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Journal Description

i-JMR is a general medical journal with a focus on innovation in health, health care, and medicine - through new medical techniques and innovative ideas and/or research, including—but not limited to—technology, clinical informatics, sociotechnical and organizational health care innovations, or groundbreaking research.

i-JMR is indexed in PubMed and archived in PubMed Central.

i-JMR is also indexed in Clarivate Analytics (formerly the IP and Science Division of Thomson Reuters) new Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI).

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: Freepik; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/male-hand-adjusting-sport-watch_6201220.htm#page=1&query=health%20watch&position=2; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Exploring the Usage Intentions of Wearable Medical Devices: A Demonstration Study

    Authors List:

    Abstract:

    Background: In the face of an aging society, an immediate and preventive medical system urgently needs to be established, and the application of wearable devices is essential. However, the application of smart medical care in Taiwan is still not widespread, and few studies have explored the related issues of wearable medical device usage. Thus, determining the success of a wearable medical device mainly depends on the degree of user adoption and use. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the factors that influence the intention to use wearable medical devices. Methods: This study applied the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) to build a comprehensive model that explains intentions to use wearable medical devices. Results: The research findings showed that health consciousness and trust were the strongest predictors of intentions to use wearable medical devices. Conclusions: The results reveal the magnitudes of the impacts of the variables in a well-accepted revised UTAUT model in the context of the medical industry, particularly in the setting of wearable medical devices. Several important implications for academics and industry decision-makers can be formulated from these results.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: HansMartinPau; URL: https://pixabay.com/photos/abdominal-pain-attack-medical-2493327/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Venous Thromboembolism in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: Systematic Review

    Abstract:

    Background: Coagulopathy associated with COVID-19 infection and venous thromboembolism (VTE) have emerged as significant contributors to morbidity among patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Objective: We performed a systematic review to estimate VTE incidence in hospitalized patients and to analyze characteristic factors in the VTE cohort. Methods: We searched PubMed and Google Scholar using specified title search terms “SARS-CoV-2” or “COVID-19” and “venous thromboembolism” and “anticoagulation” among others to identify peer-reviewed journal articles published between June 22, 2019, and June 22, 2020. Data were systematically extracted and synthesized using Microsoft Excel for analysis. The main outcome was VTE incidence, and measures included patient characteristics, anticoagulation, and clinical outcomes with assessment for associations. Results: In total, 14 studies were included comprising 1677 patients. Most patients (n=1306, 82.4%) received anticoagulation (either VTE prophylaxis or treatment). VTE incidence was 26.9% (SE 3.1; 95% CI 20.8-33.1) and was correlated with systematic screening (r2=0.34, P=.03) and study duration (r2=–0.33, P=.03). D-dimer was higher for the VTE cohort (5.62 [SD 0.9] vs 1.43 [SD 0.6]; P<.001). Odds of VTE were higher at the intensive care unit (odds ratio [OR] 6.38, 95% CI 3.67-11.11; P<.001) but lower with anticoagulation (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.36-0.92; P=.02). Conclusions: Despite the utilization of background anticoagulation, VTE incidence was historically high. Future studies are needed to provide additional data to guide optimal VTE prophylaxis and diagnostic strategies.

  • Source: Adobe Stock; Copyright: Tyler Olsen; URL: https://stock.adobe.com/ca/images/people-waiting-for-doctor-in-hospital-lobby/48334363?prev_url=detail; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Effect of Health Care Provider Delays on Short-Term Outcomes in Patients With Colorectal Cancer: Multicenter Population-Based Observational Study

    Abstract:

    Background: The United Kingdom has lower survival figures for all types of cancers compared to many European countries despite similar national expenditures on health. This discrepancy may be linked to long diagnostic and treatment delays. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether delays experienced by patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) affect their survival. Methods: This observational study utilized the Somerset Cancer Register to identify patients with CRC who were diagnosed on the basis of positive histology findings. The effects of diagnostic and treatment delays and their subdivisions on outcomes were investigated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Kaplan-Meier plots were used to illustrate group differences. Results: A total of 648 patients (375 males, 57.9% males) were included in this study. We found that neither diagnostic delay nor treatment delay had an effect on the overall survival in patients with CRC (χ23=1.5, P=.68; χ23=0.6, P=.90, respectively). Similarly, treatment delays did not affect the outcomes in patients with CRC (χ23=5.5, P=.14). The initial Cox regression analysis showed that patients with CRC who had short diagnostic delays were less likely to die than those experiencing long delays (hazard ratio 0.165, 95% CI 0.044-0.616; P=.007). However, this result was nonsignificant following sensitivity analysis. Conclusions: Diagnostic and treatment delays had no effect on the survival of this cohort of patients with CRC. The utility of the 2-week wait referral system is therefore questioned. Timely screening with subsequent early referral and access to diagnostics may have a more beneficial effect.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: IAEA Imagebank; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iaea_imagebank/49913323082; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Protection of Health Care Professionals During an Epidemic: Medical, Ethical, and Legal Ramifications

