17 research outputs found

    Technology Innovation Enabling Falls Risk Assessment in a Community Setting

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    Approximately one in three people over the age of 65 will fall each year, resulting in significant financial, physical, and emotional cost on the individual, their family, and society. Currently, falls are managed using on-body sensors and alarm pendants to notify others when a falls event occurs. However these technologies do not prevent a fall from occurring. There is now a growing focus on falls risk assessment and preventative interventions. Falls risk is currently assessed in a clinical setting by expert physiotherapists, geriatricians, or occupational therapists following the occurrence of an injurious fall. As the population ages, this reactive model of care will become increasingly unsatisfactory, and a proactive community-based prevention strategy will be required. Recent advances in technology can support this new model of care by enabling community-based practitioners to perform tests that previously required expensive technology or expert interpretation. Gait and balance impairment is one of the most common risk factors for falls. This paper reviews the current technical and non-technical gait and balance assessments, discusses how low-cost technology can be applied to objectively administer and interpret these tests in the community, and reports on recent research where body-worn sensors have been utilized. It also discusses the barriers to adoption in the community and proposes ethnographic research as a method to investigate solutions to these barriers

    Monoaminergic and histaminergic strategies and treatments in brain diseases

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    The monoaminergic systems are the target of several drugs for the treatment of mood, motor and cognitive disorders as well as neurological conditions. In most cases, advances have occurred through serendipity, except for Parkinson's disease where the pathophysiology led almost immediately to the introduction of dopamine restoring agents. Extensive neuropharmacological studies first showed that the primary target of antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anxiolytic drugs were specific components of the monoaminergic systems. Later, some dramatic side effects associated with older medicines were shown to disappear with new chemical compounds targeting the origin of the therapeutic benefit more specifically. The increased knowledge regarding the function and interaction of the monoaminergic systems in the brain resulting from in vivo neurochemical and neurophysiological studies indicated new monoaminergic targets that could achieve the efficacy of the older medicines with fewer side-effects. Yet, this accumulated knowledge regarding monoamines did not produce valuable strategies for diseases where no monoaminergic drug has been shown to be effective. Here, we emphasize the new therapeutic and monoaminergic-based strategies for the treatment of psychiatric diseases. We will consider three main groups of diseases, based on the evidence of monoamines involvement (schizophrenia, depression, obesity), the identification of monoamines in the diseases processes (Parkinson's disease, addiction) and the prospect of the involvement of monoaminergic mechanisms (epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, stroke). In most cases, the clinically available monoaminergic drugs induce widespread modifications of amine tone or excitability through neurobiological networks and exemplify the overlap between therapeutic approaches to psychiatric and neurological conditions. More recent developments that have resulted in improved drug specificity and responses will be discussed in this review.peer-reviewe

    Linking the lonely: an exploration of a communication technology designed to support social interaction among older adults

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    This article explores mixed methods data gathered from a pilot of a communication system prototype in the homes of 19 older adults over a period of 10 weeks. The system has been designed to enhance communication among both friends and strangers and has been developed as a possible tool to increase interaction in older adults suffering from social isolation and loneliness. The paper uses remote logging data to inform discussion of how such a technology was received and utilised over time in a home setting. Qualitative data gathered via entry and exit interviews, and weekly checkpoint calls were used to provide deeper insight into patterns and practices identified via the logs

    RESEARCH ETHICS. Ethics review for international data-intensive research

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    Ad hoc approaches mix and match existing components

    High-energy devices in different surgical settings: lessons learnt from a full health technology assessment report developed by SICE (Società Italiana di Chirurgia Endoscopica)

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    The present paper aims at evaluating the potential benefits of high-energy devices (HEDs) in the Italian surgical practice, defining the comparative efficacy and safety profiles, as well as the potential economic and organizational advantages for hospitals and patients, with respect to standard monopolar or bipolar devices