Computer Intelligence in Healthcare

Computer Intelligence in Healthcare

Pramit Ghosh (RCC Institute of Information Technology, India), Debotosh Bhattacharjee (Jadavpur University, India), Mita Nasipuri (Jadavpur University, India) and Dipak Kumar Basu (Jadavpur University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2518-1.ch028


Low cost solutions for the development of intelligent bio-medical devices that not only assist people to live in a better way but also assist physicians for better diagnosis are presented in this chapter. Two such devices are discussed here, which are helpful for prevention and diagnosis of diseases. Statistical analysis reveals that cold and fever are the main culprits for the loss of man-hours throughout the world, and early pathological investigation can reduce the vulnerability of disease and the sick period. To reduce this cold and fever problem a household cooling system controller, which is adaptive and intelligent in nature, is designed. It is able to control the speed of a household cooling fan or an air conditioner based on the real time data, namely room temperature, humidity, and time for which system is active, which are collected from environment. To control the speed in an adaptive and intelligent manner, an associative memory neural network (Kramer) has been used. This embedded system is able to learn from training set; i.e., the user can teach the system about his/her feelings through training data sets. When the system starts up, it allows the fan to run freely at full speed, and after certain interval, it takes the environmental parameters like room temperature, humidity, and time as inputs. After that, the system takes the decision and controls the speed of the fan.
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Blood related invasive pathological investigations play a major role in diagnosis of diseases. But in India and other third world countries there are no enough pathological infrastructures for medical diagnosis. Moreover, most of the remote places of those countries have neither pathologists nor physicians. Telemedicine partially solves the lack of physicians. But the pathological investigation infrastructure can’t be integrated with the telemedicine technology. Here an intelligent system has been designed for automatic detection and counting of different types of white blood cells. This system can be deployed in the remote area as a supporting aid for telemedicine technology and only high school education is sufficient to operate it.

During transition of seasons, that means summer to rainy season, autumn to winter, and winter to spring; the environmental temperature changes very rapidly and people starts feeling cold. When people feel hot then their internal biological body cooling system starts working i.e. sweating, to enhance its effect to feel comfort and people uses some external cooling system like fan, air conditioner.

When environment temperature goes down then the internal body cooling process stops and people feel cold and then people switch off the fan. But when people are in deep sleep most of the time there is no provision to switch of the fan. As a result body temperature goes down and due to that body hormone and enzymes characteristic changes which causes infection in the body. Finally, they have a cold and fever. To protect body from cold an adaptive intelligent controller for household cooling system, that is able to control the speed of the fan, is required.

Air conditioner system (Lee 1999) is able to keep the room temperature constant but they are costly and consume much power than a fan, these are the major problem in third world countries. Air conditioner works in a closed room. If door or window is opened for long time air conditioning system will not be able to control the room environment, but household cooling fans are free from this type of problem.

To design a controller for this purpose one need to acquire different environmental parameters like temperature, humidity, time etc and a decision is to be taken by fusing them. The heading “Adaptive Intelligent Controller for Cooling Systems” will discuss the detail of the system along with the results.

Another system, which will be discussed in the heading of “Intelligent device to recognize different WBC from microscopic images”, will automate the white blood cell counting from the microscopic images. Before going to the discussion, a brief introduction on basics of the white blood cell is given.

White blood cells(WBCs) are classified into five major categories, like Lymphocyte, Monocytes, Neutrophils , Eosinophil and basophil (MedlinePlus). Neutrophils, basophils, and eosinophils have a multi-lobed nucleus. These are differentiated based on the color of the cytoplasm, size and the color of the nucleus. The white blood cell count provides information about various illnesses and also helps to monitor the patient’s recovery after initiation of treatment. One measure, the differential blood count, indicates the type of blood cells which are most affected. The normal white blood cell count is between 4500 and 10000 cells per micro-litre depending on the sex and age of the individual with a composition (HighWBC) of Neutrophils: 50 – 70%; Lymphocytes: 25 – 35%; Basophils: 0.4 – 1%; Eosinophils: 1 – 3%; Monocytes: 4 – 6%.

