In the article I present and criticize the view of classical compatibilism on freedom, i.e. the view according to which free subjects and free actions can exist in the world ruled by universal, exceptionless causality. I claim that compatibilism does not solve the problem of freedom and determinism, but avoids and disregards it. Compatibilism pretends to accomplish the task by playing with semantic tricks that create a misleading impression of ‛compatibility’.
Automation in experiments carried out on animals is getting more and more important in research. Computers take over laborious and time-consuming activities like recording and analysing images of the experiment scene. The first step in an image analysis is finding and distinguishing between the observed animals and then tracking all objects during the experiment. In this paper four tracking methods are presented. Quantitative and qualitative figures of merit are applied to confront those methods. The comparison takes into consideration the level of correct object recognition during different disturbances, the speed of computation, requirements as to the frame rate and image illumination, quality of recovering from occluded situations and others.
The electrical impedance diagnostic methods and instrumentation developed at the Gdansk and Warsaw Universities of Technology are described. On the basis of knowledge of their features, several original approaches to the broad field of electrical impedance applications are discussed. Analysis of electrical field distribution after external excitation, including electrode impedance, is of primary importance for measurement accuracy and determining the properties of the structures tested. Firstly, the problem of electrical tissue properties is discussed. Particular cells are specified for in vitro and in vivo measurements and for impedance spectrometry. Of especial importance are the findings concerning the electrical properties of breast cancer, muscle anisotropy and the properties of heart tissue and flowing blood. The applications are both important and wide-ranging but, for the present, special attention has been focused on the evaluation of cardiosurgical interventions. Secondly, methods of instrument construction are presented which use an electrical change in conductance, such as impedance pletysmography and cardiography, for the examination of total systemic blood flow. A new method for the study of right pulmonary artery blood flow is also introduced. The basic applications cover examination of the mechanical activity of the heart and evaluation of many haemodynamic parameters related to this. Understanding the features that occur during blood flow is of major importance for the proper interpretation of measurement data. Thirdly, the development of electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is traced for the purposes of determining the internal structure of organs within the broad field of 2-D and 3-D analysis and including modelling of the organs being tested, the development of reconstruction algorithms and the construction of hardware.
The aim of the study was to choose and validate the tool(s) to predict the number of hospitalized patients by testing three predictive algorithms: a linear regression model, Auto-Regressive Moving Average (ARMA) model, and Generalized Auto-Regressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity (GARCH) model. The study used data from the collection of data on infl ammatory bowel diseases (IBD) from the public database of the National Health Fund for the years 2009–2017, data recalculation taking into account the population of provinces and the country in particular years, and prediction making for the number of patients who would require hospitalization in 2017. Th e anticipated numbers were compared with real data and percentage prediction errors were calculated. Results of prediction for 2017 indicated the number of hospitalizations for Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) at 17 and 16 respectively per 100,000 persons and 72 per 100,000 persons for all IBD cases. Th e actual outcomes were 21 for both CD and UC (81% and 75% accuracy of prediction, respectively), and 99 for all IBD cases (73% accuracy). The prediction results do not diff er signifi cantly from the actual outcome, this means that the prediction tool (in the form of a linear regression) actually gives good results. Our study showed that the newly developed tool may be used to predict with good enough accuracy the number of patients hospitalized due to IBD in order to organize appropriate therapeutic resources.
The paper presents an analysis of factors influencing the accuracy of reproduction of geometry of the vertebrae and the intervertebral disc of the lumbar motion segment for the purpose of designing of an intervertebral disc endoprosthesis. In order to increase the functionality of the new type of endoprostheses by a better adjustment of their structure to the patient’s anatomical features, specialist software was used allowing the processing of the projections of the diagnosed structures. Recommended minimum values of projection features were determined in order to ensure an effective processing of the scanned structures as well as other factors affecting the quality of the reproduction of 3D model geometries. Also, there were generated 3D models of the L4-L5 section. For the final development of geometric models for disc and vertebrae L4 and L5 there has been used smoothing procedure by cubic free curves with the NURBS technique. This allows accurate reproduction of the geometry for the purposes of identification of a spatial shape of the surface of the vertebrae and the vertebral disc and use of the model for designing of a new endoprosthesis, as well as conducting strength tests with the use of finite elements method.
