125 research outputs found

    Services and Policies for Care at Home

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    It is argued that various factors including the increasingly ageing population will require more care services to be delivered to users in their own homes. Desirable characteristics of such services are outlined. The Open Services Gateway initiative has been adopted as a widely accepted framework that is particularly suitable for developing home care services. Service discovery in this context is enhanced through ontologies that achieve greater flexibility and precision in service description. A service ontology stack allows common concepts to be extended for new services. The architecture of a policy system for home care is explained. This is used for flexible creation and control of new services. The core policy language and its extension for home care are introduced, and illustrated through typical examples. Future extensions of the approach are discussed

    A Scalable Home Care System Infrastructure Supporting Domiciliary Care

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    Technology-mediated home care is attractive for older people living at home and also for their carers. It provides the information necessary to give confidence and assurance to everyone interested in the wellbeing of the older person. From a care delivery perspective, however, widespread deployment of home care technologies presents system developers with a set of challenges. These challenges arise from the issues associated with scaling from individual installations to providing a community-wide service, particularly when each installation is to be fitted to the particular but changing needs of the residents, their in-home carers and the larger healthcare community. This paper presents a home care software architecture and services that seek to address these challenges. The approach aims to generate the information needed in a timely and appropriate form to inform older residents and their carers about changing life style that may indicate a loss of well-being. It unites sensor-based services, home care policy management, resource discovery, multimodal interaction and dynamic configuration services. In this way, the approach offers the integration of a variety of home care services with adaptation to the context of use

    Recovery from Covid-19 critical illness:a secondary analysis of the ISARIC4C CCP-UK cohort study and the RECOVER trial

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    Background: We aimed to compare the prevalence and severity of fatigue in survivors of Covid-19 versus non-Covid-19 critical illness, and to explore potential associations between baseline characteristics and worse recovery. Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of two prospectively collected datasets. The population included was 92 patients who received invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) with Covid-19, and 240 patients who received IMV with non-Covid-19 illness before the pandemic. Follow-up data was collected post-hospital discharge using self-reported questionnaires. The main outcome measures were self-reported fatigue severity and the prevalence of severe fatigue (severity >7/10) 3 to 12-months post-hospital discharge. Results: Covid-19 IMV-patients were significantly younger with less prior comorbidity, and more males, than pre-pandemic IMV-patients. At 3-months, the prevalence (38.9% [7/18] vs. 27.1% [51/188]) and severity (median 5.5/10 vs. 5.0/10) of fatigue was similar between the Covid-19 and pre-pandemic populations respectively. At 6-months, the prevalence (10.3% [3/29] vs. 32.5% [54/166]) and severity (median 2.0/10 vs. 5.7/10) of fatigue was less in the Covid-19 cohort. In the total sample of IMV-patients included (i.e. all Covid-19 and pre- pandemic patients), having Covid-19 was significantly associated with less severe fatigue (severity <7/10) after adjusting for age, sex, and prior comorbidity (adjusted OR 0.35 (95%CI 0.15-0.76, p=0.01). Conclusion: Fatigue may be less severe after Covid-19 than after other critical illness

    Simulating secondary organic aerosol in a regional air quality model using the statistical oxidation model – Part 2: Assessing the influence of vapor wall losses