A high white blood cell count (above 30000 cells per micro-litre) does not indicate any specific disease but indicates infection, systemic illness, inflammation, allergy, leukemia and tissue injury caused due to burns (MedHelp). The count of white blood cells also increases when certain medicines like antibiotics or anti-seizure drugs are applied. Smoking and too much of mental stress also increases the count of the white blood cells in the body. Moreover, when the count of white blood cell is on the higher side, the risk of cardiovascular mortality also increases. It turns into a vicious cycle. On the other hand, a low count of white blood cells indicates viral infections, low immunity and bone marrow failure (MedHelp). A severely low white blood count that is the count of less than 2500 cells per micro-litre is a cause for a critical alert and possesses a high risk of sepsis (EncSurgery).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Dilation: One of the basic operators in the area of mathematical morphology. It is typically applied to binary images. The basic effect of the operator on a binary image is to gradually enlarge the boundaries of regions of foreground pixels (i.e. white pixels, typically). Thus areas of foreground pixels grow in size while holes within those regions become smaller.

Microscope: An instrument used to see objects that are too small for the naked eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy.

White Blood Cells: Or leukocytes, are cells of the immune system involved in defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. Five different and diverse types of leukocytes exist, but they are all produced and derived from a multipotent cell in the bone marrow known as a hematopoietic stem cell.

Image Filtering: A process by which we can enhance (or otherwise modify, warp, and mutilate) images.

Telemedicine: The use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance. It helps eliminate distance barriers and can improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities. It is also used to save lives in critical care and emergency situations.

Hormone: A substance formed in the endocrine glands, entering the blood stream and affecting or controlling the activity of some organ, or of cells or tissues. Adrenalin and insulin are hormones.

Artificial Neural Network (ANN): Usually called neural network (NN), is a mathematical model or computational model that is inspired by the structure and/or functional aspects of biological neural networks. A neural network consists of an interconnected group of artificial neurons, and it processes information using a connectionist approach to computation. In most cases an ANN is an adaptive system that changes its structure based on external or internal information that flows through the network during the learning phase. Modern neural networks are non-linear statistical data modeling tools. They are usually used to model complex relationships between inputs and outputs or to find patterns in data.

Fuzzy Logic: A form of many-valued logic; it deals with reasoning that is approximate rather than fixed and exact. In contrast with traditional logic theory, where binary sets have two-valued logic: true or false, fuzzy logic variables may have a truth value that ranges in degree between 0 and 1. Fuzzy logic has been extended to handle the concept of partial truth, where the truth value may range between completely true and completely false.

Erosion: One of the basic operators in the area of mathematical morphology. It is typically applied to binary images, but there are versions that work on grayscale images. The basic effect of the operator on a binary image is to erode away the boundaries of regions of foreground pixels (i.e. white pixels, typically). Thus areas of foreground pixels shrink in size, and holes within those areas become larger.

Sepsis: A potentially deadly medical condition that is characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state and the presence of a known or suspected infection. The body may develop this inflammatory response by the immune system to microbes in the blood, urine, lungs, skin, or other tissues.

Microcontroller: (Sometimes abbreviated µC, uC or MCU) is a small computer on a single integrated circuit containing a processor core, memory, and programmable input/output peripherals. Program memory in the form of flash or ROM is also often included on chip, as well as a typically small amount of RAM. Microcontrollers are designed for embedded applications, in contrast to the microprocessors used in general purpose applications.

Enzyme: A protein substance produced in living cells, influencing chemical reactions within plants or animals without being changed itself. Functioning as organic catalysts, enzymes help break down food so that it can be digested. The enzyme pepsin hydrolyses protein chains in the mammalian stomach to initiate digestion.

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