Displaying all 11 publications

  1. Humaidi N, Balakrishnan V
    Health Inf Manag, 2018 Jan;47(1):17-27.
    PMID: 28537207 DOI: 10.1177/1833358317700255
    BACKGROUND: Health information systems are innovative products designed to improve the delivery of effective healthcare, but they are also vulnerable to breaches of information security, including unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction, and duplication of passwords. Greater openness and multi-connectedness between heterogeneous stakeholders within health networks increase the security risk.

    OBJECTIVE: The focus of this research was on the indirect effects of management support (MS) on user compliance behaviour (UCB) towards information security policies (ISPs) among health professionals in selected Malaysian public hospitals. The aim was to identify significant factors and provide a clearer understanding of the nature of compliance behaviour in the health sector environment.

    METHOD: Using a survey design and stratified random sampling method, self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 454 healthcare professionals in three hospitals. Drawing on theories of planned behaviour, perceived behavioural control (self-efficacy (SE) and MS components) and the trust factor, an information system security policies compliance model was developed to test three related constructs (MS, SE and perceived trust (PT)) and their relationship to UCB towards ISPs.

    RESULTS: Results showed a 52.8% variation in UCB through significant factors. Partial least squares structural equation modelling demonstrated that all factors were significant and that MS had an indirect effect on UCB through both PT and SE among respondents to this study.

    CONCLUSION: The research model based on the theory of planned behaviour in combination with other human and organisational factors has made a useful contribution towards explaining compliance behaviour in relation to organisational ISPs, with trust being the most significant factor. In adopting a multidimensional approach to management-user interactions via multidisciplinary concepts and theories to evaluate the association between the integrated management-user values and the nature of compliance towards ISPs among selected health professionals, this study has made a unique contribution to the literature.

