The Russian health care system retains the main characteristics of medical care delivery in the Soviet Union. However the transition from socialism to capitalism in the 90s and the economic growth in the 2000s had a significant impact on accessibility of medical care.
OBJECTIVE: Despite the long history of digital radiology, one of its most critical aspects-information security-still remains extremely underdeveloped and poorly standardized. To study the current state of radiology security, we explored the worldwide security of medical image archives. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using the DICOM data-transmitting standard, we implemented a highly parallel application to scan the entire World Wide Web of networked computers and devices, locating open and unprotected radiology servers. We used only legal and radiology-compliant tools. Our security-probing application initiated a standard DICOM handshake to remote computer or device addresses, and then assessed their security posture on the basis of handshake replies. RESULTS: The scan discovered a total of 2774 unprotected radiology or DICOM servers worldwide. Of those, 719 were fully open to patient data communications. Geolocation was used to analyze and rank our findings according to country utilization. As a result, we built maps and world ranking of clinical security, suggesting that even the most radiology-advanced countries have hospitals with serious security gaps. CONCLUSION: Despite more than two decades of active development and implementation, our radiology data still remains insecure. The results provided should be applied to raise awareness and begin an earnest dialogue toward elimination of the problem. The application we designed and the novel scanning approach we developed can be used to identify security breaches and to eliminate them before they are compromised. © American Roentgen Ray Society.
Perceptual decisions not only depend on the incoming information from sensory systems but constitute a combination of current sensory evidence and internally accumulated information from past encounters. Although recent evidence emphasizes the fundamental role of prior knowledge for perceptual decision making, only few studies have quantified the relevance of such priors on perceptual decisions and examined their interplay with other decision-relevant factors, such as the stimulus properties. In the present study we asked whether hysteresis, describing the stability of a percept despite a change in stimulus property and known to occur at perceptual thresholds, also acts as a form of an implicit prior in tactile spatial decision making, supporting the stability of a decision across successively presented random stimuli (i.e., decision hysteresis). We applied a variant of the classical 2-point discrimination task and found that hysteresis influenced perceptual decision making: Participants were more likely to decide 'same' rather than 'different' on successively presented pin distances. In a direct comparison between the influence of applied pin distances (explicit stimulus property) and hysteresis, we found that on average, stimulus property explained significantly more variance of participants' decisions than hysteresis. However, when focusing on pin distances at threshold, we found a trend for hysteresis to explain more variance. Furthermore, the less variance was explained by the pin distance on a given decision, the more variance was explained by hysteresis, and vice versa. Our findings suggest that hysteresis acts as an implicit prior in tactile spatial decision making that becomes increasingly important when explicit stimulus properties provide decreasing evidence.
Background Reliable and comparable data on causes of death are crucial for public health analysis, but the usefulness of these data can be markedly diminished when the approach to coding is not standardized across territories and/or over time. Because the Russian system of producing information on causes of death is highly decentralized, there may be discrepancies in the coding practices employed across the country. In this study, we evaluate the uniformity of cause-of-death coding practices across Russian regions using an indirect method. Methods Based on 2002–2012 mortality data, we estimate the prevalence of the major causes of death (70 causes) in the mortality structures of 52 Russian regions. For each region-cause combination we measured the degree to which the share of a certain cause in the mortality structure of a certain region deviates from the respective inter-regional average share. We use heat map visualization and a regression model to determine whether there is regularity in the causes and the regions that is more likely to deviate from the average level across all regions. In addition to analyzing the comparability of cause-specific mortality structures in a spatial dimension, we examine the regional cause-of-death time series to identify the causes with temporal trends that vary greatly across regions. Results A high level of consistency was found both across regions and over time for transport accidents, most of the neoplasms, congenital malformations, and perinatal conditions. However, a high degree of inconsistency was found for mental and behavioral disorders, diseases of the nervous system, endocrine disorders, ill-defined causes of death, and certain cardiovascular diseases. This finding suggests that the coding practices for these causes of death are not uniform across regions. The level of consistency improves when causes of death can be grouped into broader diagnostic categories. Conclusion This systematic analysis allows us to present a broader picture of the quality of cause-of-death coding at the regional level. For some causes of death, there is a high degree of variance across regions in the likelihood that these causes will be chosen as the underlying causes. In addition, for some causes of death the mortality statistics reflect the coding practices, rather than the real epidemiological situation.
