to disabled elderly persons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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10 pages, 420 KiB  
Article
Female Human Papillomavirus Infection Associated with Increased Risk of Ectopic Pregnancy: Early Evidence from Taiwan Population-Based Cohort Study
by Li-Chuan Hsu, Ting-Yu Tu, Hui-Yuan Chen, Renin Chang, Hei-Tung Yip, Mei-Chia Chou, James Cheng-Chung Wei, Kuan-Hao Tsui and Jim Jinn-Chyuan Sheu
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(2), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12020172 - 27 Jan 2022
Viewed by 2336
Abstract
Background: This is an investigation of the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and its correlation with the risk of ectopic pregnancy (EP). Methods: The cohort study includes 11,239 patients with newly diagnosed HPV infections between 2000 and 2012, and by using computer-generated random numbers, [...] Read more.
Background: This is an investigation of the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and its correlation with the risk of ectopic pregnancy (EP). Methods: The cohort study includes 11,239 patients with newly diagnosed HPV infections between 2000 and 2012, and by using computer-generated random numbers, patients who do not have HPV infections are selected randomly as the comparison cohort. The HPV infection cohort is matched to comparison individuals at a 1:10 ratio by age and index year. All individuals included in the study were followed up to the point they developed EP, pulled-out from the insurance program, lost to follow-up, or until the end of 2013. A Cox proportional-hazards regression analysis was used to analyze the risk of EP with the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) between the HPV and control cohort. Results: The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) of EP for HPV patients relative to controls is 1.70 (95% CI = 1.04, 2.78), indicating a positive correlation between EP and HPV in the 13-year follow-up period, after adjusting for age and relevant comorbidities. The sensitivity analyses yield similar results. Conclusions: A history of HPV infection is a potential risk factor associated with the development of subsequent EP in Taiwanese individuals, especially those diagnosed with an HPV infection within 3 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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10 pages, 869 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Follow-App. Mobile App-Based Monitoring of COVID-19 Patients after Hospital Discharge: A Single-Center, Open-Label, Randomized Clinical Trial
by Ester Marquez-Algaba, Marc Sanchez, Maria Baladas, Claudia España, Hermes Salvatore Dallo, Manuel Requena, Ariadna Torrella, Bibiana Planas, Berta Raventos, Carlos Molina, Marc Ribo, Benito Almirante and Oscar Len
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12010024 - 1 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1960
Abstract
Introduction: In the midst of a pandemic, apps can be used to provide close follow-up, ensure that patients are monitored at home, avoid excessive pressure on medical facilities, prevent the movement of people (both patients and health professionals), and reduce the risk of [...] Read more.
Introduction: In the midst of a pandemic, apps can be used to provide close follow-up, ensure that patients are monitored at home, avoid excessive pressure on medical facilities, prevent the movement of people (both patients and health professionals), and reduce the risk of infection. Objective: To adapt and validate the use of a smartphone application for outpatient follow-up of COVID-19 patients after hospital discharge. Methods: We conducted an open-label clinical trial at Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, Spain. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to be followed by the Farmalarm app or by their primary care center. The primary endpoint was the reduction in the need for in-person return visits. Results: From 31 March to 4 May 2020, 150 patients were enrolled in the study at hospital discharge: 74 patients were randomized to the experimental group, and 76 to the control group. All patients in the control group and all except for six in the experimental group completed the study. During hospitalization, before study inclusion, all but 4 (97.3%) had viral pneumonia, 91 (60.7%) required supplemental oxygen, and 16 (10.7%) required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. COVID-19–related return visits to the emergency department were significantly higher in the control group (7.9% vs. 0%; p = 0.028) in the per-protocol analysis. Telephone consultations with the emergency department were performed by 12 (15.8%) patients in the control group and 0 (0%) in the experimental group (p < 0.001). Satisfaction with outpatient monitoring was rated higher by the experimental group (5 vs. 4 points; p < 0.001). Conclusions: Following COVID-19 hospital discharge, home follow-up via a mobile app was effective in reducing in-person return visits without undermining patient satisfaction or perception of health, compared with standard follow-up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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14 pages, 23654 KiB  
Article
Agreement and Reliability Analysis of Machine Learning Scaling and Wireless Monitoring in the Assessment of Acute Proximal Weakness by Experts and Non-Experts: A Feasibility Study
by Eunjeong Park, Kijeong Lee, Taehwa Han and Hyo Suk Nam
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12010020 - 1 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
Assessing the symptoms of proximal weakness caused by neurological deficits requires the knowledge and experience of neurologists. Recent advances in machine learning and the Internet of Things have resulted in the development of automated systems that emulate physicians’ assessments. The application of those [...] Read more.
