On March 3, at 12:00 p.m. in the Maxwell Room (4D building) of the Higher Technical School of Telecommunications Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, the reading and defense of the Doctoral Thesis “Proposed Use of the Process Choreography Paradigm to Create eHealth Systems in Heterogeneous Environments” by Mr. José Luis Bayo Montón are scheduled.
The Directors of the Doctoral Thesis are Vicente Traver Salcedo, Carlos Fernández Llatas and Antonio Martínez Millana, researchers of ITACA Institute.
A team from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), belonging to the Sabien group of ITACA Institute, in collaboration with the Joint Research Unit on ICT applied to Reengineering in Healthcare Processes (ERPSS) of the La Fe Health Research Institute (IIS La Fe) and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), has developed an innovative tool that makes clinical data more accessible and helps health professionals to monitor the care processes of cancer patients, facilitating the monitoring of their evolution and decision-making for their treatment. Their results have been published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology.
Cancer is a primary public concern in Europe, accounting for almost a quarter of all cases worldwide. The prevalence of this disease has increased dramatically over the last two decades, which means a very high number of patients who need to be followed up and their specific needs addressed.
“Hospitals collect much medical information related to cancer care in this context. But once collected, it is tough for healthcare professionals to access it effectively and use it to support their decision-making for patient treatment. And this is precisely what our work avoids,” explains Zoe Valero, a researcher in the Sabien-ITACA group at the UPV.
“Clinical experts tell us that they are interested in this type of tool to measure and improve health outcomes and patient experience during the care process. However, their development and implementation are not straightforward, as they have to face three major challenges: first, to have data of sufficient quality to be able to take advantage of these tools; second, to have the active participation of the healthcare professionals involved in the process; and finally, to present the information clearly so that it is useful for decision-making”, explain Gonzalo Collantes, a biomedical engineer at ERPSS, and Bernardo Valdivieso, leader of this research group at IIS La Fe.
Thus, the tool analyses the oncological processes of patients using data from different sources, specifically clinical cases and information provided by the patients themselves. Using process mining techniques, it infers highly relevant information for medical staff, facilitating decision-making.
“It is the only one specifically designed to apply Interactive Process Mining methodologies in the fight against cancer. In addition, oncology experts have participated directly in its design, unlike other Artificial Intelligence technologies, which are black boxes for professionals,” says Zoe Valero.
In this sense, Carlos Fernández Llatas, also a researcher at Sabien-ITACA UPV, stresses that, in the field of clinical tools, it is essential to consider the expectations, needs and requirements of end users to ensure their use, hence the importance of our tool. “In addition, its use not only allows for a better understanding of the patient’s process but also, in the face of advances in medicine, helps to understand the advantages and disadvantages of new treatments and new technologies in their treatment.
New indicators for monitoring prostate cancer patients
The tool was tested with anonymised data from 1,267 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer. Following the interactive and co-creation methodology proposed by the Interactive Process Mining paradigm, experts in process mining and prostate cancer have collaborated to develop an Interactive Process Indicator (IPI) to understand the evolution and follow-up of prostate cancer patients from the moment of diagnosis.
“We hope that these indicators can be standardised so that they can be adapted to other medical centres and serve to better understand oncological processes and optimise treatments,” says Zoe Valero.
The tool has been developed within the framework of the European LifeChamps project. Its first results represent the starting point towards a more ambitious scenario within the project, which includes its validation in real conditions, with four pilot studies in Greece, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Spain.
“In these studies, our tool will support oncology professionals involved in the follow-up of 250 patients over 50 diagnosed with prostate, breast or melanoma cancer,” concludes Carlos Fernández Llatas.
For almost a hundred years, the primary way to diagnose a patient with cardiac arrhythmia has been using a standard electrocardiogram (ECG). This technique allows the detection of these pathologies, but it is hardly helpful to identify the most appropriate treatment for each patient. In recent years, a new technology called Electrocardiographic Imaging (ECGi) has been developed. ECGi allows the maps of cardiac activity to be viewed non-invasively, without the need for surgery or catheters. It is known as the “ECG of the 21st century”. However, it has a major drawback: it requires the patient to have a combined CT and ECGi scan, which limits its use only to highly complex patients and in leading centres worldwide.
Now, a study by a team from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and the company Corify Care has opened a new way to help clinicians and make ECGi a routine clinical application tool.
In their work, published in the Journal of Electrocardiology, they evaluated the possibilities of using ECGi without CT/MRI to detect atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia. In Spain alone, more than 1 million people suffer from this arrhythmia. It is estimated that there are more than 40 million worldwide. Their proposal makes it possible to locate patients’ hearts and obtain maps of electrical activity quickly.
The UPV and CorifyCare team analysed surface signals from 25 patients with atrial fibrillation and compared the effect of using ECGi with imaging techniques and their proposed ECGI with an estimated cardiac geometry based on the anatomical characteristics of the patient’s torso.