Background: Krokodil is an informal term for a cheap injectable illicit drug domestically prepared from codeine-containing medication (CCM). The method of krokodil preparation may produce desomorphine as well as toxic reactants that cause extensive tissue necrosis. The first confirmed report of krokodil use in Russia took place in 2004. In 2012, reports of krokodil-related injection injuries began to appear beyond Russia in Western Europe and the United States.
Objective: This exploratory study had two main objectives: (1) to determine if Internet search patterns could detect regularities in behavioral responses to Russian CCM policy at the population level, and (2) to determine if complementary data sources could explain the regularities we observed.
Methods: First, we obtained krokodil-related search pattern data for each Russia subregion (oblast) between 2011 and 2012. Second, we analyzed several complementary data sources included krokodil-related court cases, and related search terms on both Google and Yandex to evaluate the characteristics of terms accompanying krokodil-related search queries.
Results: In the 6 months preceding CCM sales restrictions, 21 of Russia's 83 oblasts had search rates higher than the national average (mean) of 16.67 searches per 100,000 population for terms associated with krokodil. In the 6 months following restrictions, mean national searches dropped to 9.65 per 100,000. Further, the number of oblasts recording a higher than average search rate dropped from 30 to 16. Second, we found krokodil-related court appearances were moderately positively correlated (Spearman correlation=.506, P≤.001) with behaviors consistent with an interest in the production and use of krokodil across Russia. Finally, Google Trends and Google and Yandex related terms suggested consistent public interest in the production and use of krokodil as well as for CCM as analgesic medication during the date range covered by this study. Conclusions: Illicit drug use data are generally regarded as difficult to obtain through traditional survey methods. Our analysis suggests it is plausible that Yandex search behavior served as a proxy for patterns of krokodil production and use during the date range we investigated. More generally, this study demonstrates the application of novel methods recently used by policy makers to both monitor illicit drug use and influence drug policy decision making.
Building on long-term benefits of early intervention (Paper 2 of this Series) and increasing commitment to early childhood development (Paper 1 of this Series), scaled up support for the youngest children is essential to improving health, human capital, and wellbeing across the life course. In this third paper, new analyses show that the burden of poor development is higher than estimated, taking into account additional risk factors. National programmes are needed. Greater political prioritisation is core to scale-up, as are policies that afford families time and financial resources to provide nurturing care for young children. Effective and feasible programmes to support early child development are now available. All sectors, particularly education, and social and child protection, must play a role to meet the holistic needs of young children. However, health provides a critical starting point for scaling up, given its reach to pregnant women, families, and young children. Starting at conception, interventions to promote nurturing care can feasibly build on existing health and nutrition services at limited additional cost. Failure to scale up has severe personal and social consequences. Children at elevated risk for compromised development due to stunting and poverty are likely to forgo about a quarter of average adult income per year, and the cost of inaction to gross domestic product can be double what some countries currently spend on health. Services and interventions to support early childhood development are essential to realising the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Most common drug development failures originate from either bioavailability problems, or unexpected toxic effects. The culprit is often the liver, which is responsible for biotransformation of a majority of xenobiotics. Liver may be modeled using "liver on a chip" devices, which may include established cell lines, primary human cells, and stem cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells. The choice of biological material along with its processing and maintenance greatly influence both the device performance and the resultant toxicity predictions. Impediments to the development of "liver on a chip" technology include the problems with standardization of cells, limitations imposed by culturing and the necessity to develop more complicated fluidic contours. Fortunately, recent breakthroughs in the development of cell-based reporters, including ones with fluorescent label, permits monitoring of the behavior of the cells embed into the "liver on a chip" devices. Finally, a set of computational approaches has been developed to model both particular toxic response and the homeostasis of human liver as a whole; these approaches pave a way to enhance the in silico stage of assessment for a potential toxicity.