    Authors List:

    Abstract:

    The welfare of health care professionals working in hazardous environments is a concerning issue. Personal protective equipment such as face masks, disposable gowns, hair covers, gloves, and shoe covers is often used to prevent contamination from patient contact and droplets. This is especially relevant during an epidemic, when health care professionals are at elevated risk of infection. Failure to provide adequate protection to health care workers during epidemics has medical, ethical, and legal ramifications.

  • Source: Burst; Copyright: Matthew Henry; URL: https://burst.shopify.com/photos/typing-on-apple-computer; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Public Awareness of Sepsis Compared to Acute Myocardial Infarction and Stroke in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Questionnaire Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Sepsis is a state of organ dysfunction caused by an impaired host response to infection. It is one of the leading causes of death globally. Sepsis, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and stroke share the primary management requirement of rapid intervention. This could be achieved through early presentation to the hospital, which demands previous knowledge of the disease to ensure better outcomes. Objective: Our study aimed to assess the level of public awareness of sepsis compared with AMI and stroke. Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey study performed in June and July 2018, with 1354 participants from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, aged ≥18 years. Data entry was performed using Microsoft Excel and statistical analysis including chi-square tests and multilogistic regression was performed using SPSS software. Results: A total of 1354 participants were included. Only 56.72% (768/1354) had heard of the term “sepsis” and 48.44% (372/768) of these participants were able to correctly identify it. In addition, 88.33% (1196/1354) had heard the term “myocardial infarction” and 64.63% (773/1196) knew the correct definition of that condition. Stroke was recognized by 81.46% (1103/1354) of participants and 59.20% (653/1103) of these participants correctly identified the condition. The difference between those who had heard of these diseases and those who knew the correct definition significantly differed from the values for awareness of sepsis and its definition. Conclusions: We found that public awareness and knowledge of sepsis are poor amongst the population of Jeddah compared with the awareness and knowledge of AMI and stroke. This lack of knowledge may pose a serious obstruction to the prompt management needed to limit fatal outcomes.

  • Mesh nebulizer for home nebulization. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://www.i-jmr.org/2020/2/e17863/; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA).