Assessing the symptoms of proximal weakness caused by neurological deficits requires the knowledge and experience of neurologists. Recent advances in machine learning and the Internet of Things have resulted in the development of automated systems that emulate physicians’ assessments. The application of those systems requires not only accuracy in the classification but also reliability regardless of users’ proficiency in the real environment for the clinical point-of-care and the personalized health management. This study provides an agreement and reliability analysis of using a machine learning-based scaling of Medical Research Council (MRC) proximal scores to evaluate proximal weakness by experts and non-experts. The system trains an ensemble learning model using the signals from sensors attached to the limbs of patients in a neurological intensive care unit. For the agreement analysis, we investigated the percent agreement of MRC proximal scores and Bland-Altman plots of kinematic features between the expert- and non-expert scaling. We also analyzed the intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) of kinematic features and Krippendorff’s alpha of the observers’ scaling for the reliability analysis. The mean percent agreement between the expert- and the non-expert scaling was 0.542 for manual scaling and 0.708 for autonomous scaling. The ICCs of kinematic features measured using sensors ranged from 0.742 to 0.850, whereas the Krippendorff’s alpha of manual scaling for the three observers was 0.275. The autonomous assessment system can be utilized by the caregivers, paramedics, or other observers during an emergency to evaluate acute stroke patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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15 pages, 3054 KiB  
Article
Digital Health Services through Patient Empowerment: Classification, Current State and Preliminary Impact Assessment by Health Pod Systems
by Giuseppe Andreoni, Enrico Gianluca Caiani and Nicola Castaldini
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12010359 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3236
Abstract
Health pods are new systems such as small spaces equipped with medical devices where users can measure several biomedical parameters related to their health status and receive other medical services. Their impact on health over a life course could be relevant in defining [...] Read more.
Health pods are new systems such as small spaces equipped with medical devices where users can measure several biomedical parameters related to their health status and receive other medical services. Their impact on health over a life course could be relevant in defining healthy aging strategies and/or management of chronic diseases and the early detection of possible symptoms related to some common pathologies. The generated data have not only a personal value but even at a community/society level. Health pods also support educational and empowerment actions to enable the 5P medicine approach, and specifically prevention, health promotion, and public health policymaking. This paper aims at defining their taxonomy, conducting a market and typologies survey, and discussing their potential impact in preventive medicine, presenting data of a pilot test carried out placing two health pods in a superstore environment to validate the demand and the participation of people in a prevention campaign. A 57-day period was observed at two sites: the number of free accesses and administered tests was impressive for size and completeness. The test revealed a good picture of the general health status of the population, with satisfying AGE values in the cardiovascular check and stress index through an HRV analysis. The body composition test revealed a small number of overweight subjects, more in males than in females. This pilot confirmed the huge demand for personalized services for improving well-being, health status, and quality of life and the relevance of these solutions for their individual and societal impact in preventive medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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9 pages, 1816 KiB  
Article
The Role of US in Depicting Axillary Metastasis in High-Risk Breast Cancer Patients
by Roxana Pintican, Magdalena Maria Duma, Madalina Szep, Diana Feier, Dan Eniu, Iulian Goidescu and Angelica Chiorean
J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11(12), 1379; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11121379 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2195
Abstract
Purpose: The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of US in depicting axillary nodal disease in high-risk patients with and without pathogenic mutations. Methods: The retrospective study included consecutive high-risk breast cancer (BC) patients who underwent a multigene testing panel [...] Read more.