On the web page of British medical Journal, the outpost of evidence based medicine (EBM) the voting collected 500 voices and 52% agreed that “EBM is broken” (as of June 22). Readers did vote in relation to the article, published by a group of EBM promoters 1. In this article, Trisha Greenhalgh et al. listed for the “Evidence Based Medicine Renaissance Group” number of problems with the development of the EBM practice. Despite successfully addressing these problems, the article call for the “Return to real evidence based medicine”. The call is addressed mostly to clinicians, but three points make it relevant for public health.
The study explores the so-called ‘Kyrgyz clinics’ and their place in the migrant infrastructure of Moscow, Russia. We focus on the unique status of these clinics specifically aimed at and tailored for the migrants’ medical and psychosocial needs. We have found that the role of Kyrgyz clinics is not limited to the provision of affordable medical services. It is a milieu where the migrant patients come with their problems to migrant doctors, and where they can use their native language and cultural code to talk about their health problems. In particular, Kyrgyz doctors at such clinics play the role of intermediaries between migrants and other medical institutions of Moscow, as migrants often lack information about budget healthcare services in Moscow. We also briefly outline how migrants use informal strategies and networks to overcome the barriers to receiving medical care.
Neuronal activity in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterised by excessive neuronal synchronization, particularly in the beta frequency range. However, less is known about the temporal dynamics of neuronal oscillations in PD. In this respect long-range temporal correlations (LRTC) are of special interest as they quantify the neuronal dynamics on different timescales and have been shown to be relevant for optimal information processing in the brain. While the presence of LRTC has been demonstrated in cortical data, their existence in deep brain structures remains an open question. We investigated (i) whether LRTC are present in local field potentials (LFP) recorded bilaterally from the STN at wakeful rest in ten patients with PD after overnight withdrawal of levodopa (OFF) and (ii) whether LRTC can be modulated by levodopa treatment (ON). Detrended fluctuation analysis was utilised in order to quantify the temporal dynamics in the amplitude fluctuations of LFP oscillations. We demonstrated for the first time the presence of LRTC (extending up to 50 s) in the STN. Importantly, the ON state was characterised by significantly stronger LRTC than the OFF state, both in beta (13-35 Hz) and high-frequency (> 200 Hz) oscillations. The existence of LRTC in subcortical structures such as STN provides further evidence for their ubiquitous nature in the brain. The weaker LRTC in the OFF state might indicate limited information processing in the dopamine-depleted basal ganglia. The present results implicate LRTC as a potential biomarker of pathological neuronal processes in PD.
It is a common belief that the shift to digital imaging some 20 years ago helped medical image exchange and got rid of any potential image loss that was happening with printed image films. Unfortunately, this is not the case: despite the most recent advances in digital imaging, most hospitals still keep losing their imaging data, with these losses going completely unnoticed. As a result, not only does image loss affect the faith in digital imaging but it also affects patient diagnosis and daily quality of clinical work. This paper identifies the origins of invisible image losses, provides methods and procedures to detect image loss, and demonstrates modes of action that can be taken to stop the problem from happening.
