Today, people use the Internet to satisfy health-related information and communication needs. In Malaysia, Internet use for health management has become increasingly significant due to the increase in the incidence of chronic diseases, in particular among urban women and their desire to stay healthy. Past studies adopted the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Health Belief Model (HBM) independently to explain Internet use for health-related purposes. Although both the TAM and HBM have their own merits, independently they lack the ability to explain the cognition and the related mechanism in which individuals use the Internet for health purposes.
Telepointer is a powerful tool in the telemedicine system that enhances the effectiveness of long-distance communication. Telepointer has been tested in telemedicine, and has potential to a big influence in improving quality of health care, especially in the rural area. A telepointer system works by sending additional information in the form of gesture that can convey more accurate instruction or information. It leads to more effective communication, precise diagnosis, and better decision by means of discussion and consultation between the expert and the junior clinicians. However, there is no review paper yet on the state of the art of the telepointer in telemedicine. This paper is intended to give the readers an overview of recent advancement of telepointer technology as a support tool in telemedicine. There are four most popular modes of telepointer system, namely cursor, hand, laser and sketching pointer. The result shows that telepointer technology has a huge potential for wider acceptance in real life applications, there are needs for more improvement in the real time positioning accuracy. More results from actual test (real patient) need to be reported. We believe that by addressing these two issues, telepointer technology will be embraced widely by researchers and practitioners.
Parkinson's Disease (PD) is characterized as the commonest neurodegenerative illness that gradually degenerates the central nervous system. The goal of this review is to come out with a summary of the recent progress of numerous forms of sensors and systems that are related to diagnosis of PD in the past decades. The paper reviews the substantial researches on the application of technological tools (objective techniques) in the PD field applying different types of sensors proposed by previous researchers. In addition, this also includes the use of clinical tools (subjective techniques) for PD assessments, for instance, patient self-reports, patient diaries and the international gold standard reference scale, Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). Comparative studies and critical descriptions of these approaches have been highlighted in this paper, giving an insight on the current state of the art. It is followed by explaining the merits of the multiple sensor fusion platform compared to single sensor platform for better monitoring progression of PD, and ends with thoughts about the future direction towards the need of multimodal sensor integration platform for the assessment of PD.
The use of electrospinning process in fabricating tissue engineering scaffolds has received great attention in recent years due to its simplicity. The nanofibers produced via electrospinning possessed morphological characteristics similar to extracellular matrix of most tissue components. Porosity plays a vital role in developing tissue engineering scaffolds because it influences the biocompatibility performance of the scaffolds. In this study, maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) was mixed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and subsequently electrospun to produce nanofibers. Five factors; nanoparticles content, voltage, flow rate, spinning distance, and rotating speed were varied to produce the electrospun nanofibrous mats with high porosity value. Empirical model was developed using response surface methodology to analyze the effect of these factors to the porosity. The results revealed that the optimum porosity (90.85%) was obtained using 5% w/v nanoparticle content, 35kV of voltage, 1.1ml/h volume flow rate of solution, 8cm spinning distance and 2455rpm of rotating speed. The empirical model was verified successfully by performing confirmation experiments. The properties of optimum PVA/γ-Fe2O3 nanofiber mats such as fiber diameter, mechanical properties, and contact angle were investigated. In addition, cytocompatibility test, in vitro degradation rate, and MTT assay were also performed. Results revealed that high porosity biodegradable γ-Fe2O3/polyvinyl alcohol nanofiber mats have low mechanical properties but good degradation rates and cytocompatibility properties. Thus, they are suitable for low load bearing biomedical application or soft tissue engineering scaffold.
There has been an increase in the use of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) in immune-mediated neurological disorders in recent years. However, accessibility and availability of TPE remains low and costly, especially for a country with limited healthcare funding like Malaysia. With expanding clinical indications in neurological disorders, and increasingly expensive conventional immunomodulatory treatment such as intravenous immunoglobulin and monoclonal antibodies, TPE remains an effective part of first or second-line treatment. In this article, we detailed the historical aspects of the use of TPE in neurological disorders in Malaysia over the last four decades and discussed the challenges behind the establishment of the first in-house neurology-driven TPE service in the country. Local TPE database from a national neurology centre in Kuala Lumpur over the past 20 years was analyzed. We observed a remarkable three folds increase in the use of TPE at our center over the past 10 years (total 131 TPE treatments) compared to a decade prior, with expanding clinical indications predominantly for central nervous system demyelinating disorders. Besides using membrane filtration method, centrifugal technique was adopted, providing new opportunities for other clinical beneficiaries such as a neurologist driven "in-house TPE unit". However, there were real world challenges, especially having to provide services with limited funding, human resources, and space. In addition, much has to be done to improve accessibility, availability, and sustainability of TPE services at our center and nationwide. Nevertheless, even with limited resources and support, it is possible with concerted efforts to work within the confines of these limitations to establish a safe, successful, and sustainable TPE service.