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    The influence of losses of organic vapors to chamber walls during secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation experiments has recently been established. Here, the influence of such losses on simulated ambient SOA concentrations and properties is assessed in the University of California at Davis / California Institute of Technology (UCD/CIT) regional air quality model using the statistical oxidation model (SOM) for SOA. The SOM was fit to laboratory chamber data both with and without accounting for vapor wall losses following the approach of Zhang et al. (2014). Two vapor wall-loss scenarios are considered when fitting of SOM to chamber data to determine best-fit SOM parameters, one with “low” and one with “high” vapor wall-loss rates to approximately account for the current range of uncertainty in this process. Simulations were run using these different parameterizations (scenarios) for both the southern California/South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB) and the eastern United States (US). Accounting for vapor wall losses leads to substantial increases in the simulated SOA concentrations from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in both domains, by factors of  ∼  2–5 for the low and  ∼  5–10 for the high scenarios. The magnitude of the increase scales approximately inversely with the absolute SOA concentration of the no loss scenario. In SoCAB, the predicted SOA fraction of total organic aerosol (OA) increases from  ∼  0.2 (no) to  ∼  0.5 (low) and to  ∼  0.7 (high), with the high vapor wall-loss simulations providing best general agreement with observations. In the eastern US, the SOA fraction is large in all cases but increases further when vapor wall losses are accounted for. The total OA ∕ ΔCO ratio captures the influence of dilution on SOA concentrations. The simulated OA ∕ ΔCO in SoCAB (specifically, at Riverside, CA) is found to increase substantially during the day only for the high vapor wall-loss scenario, which is consistent with observations and indicative of photochemical production of SOA. Simulated O : C atomic ratios for both SOA and for total OA increase when vapor wall losses are accounted for, while simulated H : C atomic ratios decrease. The agreement between simulations and observations of both the absolute values and the diurnal profile of the O : C and H : C atomic ratios for total OA was greatly improved when vapor wall-losses were accounted for. These results overall demonstrate that vapor wall losses in chambers have the potential to exert a large influence on simulated ambient SOA concentrations, and further suggest that accounting for such effects in models can explain a number of different observations and model–measurement discrepancies

    Prevalence and incidence of intraventricular conduction delays and outcomes in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction: Insights from PARADIGM-HF and ATMOSPHERE

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    Aims: The importance of intraventricular conduction delay (IVCD), incidence of new IVCD and its relationship to outcomes in heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) is not well studied. We addressed these questions in the PARADIGM-HF and ATMOSPHERE trials. Methods and results: Risk of the primary composite outcome of cardiovascular death or HF hospitalization and all-cause mortality were estimated by use of Cox regression according to baseline QRS duration and morphology in 11,861 patients without an intracardiac device. At baseline, 1,789 (15.1%) patients had left bundle branch block (LBBB), 524 (4.4%) RBBB, 454 (3.8%) non-specific IVCD, 2588 (21.8%) "mildly abnormal" QRS (110-129 milliseconds [ms]) and 6506 (54.9%) QRS <110 ms. During a median follow-up of 2.5 years, the risk of the primary composite endpoint was higher among those with a wide QRS, irrespective of morphology: hazard ratios (95% CI) LBBB 1.36 (1.23, 1.50), RBBB 1.54 (1.31, 1.79), nonspecific IVCD 1.65 (1.40, 1.94) and QRS 110-129 ms 1.35 (95% CI 1.23, 1.47), compared with QRS duration <110 ms. A total of 1,234 (15.6%) patients developed new-onset QRS-widening ≥130 ms (6.1 per 100 py). Incident LBBB occurred in 495 (6.3%) patients (2.4 per 100 py) and was associated with a higher risk of the primary composite outcome; HR 1.42 (1.12, 1.82). Conclusion: In patients with HFrEF, a wide QRS was associated with worse clinical outcomes irrespective of morphology. The annual incidence of new-onset LBBB was around 2.5%, and associated with a higher risk of adverse outcomes, highlighting the importance of repeat ECG review

    Isoprene Epoxydiols as Precursors to Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation: Acid-Catalyzed Reactive Uptake Studies with Authentic Compounds