Autism spectrum conditions (ASC) are characterised by deficits in understanding and expressing emotions and are frequently accompanied by alexithymia, a difficulty in understanding and expressing emotion words. Words are differentially represented in the brain according to their semantic category and these difficulties in ASC predict reduced activation to emotion-related words in limbic structures crucial for affective processing. Semantic theories view 'emotion actions' as critical for learning the semantic relationship between a word and the emotion it describes, such that emotion words typically activate the cortical motor systems involved in expressing emotion actions such as facial expressions. As ASC are also characterised by motor deficits and atypical brain structure and function in these regions, motor structures would also be expected to show reduced activation during emotion-semantic processing. Here we used event-related fMRI to compare passive processing of emotion words in comparison to abstract verbs and animal names in typically-developing controls and individuals with ASC. Relatively reduced brain activation in ASC for emotion words, but not matched control words, was found in motor areas and cingulate cortex specifically. The degree of activation evoked by emotion words in the motor system was also associated with the extent of autistic traits as revealed by the Autism Spectrum Quotient. We suggest that hypoactivation of motor and limbic regions for emotion-word processing may underlie difficulties in processing emotional language in ASC. The role that sensorimotor systems and their connections might play in the affective and social-communication difficulties in ASC is discussed.
Objectives To examine the association between marital status and dementia in a cohort of young-old (50–64) and middle-old (65–74) adults, and also whether this may differ by gender. Design Prospective population-based study with follow-up time of up to 10 years. Setting Swedish national register-based study. Participants 2 288 489 individuals, aged 50–74 years, without prior dementia diagnosis at baseline. Dementia was identified using the Swedish National Patient Register and the Cause of Death Register. Outcome measures The influence of marital status on dementia was analysed using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted stepwise for multiple covariates (model 1: adjusted for age and gender; and model 2: additionally adjusted for having adult children, education, income and prior cardiovascular disease). Results During follow-up, 31 572 individuals in the study were identified as demented. Cox regression showed each non-married subcategory to be associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia than the married group, with the highest risk observed among people in the young-old age group, especially among those who were divorced or single (HRs 1.79 vs 1.71, fully adjusted model). Analyses stratified by gender showed gender differences in the young-old group, with indications of divorced men having a higher relative risk compared with divorced women (HRs 2.1 vs 1.7, only-age adjusted model). However, in the fully adjusted model, these differences were attenuated and there was no longer any significant difference between male and female participants. Conclusions Our results suggest that those living alone as non-marrieds may be at risk for early-onset and late-onset dementia. Although more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanism by which marital status is associated with dementia, this suggests that social relationships should be taken seriously as a risk factor for dementia and that social-based interventions may provide an opportunity to reduce the overall dementia risk.
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are grounded in the global ambition of “leaving no one behind”. Understanding today's gains and gaps for the health-related SDGs is essential for decision makers as they aim to improve the health of populations. As part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016), we measured 37 of the 50 health-related SDG indicators over the period 1990–2016 for 188 countries, and then on the basis of these past trends, we projected indicators to 2030.
We used standardised GBD 2016 methods to measure 37 health-related indicators from 1990 to 2016, an increase of four indicators since GBD 2015. We substantially revised the universal health coverage (UHC) measure, which focuses on coverage of essential health services, to also represent personal health-care access and quality for several non-communicable diseases. We transformed each indicator on a scale of 0–100, with 0 as the 2·5th percentile estimated between 1990 and 2030, and 100 as the 97·5th percentile during that time. An index representing all 37 health-related SDG indicators was constructed by taking the geometric mean of scaled indicators by target. On the basis of past trends, we produced projections of indicator values, using a weighted average of the indicator and country-specific annualised rates of change from 1990 to 2016 with weights for each annual rate of change based on out-of-sample validity. 24 of the currently measured health-related SDG indicators have defined SDG targets, against which we assessed attainment.
