Guest editorial: Information Technologies in Medicine and Rehabilitation

Information and Communication technologies (ICT) brought remarkable changes in the all areas of human endeavor, including medicine and rehabilitation. On the other side, synthesis of medicine, engineering, and ICT paves the new pathways for breakthroughs and innovation. Today, in the fields of Bioengineering (BE) and Medical (Health) Informatics (MI) the impact of ICT reflects in the research, development and application of computational tools intended for acquiring, coding, storing, organizing, archiving, analyzing, visualizing, communicating, retrieving and optimal usage of biomedical and health information and data. Furthermore, ICT serves as an integrator of distinct technologies and disciplines into a unified whole, creating converging approaches for research and innovation in medicine and life sciences.

This issue of ComSIS journal brings another Special Section devoted to the Information Technologies in Medicine and Rehabilitation. In a view of broadness and ever expanding field of BE&MI, the contributing papers represent just a tiny part of the response to the evident trends in convergence of medicine, engineering, and ICT.

Lukovic et al. describe conversion process of the OBR-Scolio ontology that models scoliosis as pathological state of spine. OBR-Scolio ontology is developed by extracting from the FMA and OBR reference ontologies spread over domains of anatomy, physiology and pathology. It is initially created in Protégé using its frame based representation. In order to enable more powerful reasoning support, ontology visualization, and more precise concepts’ definition and description, authors converted OBR-Scolio in OWL DL language based on description logic modeling framework that provides highly expressive capabilities of semantic reasoning. The result of conversion process provides completeness of ontology specification, semantic consistency, and possibility to employ reasoners for subsumption testing and automatic checking for consistency, ambiguity, and redundancy in classes’ hierarchy and specification.

Wearable low cost device aimed to improve lower limb sport training using active vibro-feedback is presented by Fiorentino et al. The architecture of device involves accelerometers located in proximity to the knees, used to measure in real time the tri-axial accelerations for each leg. Novel algorithm computes asymmetry from the 3 axial sensor data continuously, refining the calibration during running to take in account shorts assessments. They defined and use a novel asymmetry metric based on foot impact, cadence phase error between legs, and transversal knee moments to activate vibro-feedback to the specific leg for correction. The system can support professional sports people and occasional athletes to improve their performance, reduce joint problems, and avoid bad kinematic and dangerous movements.

The paper by Ghyar et al. describes an adaptive probabilistic approach developed for selection of tumour knee prosthesis components, driven by geometric details. These details were extracted from the 3D virtual anatomical model, reconstructed from set of CT scan images of patients. The two-steps selection process involves elimination of undersized and oversized components and matching geometric details of components with the measured anatomical parameters of the patient using fuzzy logic based pre-defined rules compiled from surgeons' experience. A set of anatomical measures were used to evaluate the selected prosthesis components. Suitability assessment and classification is qualitative-based with respect to the patient's anatomy. A case study of distal femur replacement is presented to explain the proposed methodology.

Rajković et al. present major challenges and lessons learned during the process of including and adapting modern medical informatics concepts in challenging circumstances of a health care organization in the Republic of Serbia. The processes of choosing the overall software architecture, application development and later software deployment are examined, and the most critical places are pointed out, and the general solving strategies are defined. The mentioned strategies are joined together as a general approach for maintaining a complete medical information system life-cycle.

Kulev et al. present the mathematical model of a novel algorithm that generates recommendations and suggestions for preventive intervention instead of emergency care and hospital admissions. The main purpose of this algorithm is to find the dependence between users’ health condition and performed physical activities. In that order, the authors consider datasets from the health and physical activities history of users and use classification algorithm on these datasets for grouping the users based on their similarity. In this way, the proposed algorithm generates recommendations that help the user to adapt physical activities in order to improve his/her health.

Geometrically accurate and anatomically correct three-dimensional geometric models of human bones or bone sections are essential for successful pre-operative planning in orthopedic surgery. For such purposes, 3D polygonal models of bones are usually created based on CT or MRI data. Vitković et al. describe a software system for creation of Human Bones Customized Polygonal models (HBCP) based on the use of the predictive parametric bone model. The system enables creation of patient-specific polygonal models of bones using only a limited number of parameter values, i.e. anatomical landmark points.

Organizing the Special Section devoted to the Information Technologies in Medicine and Rehabilitation again would not be possible without extraordinary and sincere support of Prof. Mirjana Ivanovic, Editor-in-Chief of ComSIS, and Prof. Ivan Lukovic, Journal’s Vice Editor-in-Chief. I would like to express my deep appreciation for their advice and guidance.

Guest Editor
Goran Devedžić