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    Isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX), formed from the photooxidation of isoprene under low-NOx conditions, have recently been proposed as precursors of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) on the basis of mass spectrometric evidence. In the present study, IEPOX isomers were synthesized in high purity (> 99%) to investigate their potential to form SOA via reactive uptake in a series of controlled dark chamber studies followed by reaction product analyses. IEPOX-derived SOA was substantially observed only in the presence of acidic aerosols, with conservative lower-bound yields of 4.7–6.4% for β-IEPOX and 3.4–5.5% for δ-IEPOX, providing direct evidence for IEPOX isomers as precursors to isoprene SOA. These chamber studies demonstrate that IEPOX uptake explains the formation of known isoprene SOA tracers found in ambient aerosols, including 2-methyltetrols, C5-alkene triols, dimers, and IEPOX-derived organosulfates. Additionally, we show reactive uptake on the acidified sulfate aerosols supports a previously unreported acid-catalyzed intramolecular rearrangement of IEPOX to cis- and trans-3-methyltetrahydrofuran-3,4-diols (3-MeTHF-3,4-diols) in the particle phase. Analysis of these novel tracer compounds by aerosol mass spectrometry (AMS) suggests that they contribute to a unique factor resolved from positive matrix factorization (PMF) of AMS organic aerosol spectra collected from low-NOx, isoprene-dominated regions influenced by the presence of acidic aerosols

    Evaluation of pragmatic oxygenation measurement as a proxy for Covid-19 severity

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    Choosing optimal outcome measures maximizes statistical power, accelerates discovery and improves reliability in early-phase trials. We devised and evaluated a modification to a pragmatic measure of oxygenation function, the [Formula: see text] ratio. Because of the ceiling effect in oxyhaemoglobin saturation, [Formula: see text] ratio ceases to reflect pulmonary oxygenation function at high [Formula: see text] values. We found that the correlation of [Formula: see text] with the reference standard ([Formula: see text]/[Formula: see text] ratio) improves substantially when excluding [Formula: see text] and refer to this measure as [Formula: see text]. Using observational data from 39,765 hospitalised COVID-19 patients, we demonstrate that [Formula: see text] is predictive of mortality, and compare the sample sizes required for trials using four different outcome measures. We show that a significant difference in outcome could be detected with the smallest sample size using [Formula: see text]. We demonstrate that [Formula: see text] is an effective intermediate outcome measure in COVID-19. It is a non-invasive measurement, representative of disease severity and provides greater statistical power

    Studying the Long-term Impact of COVID-19 in Kids (SLICK). Healthcare use and costs in children and young people following community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infection:protocol for an observational study using linked primary and secondary routinely collected healthcare data from England, Scotland and Wales

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    IntroductionSARS-CoV-2 infection rarely causes hospitalisation in children and young people (CYP), but mild or asymptomatic infections are common. Persistent symptoms following infection have been reported in CYP but subsequent healthcare use is unclear. We aim to describe healthcare use in CYP following community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infection and identify those at risk of ongoing healthcare needs.Methods and analysisWe will use anonymised individual-level, population-scale national data linking demographics, comorbidities, primary and secondary care use and mortality between 1 January 2019 and 1 May 2022. SARS-CoV-2 test data will be linked from 1 January 2020 to 1 May 2022. Analyses will use Trusted Research Environments: OpenSAFELY in England, Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank in Wales and Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 in Scotland (EAVE-II). CYP aged ≥4 and <18 years who underwent SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) testing between 1 January 2020 and 1 May 2021 and those untested CYP will be examined.The primary outcome measure is cumulative healthcare cost over 12 months following SARS-CoV-2 testing, stratified into primary or secondary care, and physical or mental healthcare. We will estimate the burden of healthcare use attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infections in the 12 months after testing using a matched cohort study of RT-PCR positive, negative or untested CYP matched on testing date, with adjustment for confounders. We will identify factors associated with higher healthcare needs in the 12 months following SARS-CoV-2 infection using an unmatched cohort of RT-PCR positive CYP. Multivariable logistic regression and machine learning approaches will identify risk factors for high healthcare use and characterise patterns of healthcare use post infection.Ethics and disseminationThis study was approved by the South-Central Oxford C Health Research Authority Ethics Committee (13/SC/0149). Findings will be preprinted and published in peer-reviewed journals. Analysis code and code lists will be available through public GitHub repositories and OpenCodelists with meta-data via HDR-UK Innovation Gateway
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