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Most vibration-based energy harvesters, including piezoelectric harvester system, perform efficiently at only its resonant frequency as linear resonators, usually at very high frequency which are out of the range of frequency of interest. In real life applications, these linear resonators are impractical since real ambient vibrations are simply having varying lower frequencies. Hence, design a tuneable vibration energy harvester at a lower and useful frequency range of interest are essential in allowing promising energy output to meet intended power input at a more practical approach. In this paper, the piezoelectric voltage energy harvester (PVEH) was designed with a flexible fixture with the aim to reduce its first fundamental natural frequency. Two thickness of elastic fixtures were applied to generate power on PVEH. Three experimental techniques were used to measure the vibration characteristics of PVEH. First, the full-field optical technique, amplitude-fluctuation electronic speckle pattern interferometry (AF-ESPI) measured simultaneously the resonant frequencies and mode shapes. This is followed by the pointwise measurement system, laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) in which the resonant frequencies were measured by dynamic signal swept-sine analysis. The resonant frequencies and anti-resonant frequencies were also obtained by impedance analysis. The results obtained from experimental measurements were compared with finite element numerical calculation. It is found that the boundary conditions under the elastic fixtures can effectively reduce the resonant frequency of the PVEH with a reasonable voltage output. The fundamental natural frequency of PVEH with the thickness of 0.58-mm elastic fixture is reduced to 37 Hz maintaining at 7.1 volts (1.2 mW), in comparison with the natural frequency on cantilevered PVEH at 78 Hz that produces 7.7 volts (6.5 mW).
Kawasaki disease is an acute vasculitis of childhood and is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in the developed countries.
Data from hospital discharge records were obtained from the National Kids Inpatient Database for years 2009 and 2012. Hospitalisations by months, hospital regions, timing of admission, insurance types, and ethnicity were analysed. Length of stay and total charges were also analysed.
There were 10,486 cases of Kawasaki disease from 12,678,005 children hospitalisation. Kawasaki disease was more common between 0 and 5 years old, in male, and in Asian. The January–March quarter had the highest rate compared to the lowest in the July–September quarter (OR=1.62, p < 0.001). Admissions on the weekend had longer length of stay [4.1 days (95 % CI: 3.97–4.31)] as compared to admissions on a weekday [3.72 days (95 % CI: 3.64–3.80), p < 0.001]. Blacks had the longest length of stay and whites had the shortest [4.33 days (95 % CI: 4.12–4.54 days) versus 3.60 days (95 % CI: 3.48–3.72 days), p < 0.001]. Coronary artery aneurysm was identified in 2.7 % of all patients with Kawasaki disease. Children with coronary artery aneurysm were hospitalised longer and had higher hospital charge. Age, admission during weekend, and the presence of coronary artery aneurysm had significant effect on the length of stay.
This report provides the most updated epidemiological information on Kawasaki disease hospitalisation. Age, admissions during weekend, and the presence of coronary artery aneurysm are significant contributors to the length of stay.
Measurement error threatens the validity of survey research, especially when studying sensitive questions. Although list experiments can help discourage deliberate misreporting, they may also suffer from nonstrategic measurement error due to flawed implementation and respondents’ inattention. Such error runs against the assumptions of the standard maximum likelihood regression (MLreg) estimator for list experiments and can result in misleading inferences, especially when the underlying sensitive trait is rare. We address this problem by providing new tools for diagnosing and mitigating measurement error in list experiments. First, we demonstrate that the nonlinear least squares regression (NLSreg) estimator proposed in Imai (2011) is robust to nonstrategic measurement error. Second, we offer a general model misspecification test to gauge the divergence of the MLreg and NLSreg estimates. Third, we show how to model measurement error directly, proposing new estimators that preserve the statistical efficiency of MLreg while improving robustness. Last, we revisit empirical studies shown to exhibit nonstrategic measurement error, and demonstrate that our tools readily diagnose and mitigate the bias. We conclude this article with a number of practical recommendations for applied researchers. The proposed methods are implemented through an open-source software package.