  2. Shamim A, Balakrishnan V, Tahir M, Shiraz M
    ScientificWorldJournal, 2014;2014:340583.
    PMID: 25506612 DOI: 10.1155/2014/340583
    The increasing use and ubiquity of the Internet facilitate dissemination of word-of-mouth through blogs, online forums, newsgroups, and consumer's reviews. Online consumer's reviews present tremendous opportunities and challenges for consumers and marketers. One of the challenges is to develop interactive marketing practices for making connections with target consumers that capitalize consumer-to-consumer communications for generating product adoption. Opinion mining is employed in marketing to help consumers and enterprises in the analysis of online consumers' reviews by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the products. This paper describes an opinion mining system based on novel review and feature ranking methods to empower consumers and enterprises for identifying critical product features from enormous consumers' reviews. Consumers and business analysts are the main target group for the proposed system who want to explore consumers' feedback for determining purchase decisions and enterprise strategies. We evaluate the proposed system on real dataset. Results show that integration of review and feature-ranking methods improves the decision making processes significantly.
  3. Puvanesuaran VR, Noordin R, Balakrishnan V
    Avian Dis., 2013 Mar;57(1):128-32.
    PMID: 23678741
    Toxoplasma gondii is a parasitic protozoan that infects nearly one-third of humans. The present study was performed to isolate and genotype T. gondii from free-range ducks in Malaysia. Sera, heads, and hearts from 205 ducks were obtained from four states in Peninsular Malaysia, and 30 (14.63%) sera were found to be seropositive when assayed with the modified agglutination test (MAT > or = 1:6). All the positive samples were inoculated into mice, and T. gondii was successfully isolated from four individual duck samples (1.95%), which were initially found to be strongly seropositive (MAT > or = 1:24). The isolates were subjected to PCR-RFLP analysis, and two T. gondii strains were identified: type I and type II. This is the first reported study on the genetic characterization of T. gondii isolates from free-range farm animals in Southeast Asia.
  4. Puvanesuaran VR, Noordin R, Balakrishnan V
    PLoS ONE, 2013;8(4):e61730.
    PMID: 23613920 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061730
    Toxoplasma gondii is a parasitic protozoan that infects nearly one-third of the world population. The present study was done to isolate and genotype T. gondii from wild boar from forests of Pahang, Malaysia. A total of 30 wild boars' blood, heads and hearts were obtained for this study and 30 (100.0%) were found to be seropositive when assayed with modified agglutination test (MAT ≥ 6). The positive samples were inoculated into mice and T. gondii was only isolated from samples that had strong seropositivity (MAT ≥ 1:24).The isolates were subjected to PCR-RFLP analysis and all the Peninsular Malaysia isolates of T. gondii are of clonal type I.
  5. Puvanesuaran VR, Nowroji K, Sreenivasan S, Noordin R, Balakrishnan V
    Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 2012 Aug;16(8):1028-32.
    PMID: 22913152
    AIM: To determine the usefulness of prednisolone in increasing the number of Toxoplasma (T.) gondii tachyzoites and bradyzoites in mice.
    MATERIALS AND METHODS: The mice were water-fasted prior to being immunosuppressed with oral inoculation of prednisolone. Tachyzoites of 7T gondii RH strain were inoculated into mice and the number of the parasites in the intraperitoneal fluids was then determined at 96 hs post-infection. In addition, tachyzoites of T. gondii ME49 strains were orally introduced into mice and the number of brain cysts formed was observed by microscopic observation at 45 days post-infection.
    RESULTS: T. gondii propagation was found to be significantly improved by introduction of the prednisolone (p = 0.0004); and the number of parasite showed positive correlation with the increment in dosage of prednisolone (r = 0.9051).
    CONCLUSIONS: The use of prednisolone greatly improved the number of parasite formed in mice: both tachyzoite and cyst forms.
  6. Puvanesuaran VR, Ibrahim N, Noordin R, Balakrishnan V
    Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci, 2012 Sep;16(9):1179-83.
    PMID: 23047500
    AIM: A method was developed to separate contaminant-free viable Toxoplasma gondii cysts from brain samples of infected mice for molecular biology studies and reinfection.
    MATERIALS AND METHODS: The mice brains were homogenized and washed with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) Tween 80 prior to fractionation using 19-22% dextran solution. Finally, the supernatant was purified by two-step membrane filtration (100-160 microm and < 10 microm) to obtain pure T. gondii cyst. The isolates were analyzed through microscopic observation, qPCR and by reinfection of new batch of mice.
    RESULTS: T. gondii cysts were best isolated with 21% dextran solution and two step filtration.
    CONCLUSIONS: The method was observed not to disrupt the integrity of the cysts containing bradyzoites. In addition, the isolated cysts in the filtrate were found to be contaminant-free, viable and able to infect healthy mice when introduced orally; which, mimics the natural infectivity pathway.
  7. Hossain MS, Nik Ab Rahman NN, Balakrishnan V, Alkarkhi AF, Ahmad Rajion Z, Ab Kadir MO
    Waste Manag, 2015 Apr;38:462-73.
    PMID: 25636860 DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2015.01.003
    Clinical solid waste (CSW) poses a challenge to health care facilities because of the presence of pathogenic microorganisms, leading to concerns in the effective sterilization of the CSW for safe handling and elimination of infectious disease transmission. In the present study, supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) was applied to inactivate gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus subtilis, and gram-negative Escherichia coli in CSW. The effects of SC-CO2 sterilization parameters such as pressure, temperature, and time were investigated and optimized by response surface methodology (RSM). Results showed that the data were adequately fitted into the second-order polynomial model. The linear quadratic terms and interaction between pressure and temperature had significant effects on the inactivation of S. aureus, E. coli, E. faecalis, and B. subtilis in CSW. Optimum conditions for the complete inactivation of bacteria within the experimental range of the studied variables were 20 MPa, 60 °C, and 60 min. The SC-CO2-treated bacterial cells, observed under a scanning electron microscope, showed morphological changes, including cell breakage and dislodged cell walls, which could have caused the inactivation. This espouses the inference that SC-CO2 exerts strong inactivating effects on the bacteria present in CSW, and has the potential to be used in CSW management for the safe handling and recycling-reuse of CSW materials.
