- Press Release Distribution

E-Health services ill-prepared for epidemics

( National and international organizations are ill-prepared to exploit e-health systems in the event of the emergence of a major pandemic disease, according to a research paper to be published in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology.

E-health systems and associated information technology could radically alter the course of a pandemic disease, such as a major outbreak of influenza internationally. It could provide healthcare workers, emergency services, patients and those at-risk with access to much-needed data on how disease is spreading and what measures could be taken to halt its progress. Unfortunately, suggest Junhua Li of the Asia-Pacific Ubiquitous Healthcare Research Centre (APuHC), at The University of New South Wales, Australia, and colleagues, the widespread adoption of e-health represents a significant disruption to current healthcare protocols and systems and stakeholders are not in a position to take full advantage of it.

Emergent infections have spread wildly throughout human history, plague, influenza and more recently SARS and MERS have claimed many lives. With the advent of global air travel, the potential for a previously unknown strain of an animal pathogen to jump the species gap and cause widespread human illness seems to be much greater than it ever was in the days when a round-the-world trip would take many months rather than a day or two.

Conversely, technology has brought us a much greater capacity through modern medicine to treat those infected and to stymie the spread of any given pathogen. Additionally, fast global communications and super computers allow information and data concerning any given disease to be shared and studied in ways that were not possible even a decade ago.

Li and colleagues, Holly Seale, Pradeep Ray, Amina Tariq and Raina MacIntyre, suggest that the adoption of e-health principles could allow healthcare facilities to mitigate against the spread of pandemic influenza, and perhaps other emergent pathogens. They have devised a multi-pronged approach to assessing the preparedness of authorities and organizations to utilize effectively e-health on the basis of specific knowledge, supportive policies, computing and communications facilities and access and adequate funding. Their approach should allow organizations to ascertain what is missing from their e-health systems if they have them and to implement the necessary technology and protocols where they are absent before a pandemic hits.

### "Are organizations prepared for e-health implementation to respond to pandemic influenza?" in Int. J. Biomedical Engineering and Technology, 2013, 11, 215-230


Xingnao Jieyu capsules are similar to fluoxetine for post-stroke depression

The occurrence of post-stroke depression results from the effects of biological, psychological, and social factors, likely involving neurotransmitters, neuroendocrine effects, nerve anatomy, neurotrophic factors, neural regeneration, inflammatory reactions, and social psyche factors. Synaptotagmin promotes neurotransmitter release, regulates the transfer of synaptic vesicle to synaptic active zones, and is a key factor in information transfer among neurons. The Xingnao Jieyu capsule has been shown to effectively relieve neurologic impairments and lessen depression. It remains ...

Bacteria in drinking water are key to keeping it clean

Research at the University of Sheffield, published in the latest issue of Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, points the way to more sophisticated and targeted methods of ensuring our drinking water remains safe to drink, while still reducing the need for chemical treatments and identifying potential hazards more quickly. The research team, from the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering, studied four bacteria found in the city's drinking water to see which combinations were more likely to produce a 'biofilm'. Biofilms are layers of bacteria which form ...

Post-traumatic stress disorder in a rescue group after the Wenchuan earthquake relief

Previous studies have suggested that the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder in earthquake rescue workers is relatively high. Risk factors for this disorder include demographic characteristics, earthquake-related high-risk factors, risk factors in the rescue process, personality, social support and coping style. A recent study published in the Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 20, 2013) examined the current status of a unit of 1 040 rescue workers who participated in earthquake relief for the Wenchuan earthquake that occurred on May 12th, 2008. According ...

Electrochemical step towards a better hydrogen storage

Good metal-based systems for hydrogen storage cannot be developed without knowing how this element permeates through metals. Researchers at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw managed to apply a user-friendly electrochemical method to study hydrogen diffusion in highly reactive metals. Hydrogen is seen as a versatile energy carrier for the future. Unfortunately, the element practically does not occur in the free state on Earth. Therefore, it must be first generated (e.g., by electrolysis of water), then stored, to be finally ...

Acellular nerve graft and stem cells for repair of long-segment sciatic nerve defects

Peripheral nerve defects are very common in clinical surgery. For repair of short-segment nerve defects, freeing nerve, nerve diversions or joint flexion can be used to directly connect the two stumps of nerves by using microsurgical techniques; while for long-segment nerve defects, we require a bridging material to bridge defected nerves. Nerve allograft is the most similar to autologous nerve in structure with rich sources. Antigenicity-free nerve allografts which retain the natural three-dimensional structure will become ideal scaffold materials for tissue-engineered ...