The provision of manipulable material to pigs is a legal requirement to ensure their good welfare. Loose straw is edible, chewable, investigable and manipulable, and has been proven to be effective in reducing abnormal behaviour. However, it is incompatible with slatted systems and therefore not a viable option for many intensive units. Thus, there is a need to identify enrichment materials that are as effective as loose straw and compatible with slatted floors. This study investigated the viability of using compressed straw blocks on a commercial farm in terms of cost and effectiveness in reducing biting relative to plastic hanging toys. A total of 880 slaughter pigs were used, among which half (n = 440, 8 groups) were provided with commercial pig toys (TOY) and the other half (n = 440, 8 groups) were provided compressed straw blocks (STRAW BLOCK). Animals were separated according to sex to investigate whether there was a higher propensity to tail and ear bite depending on sex. Pigs were monitored from weaning to slaughter, with tails being examined post scalding and any condemnations recorded at the abattoir. Throughout their life, the tails and ears of all pigs were examined individually, and behavioural observations of each pig group were conducted fortnightly. Salivary cortisol was also obtained from a subsample of pigs from each group every fortnight to monitor stress levels. The highest straw usage was recorded in the second weaner stage (39 to 67 days after weaning). Enrichment type or sex had no effect on tail lesion scores or cold carcass weight recorded at the abattoir. There was also no effect of enrichment type or sex on body, tail, or ear lesion scores during either the weaner (0 to 39 days after weaning) or finisher stage (67 to145 days after weaning). Female pigs showed more biting behaviour than males, and female pigs that were provided STRAW BLOCK performed better than those provided TOY. In both the weaner and finisher accommodation, more instances of interaction were recorded with TOY pens as enrichment than with STRAW BLOCK, but the interaction duration was not recorded. There was no effect of sex on either stage. More instances of aggression were observed with the TOY than with STRAW BLOCK in the weaner stage (P < 0.05). Enrichment type or sex had no effect on cortisol levels. Thus, relative to plastic hanging toys, compressed straw blocks provided in this manner did not benefit pig welfare.
Information systems (IS) have facilitated workflow in the health care system for years. However, the utilization of IS in disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs) has been less studied.
In Taiwan, we started a program in 2008 to build up an information system, MEDical Assistance and Information Dashboard (MED-AID), to improve the capability and increase the efficiency of our national DMAT.
Method: The mission of our national DMAT was to provide acute trauma care and subacute outpatient care in the field after an emergency event (e.g., earthquakes). We built the IS through a user-oriented process to fit the need of the DMAT. We first analyzed the response work in the DMAT missions and reviewed the current paperwork. We evaluated the eligibility and effectiveness of the core functions of DMATs by experts in Taiwan and then developed the IS. The IS was then tested and revised each year in two table-top exercises and one regional full-scale exercise by the DMAT staffs who came from different hospitals in Taiwan.
During the past 10 years, we identified several core concepts of IS of DMAT: patient tracking, medical record, continuity of care, integration of referral resources, disease surveillance, patient information reporting, and medical resources management. The application of the IS facilitate the DMAT in providing safe patient care with continuous recording and integrate patient referral resources based on geographic information. The IS also help the planning in real-time disease surveillance and logistic function in the medical resources monitoring.
Information systems could facilitate patient care and relieve the workload on information analysis and resources management for DMATs.
The objectives of this study were to investigate the primary diagnoses and outcomes of emergency department visits in older people with dementia and to compare these parameters with those in older adults without dementia.
Design and Setting:
This hospital-based retrospective study retrieved patient records from a hospital research database, which included the outpatient and inpatient claims of two hospitals.
The patient records were retrieved from the two hospitals in an urban setting. The inclusion criteria were all patients aged 65 and older who had attended the two hospitals as an outpatient or inpatient between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2016. Patients with dementia were identified to have at least three reports of diagnostic codes, either during outpatient visits, during emergency department visits, or in hospitalized database records. The other patients were categorized as patients without dementia.