Globally, the median health-related SDG index was 56·7 (IQR 31·9–66·8) in 2016 and country-level performance markedly varied, with Singapore (86·8, 95% uncertainty interval 84·6–88·9), Iceland (86·0, 84·1–87·6), and Sweden (85·6, 81·8–87·8) having the highest levels in 2016 and Afghanistan (10·9, 9·6–11·9), the Central African Republic (11·0, 8·8–13·8), and Somalia (11·3, 9·5–13·1) recording the lowest. Between 2000 and 2016, notable improvements in the UHC index were achieved by several countries, including Cambodia, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, Laos, Turkey, and China; however, a number of countries, such as Lesotho and the Central African Republic, but also high-income countries, such as the USA, showed minimal gains. Based on projections of past trends, the median number of SDG targets attained in 2030 was five (IQR 2–8) of the 24 defined targets currently measured. Globally, projected target attainment considerably varied by SDG indicator, ranging from more than 60% of countries projected to reach targets for under-5 mortality, neonatal mortality, maternal mortality ratio, and malaria, to less than 5% of countries projected to achieve targets linked to 11 indicator targets, including those for childhood overweight, tuberculosis, and road injury mortality. For several of the health-related SDGs, meeting defined targets hinges upon substantially faster progress than what most countries have achieved in the past.
GBD 2016 provides an updated and expanded evidence base on where the world currently stands in terms of the health-related SDGs. Our improved measure of UHC offers a basis to monitor the expansion of health services necessary to meet the SDGs. Based on past rates of progress, many places are facing challenges in meeting defined health-related SDG targets, particularly among countries that are the worst off. In view of the early stages of SDG implementation, however, opportunity remains to take actions to accelerate progress, as shown by the catalytic effects of adopting the Millennium Development Goals after 2000. With the SDGs' broader, bolder development agenda, multisectoral commitments and investments are vital to make the health-related SDGs within reach of all populations.
In September, 2015, the UN General Assembly established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs specify 17 universal goals, 169 targets, and 230 indicators leading up to 2030. We provide an analysis of 33 health-related SDG indicators based on the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015).
We applied statistical methods to systematically compiled data to estimate the performance of 33 health-related SDG indicators for 188 countries from 1990 to 2015. We rescaled each indicator on a scale from 0 (worst observed value between 1990 and 2015) to 100 (best observed). Indices representing all 33 health-related SDG indicators (health-related SDG index), health-related SDG indicators included in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG index), and health-related indicators not included in the MDGs (non-MDG index) were computed as the geometric mean of the rescaled indicators by SDG target. We used spline regressions to examine the relations between the Socio-demographic Index (SDI, a summary measure based on average income per person, educational attainment, and total fertility rate) and each of the health-related SDG indicators and indices.
In 2015, the median health-related SDG index was 59∙3 (95% uncertainty interval 56∙8–61∙8) and varied widely by country, ranging from 85∙5 (84∙2–86∙5) in Iceland to 20∙4 (15∙4–24∙9) in Central African Republic. SDI was a good predictor of the health-related SDG index (r²=0∙88) and the MDG index (r²=0∙92), whereas the non-MDG index had a weaker relation with SDI (r²=0∙79). Between 2000 and 2015, the health-related SDG index improved by a median of 7∙9 (IQR 5∙0–10∙4), and gains on the MDG index (a median change of 10∙0 [6∙7–13∙1]) exceeded that of the non-MDG index (a median change of 5∙5 [2∙1–8∙9]). Since 2000, pronounced progress occurred for indicators such as met need with modern contraception, under-5 mortality, and neonatal mortality, as well as the indicator for universal health coverage tracer interventions. Moderate improvements were found for indicators such as HIV and tuberculosis incidence, minimal changes for hepatitis B incidence took place, and childhood overweight considerably worsened.Interpretation
GBD provides an independent, comparable avenue for monitoring progress towards the health-related SDGs. Our analysis not only highlights the importance of income, education, and fertility as drivers of health improvement but also emphasises that investments in these areas alone will not be sufficient.