Purpose: The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of US in depicting axillary nodal disease in high-risk patients with and without pathogenic mutations. Methods: The retrospective study included consecutive high-risk breast cancer (BC) patients who underwent a multigene testing panel for hereditary cancers, pre-operative axillary US and breast/axillary surgery. The group was divided into patients with pathogenic mutations (PM group) and patients without PM. Statistical analyses were performed using GraphPad Prism by applying Chi-square and Fisher exact tests, with a reference p-value < 0.05 and a CI of 95%. Results: Out of 190 patients with BC, 96 (51%) were negative and 94 (49%) were positive for PM as follows: 28 (25.5%) BRCA1, 16 (17%) BRCA2, 15 (16%) CHECK2, 14 (14%) RAD Group, 7 (7%) PALB, 6 (6%) NBN, 3 (3%) TP53 and ATM and 2 (2%) BARD1. US was positive in 88 of the patients, 36 with PM and 52 without PM. US and surgery (≥N1 stage) were both positive in 31 (62%) of PM patients and 44 (88%) of patients without genetic changes. There were 19 (61%) false negative US examinations in the PM group and 6 (13%) in the group without genetic changes, respectively. If the US is positive, there is a 2.6 times greater risk of positive nodes in PM patients (p-value < 0.000, 95% CI = 4.2–37.9), and a 6.2 times greater risk of positive nodes in patients without genetic changes (p-value < 0.000, 95%CI = 8.4–37.4). In the PM group, US compared to surgery reached a sensitivity = 62, with PPV = 86 and NPV = 67. In the BRCA1/2 subgroup, there is 2.5 greater times risk of nodal disease if the US is positive (p-value = 0.001, 95%CI = 2.6–76). In patients without PM, US compared to surgery reached a sensitivity = 88, PPV = 84 and NPV = 86. Conclusion: US is more sensitive in depicting axillary nodal disease in high-risk patients without PM compared to PM patients. Furthermore, there are more false negative US examinations in PM patients, compared to surgery patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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10 pages, 1703 KiB  
Article
A Tool to Retrieve Alert Dwell Time from a Homegrown Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) System of an Academic Medical Center: An Exploratory Analysis
by Shuo-Chen Chien, Yen-Po Chin, Chang-Ho Yoon, Chun-You Chen, Chun-Kung Hsu, Chia-Hui Chien and Yu-Chuan Li
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 12004; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112412004 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2738
Abstract
Alert dwell time, defined as the time elapsed from the generation of an interruptive alert to its closure, has rarely been used to describe the time required by clinicians to respond to interruptive alerts. Our study aimed to develop a tool to retrieve [...] Read more.
Alert dwell time, defined as the time elapsed from the generation of an interruptive alert to its closure, has rarely been used to describe the time required by clinicians to respond to interruptive alerts. Our study aimed to develop a tool to retrieve alert dwell times from a homegrown CPOE (computerized physician order entry) system, and to conduct exploratory analysis on the impact of various alert characteristics on alert dwell time. Additionally, we compared this impact between various professional groups. With these aims, a dominant window detector was developed using the Golang programming language and was implemented to collect all alert dwell times from the homegrown CPOE system of a 726-bed, Taiwanese academic medical center from December 2019 to February 2021. Overall, 3,737,697 interruptive alerts were collected. Correlation analysis was performed for alerts corresponding to the 100 most frequent alert categories. Our results showed that there was a negative correlation (ρ = −0.244, p = 0.015) between the number of alerts and alert dwell times. Alert dwell times were strongly correlated between different professional groups (physician vs. nurse, ρ = 0.739, p < 0.001). A tool that retrieves alert dwell times can provide important insights to hospitals attempting to improve clinical workflows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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17 pages, 339 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Attentional Processes in Patients with Anxiety-Depressive Disorders Using Virtual Reality
by José A. Camacho-Conde, Leire Legarra, Vanesa M. Bolinches, Patricia Cano, Mónica Guasch, María Llanos-Torres, Vanessa Serret, Miguel Mejías and Gema Climent
J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11(12), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11121341 - 9 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3283
Abstract
To characterize the attention deficits in one-hundred-fifteen participants, comprising two types of clinical profiles (affective and anxiety disorder), through a test of continuous VR execution. Method: Three tests (i.e., Nesplora Aquarium, BDI, and STAI) were used to obtain a standardized measure of attention, [...] Read more.
To characterize the attention deficits in one-hundred-fifteen participants, comprising two types of clinical profiles (affective and anxiety disorder), through a test of continuous VR execution. Method: Three tests (i.e., Nesplora Aquarium, BDI, and STAI) were used to obtain a standardized measure of attention, as well as the existence and severity of depression and anxiety, respectively. Results: Significant differences (CI = 95%) were found between the control group and the group with depression, in variables related to the speed of visual processing (p = 0.008) in the absence of distractors (p = 0.041) and during the first dual execution task (p = 0.011). For scores related to sustained attention, patients with depression and those with anxiety did not differ from controls. Our results suggest attentional deficits in both clinical populations when performing a continuous performance test that involved the participation of the central executive system of working memory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
18 pages, 2929 KiB  
Article
A Hyperledger Fabric-Based System Framework for Healthcare Data Management
by Qianyu Wang and Shaowen Qin
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 11693; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112411693 - 9 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4291
Abstract
This study examined the requirements for privacy-preserving and interoperability in healthcare data sharing and proposed a blockchain-based solution. The Hyperledger Fabric framework was adopted due to its enterprise-grade data processing capabilities and enhanced privacy protection functions. In addition to the Fabric’s built-in privacy-preserving [...] Read more.