    Health-Related Effects of Home Nebulization With Glycopyrronium on Difficult-to-Treat Asthma: Post-Hoc Analyses of an Observational Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Bronchial asthma remains a clinical enigma with poorly controlled symptoms or exacerbations despite regular use of inhaled corticosteroids. Home nebulization offers a simplified solution for the delivery of rescue and maintenance bronchodilators, which is especially true for patients with frequent exacerbations during management of uncontrolled or difficult-to-treat asthma. Objective: We aimed to assess the clinical impact and outcomes associated with home nebulization—delivered long-acting bronchodilators for uncontrolled or difficult-to-treat asthma. Methods: This observational, concurrent study was conducted with 60 patients at 2 centers during November 2018. Statistical analyses for prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) asthma control score in patients on long-acting bronchodilators and corticosteroids were conducted, with two-tailed P values <.05 considered statistically significant. Results: Per protocol analyses (53/60) for consecutive cases receiving home nebulization with long-acting bronchodilators and corticosteroids were conducted. The baseline demographics included a male-to-female ratio of 30:23 and mean values of the following: age, 60.3 years (SD 11.8 years); weight, 64 kg (SD 16.8 kg); FEV1, 43% (SD 16%); GINA asthma control score, 3.0 points (SD 0.8 points); serum eosinophil level, 4% (SD 3%); fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), 12.1 ppb (SD 6 ppb). Of the patients, 100% (53/53) had uncontrolled symptoms, 69.8% (37/53) had prior exacerbations, 100% (53/53) used formoterol/budesonide, and 75.5% (40/53) used glycopyrronium. The per protocol group (n=53) had significantly improved mean prebronchodilator FEV1 (23.7%, SD 29.8%; 0.46 L, SD 0.58 L; P<.001) and GINA asthma control score (2.1 points, SD 0.8 points, P<.001). At baseline, patients (n=40) receiving glycopyrronium/formoterol/budesonide (25/20/500 mcg) nebulization admixture had the following mean values: prebronchodilator FEV1, 38% (SD 15%); GINA asthma control score, 3.0 points (SD 0.8 points); reversibility, 12% (SD 6%); peripheral eosinophil level, 4% (SD 3%); FeNO, 12 ppb (SD 5.7 ppb). In the post hoc analyses, these patients had significantly improved mean prebronchodilator FEV1 of 27.7% (SD 26.2%; 0.54 L, SD 0.51 L; P<.001) at 8 weeks compared with baseline. At baseline, patients (n=13) receiving formoterol/budesonide (20/500 mcg) nebulization had the following mean values: FEV1, 55% (SD 12%); GINA asthma control score, 3.0 points (SD 1.2 points); reversibility, 14% (SD 7%); serum eosinophil level, 4% (SD 3%); FeNO, 13.3 ppb (SD 6.8 ppb). In the post hoc analyses, these patients showed a significant improvement in prebronchodilator FEV1 of 11.2% (SD 13.1%; 0.22 L, SD 0.25 L; P<.001) from baseline. Breathlessness of mild to moderate intensity was reported by 10 cases (10/53, 18.9%), with no other treatment-emergent adverse events or serious adverse events. Conclusions: Home nebulization remains a viable option for symptomatic difficult-to-treat asthma cases with frequent use of rescue medications. Glycopyrronium as add-on therapy offers a synergistic response in patients on corticosteroids with difficult-to-treat asthma. Trial Registration: Clinical Trial Registry of India CTRI/2018/11/016319; https://tinyurl.com/y78cctm3

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: master1305; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/two-attractive-young-doctors-looking-x-ray-results_6773854.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    The Influence of Gender on the Choice of Radiology as a Specialty Among Medical Students in Saudi Arabia: Cross-Sectional Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Medical undergraduates are the future doctors of the country. Therefore, determining how medical students choose their areas of specialty is essential to obtain a balanced distribution of physicians among all specialties. Although gender is a significant factor that affects specialty choice, the factors underlying gender differences in radiology are not fully elucidated. Objective: This study examined the factors that attracted medical students to and discouraged them from selecting diagnostic radiology and analyzed whether these factors differed between female and male medical students. Methods: This cross-sectional study conducted at King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, used an electronic questionnaire sent to medical students from all medical years during February 2018. Subgroup analyses for gender and radiology interest were performed using the chi-square test and Cramér’s V test. Results: In total, 539 students (276 women; 263 men) responded. The most common factor preventing students from choosing radiology as a career was the lack of direct patient contact, which deterred approximately 47% who decided against considering this specialty. Negative perceptions by other physicians (P<.001), lack of acknowledgment by patients (P=.004), and lack of structured radiology rotations (P=.007) dissuaded significantly more male students than female students. Among those interested in radiology, more female students were attracted by job flexibility (P=.01), while more male students were attracted by focused patient interactions with minimal paperwork (P<.001). Conclusions: No significant difference was found between the genders in terms of considering radiology as a specialty. Misconception plays a central role in students’ judgment regarding radiology. Hence, early exposure to radiology, assuming a new teaching method, and using a curriculum that supports the active participation of students in a radiology rotation are needed to overcome this misconception.

  • Source: Pexels; Copyright: Bongkarn Thanyakij; URL: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-person-writing-on-notebook-3758898/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Improving Patient Preference Elicitation by Applying Concepts From the Consumer Research Field: Narrative Literature Review

    Abstract:

    Background: Although preference research finds its origins in consumer research, preference elicitation methods have increasingly attracted attention in different decision-making contexts in health care. Simulating real-life decision making is believed to be important during consumer preference elicitation. Objective: The aims of this study were to compare the process of decision making between patients and consumers and to identify methods from the consumer research field that could be applied in patient preference elicitation. Methods: A narrative literature review was performed to identify preference elicitation concepts from a consumer context that could offer improvements in health care. Results: The process of decision making between patients and consumers was highly comparable. The following five concepts from the consumer research field that could effectively simulate a real-life decision-making process for applications in health care were identified: simulating alternatives, self-reflection, feedback-driven exploration, separated (adaptive) dual response, and arranging profiles in blocks. Conclusions: Owing to similarities in the decision-making process, patients could be considered as a subgroup of consumers, suggesting that preference elicitation concepts from the consumer field may be relevant in health care. Five concepts that help to simulate real-life decision making have the potential to improve patient preference elicitation. However, the extent to which real decision-making contexts can be mimicked in health care remains unknown.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Dominik Schoeb; URL: http://www.i-jmr.org/2020/1/e16606/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Use of Artificial Intelligence for Medical Literature Search: Randomized Controlled Trial Using the Hackathon Format