Although considerable progress on the health-related MDG indicators has been made, these gains will need to be sustained and, in many cases, accelerated to achieve the ambitious SDG targets. The minimal improvement in or worsening of health-related indicators beyond the MDGs highlight the need for additional resources to effectively address the expanded scope of the health-related SDGs
In this study, a novel incremental supervised neural network (ISNN) is proposed for the segmentation of medical images. Performance of the ISNN is investigated for tissue segmentation in medical images obtained from various imaging modalities. Two feature extraction methods based on transform and moments are comparatively investigated to segment the tissues in medical images. Two-dimensional (2D) continuous wavelet transform (CWT) and the moments of the gray-level histogram (MGH) are computed in order to form the feature vectors of ultrasound (US) bladder and phantom images, X-ray computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) head images. In the 2D-CWT method, feature vectors are formed by the intensity of one pixel of each wavelet-plane of different energy bands. The MGH represents the tissues within the sub-windows by using the spatial variation of image intensities. In this study, the ISNN and Grow and Learn (GAL) network are employed for the segmentation task. It is observed that the ISNN has significantly eliminated the disadvantages of the GAL network in the segmentation of the medical images.
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is an extremely malignant form of breast cancer which can be easily misdiagnosed. Conclusive prognostic IBC molecular biomarkers which are also providing the perspectives for targeted therapy are lacking so far. The aim of this study was to reveal the IBC-specific miRNA expression profile and to evaluate its association with clinicopathological parameters.
miRNA expression profiles of 13 IBC and 17 non-IBC patients were characterized using comprehensive Affymetrix GeneChip miRNA 3.0 microarray platform. Bioinformatic analysis was used to reveal IBC-specific miRNAs, deregulated pathways and potential miRNA targets.
31 differentially expressed miRNAs characterize IBC and mRNAs regulated by them and their associated pathways can functionally be attributed to IBC progression. In addition, a minimal predictive set of 4 miRNAs characteristic for the IBC phenotype and associated with the TP53 mutational status in breast cancer patients was identified.
We have characterized the complete miRNome of inflammatory breast cancer and found differentially expressed miRNAs which reliably classify the patients to IBC and non-IBC groups. We found that the mRNAs and pathways likely regulated by these miRNAs are highly relevant to cancer progression. Furthermore a minimal IBC-related predictive set of 4 miRNAs associated with the TP53 mutational status and survival for breast cancer patients was identified.
Event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured from 24 chronic closed head injury (CHI) patients and 18 age- and education-matched controls. The oddball paradigm was applied while subjects were watching a silent movie. The standard (p=0.8) sound of 75 ms duration had a basic frequency of 500 Hz with harmonic partials of 1000 Hz and 1500 Hz, whereas these frequencies for the pitch deviant were each 10% higher. The frequencies of the duration deviant matched with those of the standard but was 25 ms in duration. The MMN (mismatch negativity), generated by the brain's automatic auditory change-detector mechanism, was elicited by both deviants. No significant differences in the MMN latency or amplitude for either pitch or duration deviants were found between the groups. However, the MMN amplitude for the pitch deviant decreased in the patient group during the experiment considerably faster than in controls, suggesting a faster vigilance decrement in the patients
This paper analyses the possibility of using mobile technologies and applications in the Russian healthcare system and evaluates the opportunities for its further development. The research provides an overview of global trends in digital healthcare with some examples of the best solutions for eHealth (healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication). An analysis is made of the Russian medical system in order to identify the main stages of its formation, achievements and areas for improvement. The authors also conducted research into the current Russian medical healthcare system aimed at identifying gaps and concerns regarding security, reliability and service availability for on-line and mobile services and personal health records in Russia. Certain diffi culties in the establishment of an up-to-date healthcare system in Russia with examples of barriers are also analyzed to get a better understanding of the prospects for mobile healthcare development. Starting from the premise that support for information technologies is essential to medical healthcare development, the paper gives an overview of the current IT initiatives of the Russian government in the fi eld of medicine and provides examples of the independent applications of Russian software developers for digital and mobile healthcare. As a result of the research, three possible development scenarios of Russian mobile healthcare are described. The barriers identifi ed as well as worldwide healthcare transformation aspects such as cost reduction and personalization are considered in the possible scenarios.