Their results validate non-imaging ECGi as a robust technique for the non-invasive assessment of atrial fibrillation, demonstrating that it can provide detailed information about the electrical activity of the heart in a much more comprehensive way than conventional ECGs. “This will help to detect and diagnose cardiac arrhythmias more accurately and to plan the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias in the operating theatre more efficiently, as they provide precise information on the location and extent of the arrhythmias,” adds Dr María Guillem, a researcher in the COR-Instituto ITACA group at the Universitat Politècnica de València.
Rubén Molero, also a researcher in the COR-Instituto ITACA group at the Universitat Politècnica de València, adds that, in addition to reducing patients’ exposure to ionising radiation such as CT scans to obtain their cardiac geometry, this technique also reduces the time and costs of this technology, “making it more universal and facilitating its introduction into clinical practice”.
This technology, patented before its publication, is being developed and is starting its commercial phases from the spin-off Corify Care, the winner, among others, of the award for best European innovation of the year 2020 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.
As Andreu Climent, researcher of the study and CEO of the company, points out, “the ability to obtain maps of the heart’s electrical activity in a few minutes and safely allows progress, both in atrial fibrillation and in many other arrhythmias, to increase the accuracy of invasive procedures”.
The study has been developed in the framework of different projects funded by the Generalitat Valenciana Conselleria d’Educació, Investigació, Cultura i Esport, the Agencia Estatal de Investigación and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in Health (EIT-Health).
Molero R, González-Ascaso A, Climent AM, Guillem MS. Robustness of imageless electrocardiographic imaging against uncertainty in atrial morphology and location. J Electrocardiol. 2023 Jan 3;77:58-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2022.12.007. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36634462.
Lalaby is a novel non-invasive monitoring tool for Quality of Life (QoL) through the patients’ Smartphones, which is currently testing on a lung cancer patient at Hospital Universitario Doctor Peset de Valencia. The first results have been recently published in the International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction under the title “Testing Lung Cancer Patients’ and Oncologists’ Experience with the Lalaby App for Monitoring the Quality of Life through Mobile Sensors and Integrated Questionnaires”.
The serial objective and subjective information in real-time on the patient’s QoL, provided by the Lalaby app, could contribute to more personalized, efficient, and effective therapeutic decision-making by oncologists. With the Lalaby app, patients continuously monitor their QoL between consultations, which could positively impact their treatment, management of their symptoms, peace of mind, and satisfaction with the medical care received. In addition, the Lalaby app contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) corresponding to “3. Health & Wellness”.
Sabina Asensio-Cuesta, Ángel Sánchez-García, Teresa Soria Comes, Inmaculada Maestu, Maria Martín Ureste, J. Alberto Conejero & Juan M. García-Gómez (2022) Testing Lung Cancer Patients’ and Oncologists’ Experience with the Lalaby App for Monitoring the Quality of Life through Mobile Sensors and Integrated Questionnaires, International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2022.2121561
The Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia and the Universitat Politècnica de València have presented the Medicarama Chair in Technology and Health, which aims to develop health technologies, promote and disseminate scientific advances and codes of good practice, as well as boost innovative digital education solutions in the field of healthcare.
José Manuel Martínez, CEO of the Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia and a graduate in Telecommunications Engineering from the UPV, and Pepe Capilla, Rector of the Universitat Politècnica de València, along with other representatives from both organisations, took part in the presentation ceremony.
Satisfaction with the collaboration
According to José Manuel Martínez, CEO of the Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia, the Medicarama Chair is an opportunity in many ways because “it allows us to collaborate with other companies and organisations for the benefit of society. Likewise, maintaining close contact with the UPV community makes it easier for us to keep a close eye on the progress of technology and learn more about the different research and innovation groups at the UPV to identify possible collaborations. Finally, the relationship with students always brings youth, dynamism and new ideas to the companies”. The CEO of the Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia has expressed his satisfaction at being able to collaborate with the university where he studied and to be able to contribute to society and the UPV, thanks to the training he received.
Training, research and learning
UPV professor José Millet, director of the Medicarama Chair, said that the Chair will promote activities of general interest to society and university students, such as prizes for the best projects, idea competitions and hackathons, as well as master’s degrees, courses, seminars, workshops and conferences on the use of new technologies in healthcare organisations.
On the other hand, research actions will be developed to explore machine-student interactions for learning and evaluation with artificial intelligence of health professionals.
Finally, the Chair will advance learning methodologies for these professionals through the use of technology, as well as promote the use of the same; it will also provide UPV students and staff with knowledge about health areas and promote active ageing and healthy living.
Valencia Institute of Technology
The Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia aims to provide higher and continuing education in the field of medicine and health, as well as training and further education services and career development in the health sector, the publication of publications and the organisation of scientific projects and events.
The Instituto de Tecnología de Valencia has collaborated for years in training UPV students in the field of Telecommunications and Biomedical Engineering by means of internships in companies.
Eduardo Rojas Briales, professor at the School of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (ETSIAMN) and researcher at the ITACA Institute of the Universitat Politècnica de València, has been appointed member of the Advisory Committee of the CIHEAM (International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies), an intergovernmental organisation created in 1962 under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the OECD.