The primary diagnosis during the emergency department visit, cost of emergency department treatment, cost of hospital admission, length of hospital stay, and diagnosis of death were collected.
A total of 149,203 outpatients and inpatients aged 65 and older who were admitted to the two hospitals were retrieved. The rate of emergency department visits in patients with dementia (23.2%) was lower than that in those without dementia (48.6%). The most frequent primary reason for emergency department visits and the main cause of patient death was pneumonia. Patients with dementia in the emergency department had higher hospital admission rates and longer hospital stays; however, the cost of treatment did not show a significant difference between the two groups.
Future large and prospective studies should explore the severity of disease in older people with dementia and compare results with older adults without dementia in the emergency department.
Recently, internet usage among elderly adults has been increasing and becoming more mainstream; with the ageing population in Taiwan, concerns over health are on the rise, and this is directly related to the products that people eat. The main objectives of this study were to develop an integrated extensibility model incorporating the technology acceptance model and to investigate the impact of health consciousness on elderly adults’ acceptance of technology in relation to traceability information websites in Taiwan. This study used structural equation modelling to analyse the data. The results revealed that elderly people with high health consciousness and high perceived usefulness had more positive attitudes towards products than those with low health consciousness and low perceived usefulness, and those with high health consciousness and high perceived ease of use had more positive attitudes than those with low health consciousness and low perceived ease of use in relation to the agricultural product traceability system.
Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.
We summarize the findings from an interlaboratory study conducted between ten international research groups and investigate the use of the commonly used maximum separation distance and local concentration thresholding methods for solute clustering quantification. The study objectives are: to bring clarity to the range of applicability of the methods; identify existing and/or needed modifications; and interpretation of past published data. Participants collected experimental data from a proton-irradiated 304 stainless steel and analyzed Cu-rich and Ni–Si rich clusters. The datasets were also analyzed by one researcher to clarify variability originating from different operators. The Cu distribution fulfills the ideal requirements of the maximum separation method (MSM), namely a dilute matrix Cu concentration and concentrated Cu clusters. This enabled a relatively tight distribution of the cluster number density among the participants. By contrast, the group analysis of the Ni–Si rich clusters by the MSM was complicated by a high Ni matrix concentration and by the presence of Si-decorated dislocations, leading to larger variability among researchers. While local concentration filtering could, in principle, tighten the results, the cluster identification step inevitably maintained a high scatter. Recommendations regarding reporting, selection of analysis method, and expected variability when interpreting published data are discussed.
We introduce the polygon cloud, a compressible representation of three-dimensional geometry (including attributes, such as color), intermediate between polygonal meshes and point clouds. Dynamic polygon clouds, like dynamic polygonal meshes and dynamic point clouds, can take advantage of temporal redundancy for compression. In this paper, we propose methods for compressing both static and dynamic polygon clouds, specifically triangle clouds. We compare triangle clouds to both triangle meshes and point clouds in terms of compression, for live captured dynamic colored geometry. We find that triangle clouds can be compressed nearly as well as triangle meshes, while being more robust to noise and other structures typically found in live captures, which violate the assumption of a smooth surface manifold, such as lines, points, and ragged boundaries. We also find that triangle clouds can be used to compress point clouds with significantly better performance than previously demonstrated point cloud compression methods. For intra-frame coding of geometry, our method improves upon octree-based intra-frame coding by a factor of 5–10 in bit rate. Inter-frame coding improves this by another factor of 2–5. Overall, our proposed method improves over the previous state-of-the-art in dynamic point cloud compression by 33% or more.
In federal political systems such as the United States, there has long existed a view that citizens should be more politically competent at the local level than at the federal level of government. Recent studies have challenged this view. This article argues that these findings may reflect only one part of the broader picture. Through a review of two recent studies, I contend that research in this realm must consider more than only the level of government. Odd as this sounds, assumptions about varying levels of political competence at different levels of government have always been premised on the notion that local-level politics is smaller and less complex than federal-level politics. However, when local politics takes place today against the backdrop of small villages and towns as well as in large cities, these are assumptions that must be reevaluated.