Research shows precisely which strategies help players win team-oriented video games

Computer science researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique to determine which strategies give players an edge at winning in multi-player (action) real-time strategy (ARTS) games, such as Defense of the Ancients (DotA), Warcraft III and Starcraft II. The technique offers extremely precise information about how a player's actions affect a team's chances of winning, and could be used to develop technology for use by players and developers to improve gameplay experiences. Researchers used the technique, which makes use of various analytic ...

Memory breakthrough could bring faster computing, smaller memory devices and lower power consumption

Memory devices like disk drives, flash drives and RAM play an important role in our lives. They are an essential component of our computers, phones, electronic appliances and cars. Yet current memory devices have significant drawbacks: dynamic RAM memory has to be refreshed periodically, static RAM data is lost when the power is off, flash memory lacks speed, and all existing memory technologies are challenged when it comes to miniaturization. Increasingly, memory devices are a bottleneck limiting performance. In order to achieve a substantial improvement in computation ...

Flexible throughout life by varying numbers of chromosome copies

Baker's yeast is a popular test organism in biology. Yeasts are able to duplicate single chromosomes reversibly and thereby adapt flexibly to environmental conditions. Scientists from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg, in collaboration with colleagues from the US Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) in Seattle, have now systematically studied the genetics of this process, which biologists refer to as aneuploidy. The team's new insights will allow a new medical evaluation of aneuploidy, which is associated with certain diseases ...

2 left feet? Study looks to demystify why we lose our balance

ANN ARBOR—It's always in front of a million people and feels like eternity. You're strolling along when suddenly you've stumbled—the brain realizes you're falling, but your muscles aren't doing anything to stop it. For a young person, a fall is usually just embarrassing. However, for the elderly, falling can be life threatening. Among the elderly who break a hip, 80 percent die within a year. University of Michigan researchers believe that the critical window of time between when the brain senses a fall and the muscles respond may help explain why so many older people ...

Most herniated discs result from avulsion, not rupture, suggests study in spine

Philadelphia, Pa. (August 14, 2013) - Herniated discs in the lower (lumbar) spine most often result from avulsion (separation) of the tissue connection between the disc and spinal bone, rather than rupture of the disc itself, according to a study in Spine. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health. The results suggest that surgeons may need to pay more attention to failure of the vertebral end plate junction (EPJ)—the attachment between the spinal bone and discs—as the main cause of herniated lumbar discs. The study by ...


Bioinformatics approach could help optimize soldiers’ training for improved readiness and recovery

Earth scientists describe a new kind of volcanic eruption

Warmer wetter climate predicted to bring societal and ecological impact to the Tibetan Plateau

Feeding infants peanut products protects against allergy into adolescence

Who will like beetle skewers? What Europeans think about alternative protein food

ETRI wins ‘iF Design Award’ for mobile collaborative robot

Combating carbon footprint: novel reactor system converts carbon dioxide into usable fuel

Investigating the origin of circatidal rhythms in freshwater snails

Altering cellular interactions around amyloid plaques may offer novel Alzheimer’s treatment strategies

Brain damage reveals part of the brain necessary for helping others

Surprising properties of elastic turbulence discovered

Study assesses cancer-related care at US hospitals predominantly serving minority populations compared with non-minority serving hospitals

First in-human investigator-initiated clinical trial to launch for refractory prostate cancer patients: Novel alpha therapy targets prostate-specific membrane antigen

Will generative AI change the way universities communicate?

Artificial Intelligence could help cure loneliness, says expert

Echidnapus identified from an ‘Age of Monotremes’

Semaglutide may protect kidney function in individuals with overweight or obesity and cardiovascular disease

New technique detects novel biomarkers for kidney diseases with nephrotic syndrome

Political elites take advantage of anti-partisan protests to disrupt politics

Tiny target discovered on RNA to short-circuit inflammation, UC Santa Cruz researchers find

Charge your laptop in a minute? Supercapacitors can help; new research offers clues

Scientists discover CO2 and CO ices in outskirts of solar system

Theory and experiment combine to shine a new light on proton spin

PKMYT1, a potential ‘Achilles heel’ of treatment resistant ER+ breast cancers with the poorest prognosis

PH-binding motifs as a platform for drug design: Lessons from protease-activated receptors (PARs)

Virginia Tech researcher creates new tool to move tiny bioparticles

On repeat: Biologists observe recurring evolutionary changes, over time, in stick insects

Understanding a broken heart

Genetic cause of rare childhood immune disorders discovered

With wobbling stars, astronomers gauge mass of 126 exoplanets and find 15 new ones

[] E-Health services ill-prepared for epidemics