This entity seeks to promote cooperation between Mediterranean countries through postgraduate training and the promotion of cooperative research in agriculture and natural resources.
To this end, it carries out problem-solving activities structured around four main lines of action: protection of the planet, inclusive development, food security and crisis and resilience to contribute to conflict resolution.
CIHEAM has 4 Mediterranean Agronomic Institutes located in Bari (Italy), Chania (Greece), Montpellier (France) and Zaragoza (Spain), and is composed of the following member countries: Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.
With the appointment of Eduardo Rojas, there are now two professors from the ETSIAMN who are linked to this organisation, following the appointment of Raúl Compés as director of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) Zaragoza.
Who is Eduardo Rojas?
Eduardo Rojas Briales holds a degree in Forestry Engineering from the University of Freiburg (Germany) and a PhD in Forestry Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Since 2001 he has been a lecturer at the ETSIAMN, where he has taught forestry, sustainable forest management, European forest resources, nurseries and reforestation, landscaping and gardening, pastureland, forest breeding, renewable energies, disturbances, and climate change and fires.
Related to his university activity, in 2004, he was appointed Deputy Director of Academic Coordination of the ETSIAMN, being a key figure in developing the curriculum of the new Degree in Forestry and Natural Environment Engineering. He is currently a member of the University Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (ITACA) of the UPV. From 2017 to 2020, he coordinated the training programme that the Indian Forest Service organised for its future foresters abroad.
He is currently the Dean and President of the Official College of Forestry Engineers and the Association of Forestry Engineers, positions he has held since 2016. He is also the president of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), “the most important forest certification organisation in the world”, and since 2022 he has been a member of the board of trustees of the Fundació Pau Costa.
Previously, he was Assistant Director-General of the FAO and head of its Forestry Department (2010-2015) and UN Commissioner-General for Expo Milano 2015. He has also been the coordinator of Juntos por los Bosques (2016-22). This platform brings together the entire forestry sector in Spain.
Luis Nuño, a Professor and researcher at the ITACA Institute of the Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, has just published a new paper in the internationally renowned Journal of Mathematics and Music.
Mathematics has always been a solid foundation of music theory. Thus, for instance, we currently use the equal temperament with 12 notes per octave; and, during the “common practice” period (around 1650 to 1900), the compositions are based on “tonal harmony”, specifically chords with 3 or 4 notes (triads or tetrads), whose notes belong to a few types of 7-note or heptatonic scales, mainly the major scale and some types of minor scales. Additionally, given a set of notes, its “complement” consists of the rest of the twelve notes. Regarding “post-tonal” music, since the early 20th century, some composers began experimenting with specific techniques based on transpositions, inversions, and other mathematical relations among the 12 notes.
It is common among musicians to know that a major scale contains 3 triads of the major-chord type. However, what is not so common is to know that, reciprocally, the complement of a major chord (which is a set of nine notes) also contains 3 complements of major scales (which are of the major-pentatonic type). This “complementary reciprocity” is established in the first of twelve recently published theorems. All of them were obtained considering an arbitrary number n of notes per octave (mathematically, for Zn) and relate the contents of the different scale types (with c notes) with respect to the different chord types (with m notes). The results are expressed as vectors and matrices, with a purely mathematical formalism.
From the engineering point of view, the elements of those vectors and matrices are “higher-order autocorrelations”, also known as “k-deck”, which are present in many fields of knowledge. Particularly, the 2-deck is used in “phase retrieval” problems, which arise when measuring a complex quantity (normally, the Fourier transform of a real quantity) and, due to different factors, only the magnitude can be obtained, but not the phase. Thus, the problem is finding the phase from the magnitude, for which some authors have proposed using the 3-deck. On the other hand, a “coded” version of the k-deck, with different values of k, is used in the “reconstruction problem” of specific information from fragments of it, which also gives rise to complex combinatorial problems.
We can find examples of those kinds of problems in such diverse scientific and technological areas as microscopy, holography, crystallography, neutron radiography, optical coherence tomography, diffraction grating design, reconstruction of character sequences, reconstruction of graphs, radar signal processing or quantum mechanics, to name a few.
This paper focuses on the discrete periodic problem and obtaining the vector and matrix relations among the k-deck and other related values, considering from k=0 to k=n, which provides a global insight and a detailed knowledge of these parameters. Furthermore, it seems likely to apply these ideas to other problems. The paper can be downloaded here.
On January 27, at 11:00 a.m. in the Hall of Degrees of the Higher Technical School of of Geodesy, Cartographic and Topographic Engineering (Building 7I), Universitat Politècnica de València, the reading and defense of the Doctoral Thesis “Forest biomass estimation with Sentinel-2 imagery for improved forest management in Mediterranean areas ” by Mr. David Vinué Visús are scheduled.
The Directors of the Doctoral Thesis are Peregrina Eloína Coll Aliaga, José Vicente Oliver Villanueva and David Fuente Herraiz, researchers of the ITACA Institute.