Disorders of the heart and blood vessels are the leading cause of health problems and death. Early detection of them is extremely valuable as it can prevent serious incidents (e.g. heart attack, stroke) and associated complications. This requires extending the typical mobile monitoring methods (e.g. Holter ECG, tele-ECG) by introduction of integrated, multiparametric solutions for continuous monitoring of the cardiovascular system. In this paper we propose the wearable system that integrates measurements of cardiac data with actual estimation of the cardiovascular risk level. It consists of two wirelessly connected devices, one designed in the form of a necklace, the another one in the form of a bracelet (wrist watch). These devices enable continuous measurement of electrocardiographic, plethysmographic (impedance-based and optical-based) and accelerometric signals. Collected signals and calculated parameters indicate the electrical and mechanical state of the heart and are processed to estimate a risk level. Depending on the risk level an appropriate alert is triggered and transmitted to predefined users (e.g. emergency departments, the family doctor, etc.).
B a c k g r o u n d: The digital rectal examination (DRE) is a part of the standard physical examination and a useful diagnostic tool for detecting various lower gastrointestinal tract abnormalities. However nowadays it has been observed that medical students might not be properly prepared for performing and interpreting of DRE. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the knowledge and experience of Polish medical students about DRE. Ma t e r i a l a n d M e t h o d s: A prospective study was carried out using a questionnaire accessible via internet platform. The survey consisted of 12 questions and considered experience as well as practical and theoretical knowledge about DRE. 976 responses from nine Polish medical universities were included in the study. R e s u l t s: 38.68% of students have never performed DRE with “lack of opportunity during courses” (71.09%) as the most common reason. Among responders who performed this examination only 12.72% had done it more than two times. Usefulness of DRE was mostly assessed as high and very high (55.63%). Students in the self-assessment part indicated low and very low (18.72% and 39.61%) technical abilities and also low (25.34%) interpretation skills. C on c l u s i o n: The knowledge of Polish medical students about DRE is insuffi cient. Medical universities should pay particular attention to this fi eld of examination to improve theoretical as well as practical skills of future doctors.
B a c k g r o u n d: Assessment of the neurocontrol of the external anal sphincter has long been restricted to investigating patients by invasive tools. Less invasive techniques have been regarded less uitable for diagnosis. O b j e c t iv e: The aim was to develop a surface electromyography-based algorithm to facilitate fecal incontinence diagnosis, and to assess its sensitivity and specificity. D e s i g n: Data analysis from a single center prospective study. P a t i e n t s: All patients from colorectal surgery office were considered. They underwent a structured interview, a general physical and proctologic examination. Patients with diagnosed fecal incontinence (Fecal Incontinence Severity Index >10) were included into the study group. The control group consisted of healthy volunteers that scored 5 or less and had negative history and physical exam. Both groups underwent the same tests (rectoscopy, anorectal manometry, transanal ultrasonography, multichannel surface electromyography and assessment of anal reflexes). M e t h o d s: EMG results were analyzed to find parameters that would facilitate fecal incontinence diagnosis. O u t c o m e m e a s u r e s: Sensitivity and specificity of surface electromyography, to diagnose fecal incontinence, were assessed. R e s u l t s: A total of 49 patients were included in the study group (mean age ± SD 58.9 ± 13.8). The control group (n = 49) gender matched the study group (mean age ± SD 45.4 ± 15.1). The constructed classification tree, based on surface electromyography results, correctly classified 97% of cases. The sensitivity and specificity of this classification tree, to diagnose FI, was 96% and 98% respectively. L i m i t a t i o n s: The age of women in the control group differs significantly from mean age of other groups. C o n c l u s i o n s: Surface electromyography is an good tool to facilitate diagnosing of fecal incontinence.