    Abstract:

    Background: Mapping out the research landscape around a project is often time consuming and difficult. Objective: This study evaluates a commercial artificial intelligence (AI) search engine (IRIS.AI) for its applicability in an automated literature search on a specific medical topic. Methods: To evaluate the AI search engine in a standardized manner, the concept of a science hackathon was applied. Three groups of researchers were tasked with performing a literature search on a clearly defined scientific project. All participants had a high level of expertise for this specific field of research. Two groups were given access to the AI search engine IRIS.AI. All groups were given the same amount of time for their search and were instructed to document their results. Search results were summarized and ranked according to a predetermined scoring system. Results: The final scoring awarded 49 and 39 points out of 60 to AI groups 1 and 2, respectively, and the control group received 46 points. A total of 20 scientific studies with high relevance were identified, and 5 highly relevant studies (“spot on”) were reported by each group. Conclusions: AI technology is a promising approach to facilitate literature searches and the management of medical libraries. In this study, however, the application of AI technology lead to a more focused literature search without a significant improvement in the number of results.

  • Source: freedigitalphotos.net; Copyright: Khotcharak; URL: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/top-view-of-the-pills-on-the-hand-and-white-background-a-hand-hold-the-pills-and-drug-photo-p588660; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Perceived Treatment Satisfaction and Effectiveness Facilitators Among Patients With Chronic Health Conditions: A Self-Reported Survey

    Abstract:

    Background: Approximately 50% of patients are nonadherent to prescribed medications. Patient perception regarding medication effectiveness has been linked to improved adherence. However, how patients perceive effectiveness is poorly understood. Objective: The aim of this study was to elucidate factors associated with perceived treatment satisfaction and effectiveness among patients with chronic health conditions. Methods: We conducted a descriptive study using a cross-sectional survey design. We administered a Web-based survey to participants with migraine, multiple sclerosis (MS), or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Patients were recruited from established online communities of Health Union. Descriptive statistics, correlations, and comparison tests were used to examine outcomes. Results: Data were collected from 1820 patients: 567 with migraine, 717 with MS, and 536 with RA. The majority of participants were female (1644/1820, 90.33%), >40 years old (1462/1820, 80.33%), and diagnosed >5 years ago (1189/1820, 65.33%). Treatment satisfaction and perceived medication effectiveness were highly correlated (r=0.90, P<.01). Overall, three temporal factors were positively correlated with satisfaction or perceived effectiveness: time on current medication (satisfaction rs=0.22, P<.01; effectiveness rs=0.25, P<.01), time since diagnosis (satisfaction rs=0.07, P<.01; effectiveness rs=0.09, P<.01), and time on treatment (effectiveness rs=0.08, P<.01). Conclusions: Findings validated the strong relationship between treatment satisfaction and perceived effectiveness. Understanding the (1) positive relationship between time and treatment satisfaction and effectiveness and (2) factors associated with determining medication effectiveness can help clinicians better understand the mindset of patients regarding treatment. Clinicians may be better prepared to elicit patient beliefs, which influence medication adherence, for people diagnosed with chronic health conditions.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://www.i-jmr.org/2020/1/e13355/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Web Comparison of Three Contingent Valuation Techniques in Women of Childbearing Age: The Case of Ovulation Induction in Quebec

    Abstract:

    Background: In Canada, 11.5% to 15.7% of couples suffer from infertility. Anovulation, or failed ovulation, is one of the main causes of infertility in women. In Quebec, the treatment for ovulation induction and other services related to assisted reproductive technology (ART) have been partially reimbursed by the government since 2010. Objective: This study aimed to compare the willingness to pay (WTP) of women of childbearing age to receive drug treatment in the event of failed ovulation according to 3 different contingent valuation methods. Methods: The following elicitation techniques were used: simple bid price dichotomous choice (DC), followed by an open-ended question (DC-OE), and a simplified multiple-bounded discrete choice (MBDC). Each participant was randomly assigned to 1 of 3 elicitation techniques. Bid prices ranged from Can $200 to Can $5000. Of the 7 bid prices, 1 was randomly proposed to each participant in the DC and DC-OE groups. For the DC-OE group, if the answer to the DC bid price was no, respondents were asked what was the maximum amount they were willing to pay. For the MBDC group, each respondent was offered an initial bid price of Can $1500, and the subsequent bid price offer increased or decreased according to the answer provided. “Do not know” responses were considered as a “no”, and each individual was questioned as to their certainty after each choice. WTP values were estimated using probit and bivariate models; the Welsh and Poe model was also performed for the MBDC group. Results: The survey was conducted from 2009 to 2010 with a total sample of 680 women. Analyses were performed on 610 respondents (199 DC, 230 DC-OE, and 181 MBDC). Of the 70 respondents who were excluded, 6 did not meet the age criterion, 45 had an annual income less than Can $2500, and 19 did not respond to the WTP question. Mean WTP values were Can $4033.26, Can $1857.90, and Can $1630.63 for DC, DC-OE, and MBDC, respectively. The WTP for MBDC “definitely yes” and “probably yes” values were Can $1516.73 and Can $1871.22, respectively. The 3 elicitation techniques provided WTP value differences that were statistically significant (P<.01). The MBDC was the most accurate method, with a lower confidence interval (Can $557) and a lower (CI/mean) ratio (0.34). Conclusions: A positive WTP for ovulation induction was found in Quebec. Adding a follow-up question resulted in more accurate WTP values. The MBDC technique provided a more accurate estimate of the WTP with a smaller and, therefore, more efficient confidence interval. To help decision making and improve the effectiveness of the fiscal policy related to the ART program, the WTP value elicited with the MBDC technique should be used.

  • "平安"  is a Chinese greeting to represent "hope you're well". Source: Taichung Veterans General Hospital; Copyright: Taichung Veterans General Hospital; URL: https://www.facebook.com/vghtc/photos/pcb.1671158729638009/1671167936303755/?type=3&theater; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    A Strategic Imperative for Promoting Hospital Branding: Analysis of Outcome Indicators

    Abstract:

    Background: Optimizing the use of social media to promote hospital branding is important in the present digital era. In Taiwan, only 51.1% of hospitals have official Facebook fan pages. The numbers of likes for these hospitals are also relatively low. Objective: Our objective was to establish a special branding team for social media operation, led by top administrators of our hospital. Here we present our strategic imperative for promoting hospital branding as well as an analysis of its effectiveness. Methods: Led by top administrators, the branding team was formed by 11 divisions to create branding strategies. From 2016 to 2018, the team implemented action plans. All information unique to the hospital was posted on Facebook, as well as on the hospital’s official website. To determine the plans’ efficiencies, we obtained reference data from Google Analytics, and we compared Facebook Insights reports for 2016 with those for 2017 and 2018. Results: One of the branding team’s main missions was to establish branding strategies and to integrate segmental branding messages. In each quarter we regularly monitored a total of 52 action plan indicators, including those for process and outcome, and discussed the results at team meetings. We selected 4 main performance outcome indicators to reflect the effectiveness of the branding efforts. Compared with 2016, the numbers of likes posted on the Facebook fan page increased by 61.2% in 2017 and 116.2% in 2018. Similarly, visits to the hospital website increased by 4.8% in 2017 and 33.1% in 2018. Most Facebook fan page and website viewers were in 2 age groups: 25 to 34 years, and 35 to 44 years. Women constituted 60.42% (14,160/23,436) of Facebook fans and 59.39% (778,992/1,311,605) of website viewers. According to the Facebook Insights reports, the number of likes and post sharing both increased in 2017 and 2018, relative to 2016. Comment messages also increased from 2016 to 2018 (P=.02 for the trend). The most common theme of posts varied over time, from media reports in 2016, to innovative services in both 2017 and 2018. Likes for innovative services posts increased from 2016 through 2018 (P=.045 for the trend). By the end of 2018, we recorded 23,436 cumulative likes for posts, the highest number among medical centers in Taiwan. Conclusions: We achieved the largest number of Facebook fans among all medical centers in Taiwan. We would like to share our experience with other hospitals that might be interested in engaging in social media for future communications and interactions with their patients.

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