  8. Hossain MS, Rahman NN, Balakrishnan V, Puvanesuaran VR, Sarker MZ, Kadir MO
    Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2013 Feb;10(2):556-67.
    PMID: 23435587 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph10020556
    The present study was undertaken to determine the bacterial agents present in various clinical solid wastes, general waste and clinical sharp waste. The waste was collected from different wards/units in a healthcare facility in Penang Island, Malaysia. The presence of bacterial agents in clinical and general waste was determined using the conventional bacteria identification methods. Several pathogenic bacteria including opportunistic bacterial agent such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae, Serratia marcescens, Acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Enterococcus faecalis, Streptococcus pyogenes were detected in clinical solid wastes. The presence of specific pathogenic bacterial strains in clinical sharp waste was determined using 16s rDNA analysis. In this study, several nosocomial pathogenic bacteria strains of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Lysinibacillus sphaericus, Serratia marcescens, and Staphylococcus aureus were detected in clinical sharp waste. The present study suggests that waste generated from healthcare facilities should be sterilized at the point of generation in order to eliminate nosocomial infections from the general waste or either of the clinical wastes.
  9. Hossain MS, Balakrishnan V, Rahman NN, Sarker MZ, Kadir MO
    Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2012 Mar;9(3):855-67.
    PMID: 22690168 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph9030855
    A steam autoclave was used to sterilize bacteria in clinical solid waste in order to determine an alternative to incineration technology in clinical solid waste management. The influence of contact time (0, 5, 15, 30 and 60 min) and temperature (111 °C, 121 °C and 131 °C) at automated saturated steam pressure was investigated. Results showed that with increasing contact time and temperature, the number of surviving bacteria decreased. The optimum experimental conditions as measured by degree of inactivation of bacteria were 121 °C for 15 minutes (min) for Gram negative bacteria, 121 °C and 131 °C for 60 and 30 min for Gram positive bacteria, respectively. The re-growth of bacteria in sterilized waste was also evaluated in the present study. It was found that bacterial re-growth started two days after the inactivation. The present study recommends that the steam autoclave cannot be considered as an alternative technology to incineration in clinical solid waste management.
  10. Saadi Y, Yanto IT, Herawan T, Balakrishnan V, Chiroma H, Risnumawan A
    PLoS ONE, 2016;11(1):e0144371.
    PMID: 26790131 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144371
    The efficiency of a metaheuristic algorithm for global optimization is based on its ability to search and find the global optimum. However, a good search often requires to be balanced between exploration and exploitation of the search space. In this paper, a new metaheuristic algorithm called Ringed Seal Search (RSS) is introduced. It is inspired by the natural behavior of the seal pup. This algorithm mimics the seal pup movement behavior and its ability to search and choose the best lair to escape predators. The scenario starts once the seal mother gives birth to a new pup in a birthing lair that is constructed for this purpose. The seal pup strategy consists of searching and selecting the best lair by performing a random walk to find a new lair. Affected by the sensitive nature of seals against external noise emitted by predators, the random walk of the seal pup takes two different search states, normal state and urgent state. In the normal state, the pup performs an intensive search between closely adjacent lairs; this movement is modeled via a Brownian walk. In an urgent state, the pup leaves the proximity area and performs an extensive search to find a new lair from sparse targets; this movement is modeled via a Levy walk. The switch between these two states is realized by the random noise emitted by predators. The algorithm keeps switching between normal and urgent states until the global optimum is reached. Tests and validations were performed using fifteen benchmark test functions to compare the performance of RSS with other baseline algorithms. The results show that RSS is more efficient than Genetic Algorithm, Particles Swarm Optimization and Cuckoo Search in terms of convergence rate to the global optimum. The RSS shows an improvement in terms of balance between exploration (extensive) and exploitation (intensive) of the search space. The RSS can efficiently mimic seal pups behavior to find best lair and provide a new algorithm to be used in global optimization problems.
  11. Wang KW, Balakrishnan V, Liauw PC, Chua EK, Vengadasalam D, Tan YT
    Singapore Med J, 1988 Feb;29(1):53-5.
    PMID: 3406769
    Diabetes mellitus is a common chronic disease in Singapore. Its occurrence in pregnant women was 1.3% in a previous report. In a survey of 145 consecutive pregnant women registered at Alexandra Hospital the incidence of gestational diabetes was 13.1% when a total screen with 75 gm oral glucose challenge was used. The mean age of this sample was 27 years and the mean gestation at screening 33 weeks. There was an excess of Malay and Indian patients. Fifty percent had traditional risk factors tor gestational diabetes. Whether this higher incidence is a result of more stringent screening and/or increased occurrence remains to be confirmed.
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