This study examined the requirements for privacy-preserving and interoperability in healthcare data sharing and proposed a blockchain-based solution. The Hyperledger Fabric framework was adopted due to its enterprise-grade data processing capabilities and enhanced privacy protection functions. In addition to the Fabric’s built-in privacy-preserving functions, healthcare data-specific smart contracts with hierarchical access control were developed to strengthen privacy protection in data sharing. The proposed healthcare data-sharing framework is based on Australian medical practices with the aim to upgrade, rather than to replace, the existing data management models. The outcome of this study demonstrates the feasibility of applying blockchain technology to improve privacy-preservation while enhancing interoperability in healthcare data management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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14 pages, 1327 KiB  
Article
Virtual Reality-Based Early Neurocognitive Stimulation in Critically Ill Patients: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial
by Guillem Navarra-Ventura, Gemma Gomà, Candelaria de Haro, Mercè Jodar, Leonardo Sarlabous, David Hernando, Raquel Bailón, Ana Ochagavía, Lluís Blanch, Josefina López-Aguilar and Sol Fernández-Gonzalo
J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11(12), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11121260 - 29 Nov 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3317
Abstract
This study focuses on the application of a non-immersive virtual reality (VR)-based neurocognitive intervention in critically ill patients. Our aim was to assess the feasibility of direct outcome measures to detect the impact of this digital therapy on patients’ cognitive and emotional outcomes. [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the application of a non-immersive virtual reality (VR)-based neurocognitive intervention in critically ill patients. Our aim was to assess the feasibility of direct outcome measures to detect the impact of this digital therapy on patients’ cognitive and emotional outcomes. Seventy-two mechanically ventilated adult patients were randomly assigned to the “treatment as usual” (TAU, n = 38) or the “early neurocognitive stimulation” (ENRIC, n = 34) groups. All patients received standard intensive care unit (ICU) care. Patients in the ENRIC group also received adjuvant neurocognitive stimulation during the ICU stay. Outcome measures were a full neuropsychological battery and two mental health questionnaires. A total of 42 patients (21 ENRIC) completed assessment one month after ICU discharge, and 24 (10 ENRIC) one year later. At one-month follow-up, ENRIC patients had better working memory scores (p = 0.009, d = 0.363) and showed up to 50% less non-specific anxiety (11.8% vs. 21.1%) and depression (5.9% vs. 10.5%) than TAU patients. A general linear model of repeated measures reported a main effect of group, but not of time or group–time interaction, on working memory, with ENRIC patients outperforming TAU patients (p = 0.008, ηp2 = 0.282). Our results suggest that non-immersive VR-based neurocognitive stimulation may help improve short-term working memory outcomes in survivors of critical illness. Moreover, this advantage could be maintained in the long term. An efficacy trial in a larger sample of participants is feasible and must be conducted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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21 pages, 1599 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of HMDs by QFD for Augmented Reality Applications in the Maxillofacial Surgery Domain
by Alessandro Carpinello, Enrico Vezzetti, Guglielmo Ramieri, Sandro Moos, Andrea Novaresio, Emanuele Zavattero and Claudia Borbon
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(22), 11053; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112211053 - 22 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2307
Abstract
Today, surgical operations are less invasive than they were a few decades ago and, in medicine, there is a growing trend towards precision surgery. Among many technological advancements, augmented reality (AR) can be a powerful tool for improving the surgery practice through its [...] Read more.
Today, surgical operations are less invasive than they were a few decades ago and, in medicine, there is a growing trend towards precision surgery. Among many technological advancements, augmented reality (AR) can be a powerful tool for improving the surgery practice through its ability to superimpose the 3D geometrical information of the pre-planned operation over the surgical field as well as medical and instrumental information gathered from operating room equipment. AR is fundamental to reach new standards in maxillofacial surgery. The surgeons will be able to not shift their focus from the patients while looking to the monitors. Osteotomies will not require physical tools to be fixed on patient bones as guides to make resections. Handling grafts and 3D models directly in the operating room will permit a fine tuning of the procedure before harvesting the implant. This article aims to study the application of AR head-mounted displays (HMD) in three operative scenarios (oncological and reconstructive surgery, orthognathic surgery, and maxillofacial trauma surgery) by the means of quantitative logic using the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) tool to determine their requirements. The article provides an evaluation of the readiness degree of HMD currently on market and highlights the lacking features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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22 pages, 12569 KiB  
Article
Automatic Detection and Counting of Blood Cells in Smear Images Using RetinaNet
by Grzegorz Drałus, Damian Mazur and Anna Czmil
Entropy 2021, 23(11), 1522; https://doi.org/10.3390/e23111522 - 16 Nov 2021
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4487
Abstract
A complete blood count is one of the significant clinical tests that evaluates overall human health and provides relevant information for disease diagnosis. The conventional strategies of blood cell counting include manual counting as well as counting using the hemocytometer and are tedious [...] Read more.
A complete blood count is one of the significant clinical tests that evaluates overall human health and provides relevant information for disease diagnosis. The conventional strategies of blood cell counting include manual counting as well as counting using the hemocytometer and are tedious and time-consuming tasks. This research-based paper proposes an automatic software-based alternative method to count blood cells accurately using the RetinaNet deep learning network, which is used to recognize and classify objects in microscopic images. After training, the network automatically recognizes and counts red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. We tested a model trained on smear images and found that the trained model has generalized capabilities. We assessed the quality of detection and cell counting using performance measures, such as accuracy, sensitivity, precision, and F1-score. Moreover, we studied the dependence of the confidence thresholds and the number of learning epochs on the obtained results of recognition and counting. We compared the performance of the proposed approach with those obtained by other authors who dealt with the subject of cell counting and show that object detection and labeling can be an additional advantage in the task of counting objects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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9 pages, 1506 KiB  
Article
Validation of Smartphone Sway Analysis for Fall Prevention
by Matthew Cimera and Arkady Voloshin
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(22), 10577; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112210577 - 10 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
Analysis of the balance and sway of the elderly remains a field continuously studied for additional means of assessing the risks of falls. Almost 50% of falls among the elderly lead to serious injuries, and falls are the leading cause of death for [...] Read more.
Analysis of the balance and sway of the elderly remains a field continuously studied for additional means of assessing the risks of falls. Almost 50% of falls among the elderly lead to serious injuries, and falls are the leading cause of death for the elderly. Thus, the development of a convenient method to assess the risks of falling would be beneficial in helping to diminish these risks. We recorded the sway data by using the widely acceptable force plate and simultaneously compared it to the angular orientation measured by a cell phone’s accelerometer attached to the subject. It was found that the correlation of the average path length and average velocity between the results from the force plate and the phone application were 0.83 and 0.86 respectively. Overall, the direction of the strongest correlation was in the anterior–posterior (AP) direction that is mostly associated with falls. The smart phone application was able to represent the results that were gathered by the force plate, thus opening the door to a simpler way to track sway variables in the elderly without the necessity to come to a doctor’s office. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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14 pages, 3264 KiB  
Article
On the Necessity of a Customized Knee Spacer in Peri-Prosthetic Joint Infection Treatment: 3D Numerical Simulation Results
by Marco Balato, Carlo Petrarca, Vincenzo de Matteo, Marco Lenzi, Enrico Festa, Andrea Sellitto, Jessica Campi, Mauro Zarrelli and Giovanni Balato
J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11(10), 1039; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11101039 - 17 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2016
Abstract
Peri-prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) dramatically affect human health, as they are associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Two-stage revision arthroplasty is currently the gold standard treatment for PJI and consists of infected implant removal, an accurate debridement, and placement of antimicrobial impregnated [...] Read more.
Peri-prosthetic joint infections (PJIs) dramatically affect human health, as they are associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Two-stage revision arthroplasty is currently the gold standard treatment for PJI and consists of infected implant removal, an accurate debridement, and placement of antimicrobial impregnated poly-methyl-metha-acrylate (PMMA) spacer. The use of antibiotic-loaded PMMA (ALPMMA) spacers have showed a success rate that ranges from 85% to 100%. ALPMMA spacers, currently available on the market, demonstrate a series of disadvantages, closely linked to a low propensity to customize, seen as the ability to adapt to the patients’ anatomical characteristics, with consequential increase of surgical complexity, surgery duration, and post-operative complications. Conventionally, ALPMMA spacers are available only in three or four standard sizes, with the impossibility of guaranteeing the perfect matching of ALPMMA spacers with residual bone (no further bone loss) and gap filling. In this paper, a 3D model of an ALPMMA spacer is introduced to evaluate the cause- effect link between the geometric characteristics and the correlated clinical improvements. The result is a multivariable-oriented design able to effectively manage the size, alignment, stability, and the patients’ anatomical matching. The preliminary numerical results, obtained by using an “ad hoc” 3D virtual planning simulator, clearly point out that to restore the joint line, the mechanical and rotational alignment and the surgeon’s control on the thicknesses (distal and posterior thicknesses) of the ALPMMA spacer is mandatory. The numerical simulations campaign involved nineteen patients grouped in three different scenarios (Case N° 1, Case N° 2 and Case N° 3) whose 3D bone models were obtained through an appropriate data management strategy. Each scenario is characterized by a different incidence rate. In particular, the observed rates of occurrence are, respectively, equal to 17% (Case N° 1), 74% (Case N° 2), and 10% (Case N° 3). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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10 pages, 1065 KiB  
Article
Validation of a Personalized Hearing Screening Mobile Health Application for Persons with Moderate Hearing Impairment
by Lok-Yee Joyce Li, Shin-Yi Wang, Jinn-Moon Yang, Chih-Jou Chen, Cheng-Yu Tsai, Lucas Yee-Yan Wu, Te-Fang Wu and Cheng-Jung Wu
J. Pers. Med. 2021, 11(10), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm11101035 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Hearing impairment is a frequent human sensory impairment. It was estimated that over 50% of those aged >75 years experience hearing impairment in the United States. Several hearing impairment–related factors are detectable through screening; thus, further deterioration can be avoided. Early identification of [...] Read more.
Hearing impairment is a frequent human sensory impairment. It was estimated that over 50% of those aged >75 years experience hearing impairment in the United States. Several hearing impairment–related factors are detectable through screening; thus, further deterioration can be avoided. Early identification of hearing impairment is the key to effective management. However, hearing screening resources are scarce or inaccessible, underlining the importance of developing user-friendly mobile health care systems for universal hearing screening. Mobile health (mHealth) applications (apps) act as platforms for personalized hearing screening to evaluate an individual’s risk of developing hearing impairment. We aimed to evaluate and compare the accuracy of smartphone-based air conduction and bone conduction audiometry self-tests with that of standard air conduction and bone conduction pure-tone audiometry tests. Moreover, we evaluated the use of smartphone-based air conduction and bone conduction audiometry self-tests in conductive hearing loss diagnosis. We recruited 103 patients (206 ears) from an otology clinic. All patients were aged ≥20 years. Patients who were diagnosed with active otorrhea was excluded. Moderate hearing impairment was defined as hearing loss with mean hearing thresholds >40 dB. All patients underwent four hearing tests performed by a board-certified audiologist: a smartphone-based air conduction audiometry self-test, smartphone-based bone conduction audiometry self-test, standard air-conduction pure-tone audiometry, and standard bone conduction pure-tone audiometry. We compared and analyzed the results of the smartphone-based air conduction and bone conduction audiometry self-tests with those of the standard air conduction and bone conduction pure-tone audiometry tests. The sensitivity of the smartphone-based air conduction audiometry self-test was 0.80 (95% confidence interval CI = 0.71–0.88) and its specificity was 0.84 (95% CI = 0.76–0.90), respectively. The sensitivity of the smartphone-based bone conduction audiometry self-test was 0.64 (95% CI = 0.53–0.75) and its specificity was 0.71 (95% CI = 0.62–0.78). Among all the ears, 24 were diagnosed with conductive hearing loss. The smartphone-based audiometry self-tests correctly diagnosed conductive hearing loss in 17 of those ears. The personalized smartphone-based audiometry self-tests correctly diagnosed hearing loss with high sensitivity and high specificity, and they can be a reliable screening test to rule out moderate hearing impairment among the population. It provided patients with moderate hearing impairment with personalized strategies for symptomatic control and facilitated individual case management for medical practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic eHealth and mHealth: Challenges and Prospects)
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