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Journal Description

JMIR Biomedical Engineering (JBME) is a new sister journal of JMIR (the leading open-access journal in health informatics), focusing on the application of engineering principles, technologies, and medical devices to medicine and biology. 

As an open access journal, we are read by clinicians and patients alike and have (as are all JMIR journals) a focus on readable and applied science reporting the design and evaluation of health innovations and emerging technologies. We publish original research, viewpoints, and reviews (both literature reviews and medical device/technology/app reviews).

During a limited period of time, there are no fees to publish in this journal. Articles are carefully copyedited and XML-tagged, ready for submission in PubMed Central.

Be a founding author of this new journal and submit your paper today!


Recent Articles:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) computer technology specialist holding a square-shaped, gene sequencing computer chip. This chip was designed to quicken the processes involved in the identification of viral DNA. Source: CDC Public Health Image Library; Copyright: James Gathany; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Innovation in Pediatric Medical Devices: Proceedings From The West Coast Consortium for Technology & Innovation in Pediatrics 2019 Annual Stakeholder Summit


    Pediatric medical devices cover a broad array of indications and risk profiles, and have helped to reduce disease burden and improve quality of life for numerous children. However, many of the devices used in pediatrics are not intended for or tested on children. Several barriers have been identified that pose difficulties in bringing pediatric medical devices to the market. These include a small market and small sample size; unique design considerations; regulatory complexities; lack of infrastructure for research, development, and evaluation; and low return on investment. In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created the Pediatric Device Consortia (PDC) Grants Program under the administration of the Office of Orphan Products Development. In 2018, the FDA awarded over US $30 million to five new PDCs. The West Coast Consortium for Technology & Innovation in Pediatrics (CTIP) is one of these PDCs and is centered at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In February 2019, CTIP convened its primary stakeholders to discuss its priorities and activities for the new grant cycle. In this paper, we have presented a report of the summit proceedings to raise awareness and advocate for patients and pediatric medical device innovators as well as to inform the activities and priorities of other organizations and agencies engaged in pediatric medical device development.

  • EDA wearable device. Source: Image created by the authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Challenges and Opportunities in Collecting and Modeling Ambulatory Electrodermal Activity Data


    Background: Ambulatory assessment of electrodermal activity (EDA) is an emerging technique for capturing individuals’ autonomic responses to real-life events. There is currently little guidance available for processing and analyzing such data in an ambulatory setting. Objective: This study aimed to describe and implement several methods for preprocessing and constructing features for use in modeling ambulatory EDA data, particularly for measuring stress. Methods: We used data from a study examining the effects of stressful tasks on EDA of adolescent mothers (AMs). A biosensor band recorded EDA 4 times per second and was worn during an approximately 2-hour assessment that included a 10-min mother-child videotaped interaction. The initial processing included filtering noise and motion artifacts. Results: We constructed the features of the EDA data, including the number of peaks and their amplitude as well as EDA reactivity, quantified as the rate at which AMs returned to baseline EDA following an EDA peak. Although the pattern of EDA varied substantially across individuals, various features of EDA may be computed for all individuals enabling within- and between-individual analyses and comparisons. Conclusions: The algorithms we developed can be used to construct features for dry-electrode ambulatory EDA, which can be used by other researchers to study stress and anxiety.

  • Source: EMFIT / Placeit; Copyright: EMFIT / Placeit; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    A Contact-Free, Ballistocardiography-Based Monitoring System (Emfit QS) for Measuring Nocturnal Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability: Validation Study


    Background: Heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) measurements are widely used to monitor stress and recovery status in sedentary people and athletes. However, effective HRV monitoring should occur on a daily basis because sparse measurements do not allow for a complete view of the stress-recovery balance. Morning electrocardiography (ECG) measurements with HR straps are time-consuming and arduous to perform every day, and thus compliance with regular measurements is poor. Contact-free, ballistocardiography (BCG)-based Emfit QS is effortless for daily monitoring. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no study on the accuracy of nocturnal HR and HRV measured via BCG under real-life conditions. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of Emfit QS in measuring nocturnal HR and HRV. Methods: Healthy participants (n=20) completed nocturnal HR and HRV recordings at home using Emfit QS and an ECG-based reference device (Firstbeat BG2) during sleep. Emfit QS measures BCG by a ferroelectret sensor installed under a bed mattress. HR and the root mean square of successive differences between RR intervals (RMSSD) were determined for 3-minute epochs and the sleep period mean. Results: A trivial mean bias was observed in the mean HR (mean –0.8 bpm [beats per minute], SD 2.3 bpm, P=.15) and Ln (natural logarithm) RMSSD (mean –0.05 ms, SD 0.25 ms, P=.33) between Emfit QS and ECG. In addition, very large correlations were found in the mean values of HR (r=0.90, P<.001) and Ln RMSSD (r=0.89, P<.001) between the devices. A greater amount of erroneous or missing data (P<.001) was observed in the Emfit QS measurements (28.3%, SD 14.4%) compared with the reference device (1.1%, SD 2.3%). The results showed that 5.0% of the mean HR and Ln RMSSD values were outside the limits of agreement. Conclusions: Based on the present results, Emfit QS provides nocturnal HR and HRV data with an acceptable, small mean bias when calculating the mean of the sleep period. Thus, Emfit QS has the potential to be used for the long-term monitoring of nocturnal HR and HRV. However, further research is needed to assess reliability in HR and HRV detection.

  • Source: Adobe Stock; Copyright: Ocskay Mark; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Heart Rate and Oxygen Saturation Monitoring With a New Wearable Wireless Device in the Intensive Care Unit: Pilot Comparison Trial


    Background: Continuous cardiac monitoring with wireless sensors is an attractive option for early detection of arrhythmia and conduction disturbances and the prevention of adverse events leading to patient deterioration. We present a new sensor design (SmartCardia), a wearable wireless biosensor patch, for continuous cardiac and oxygen saturation (SpO2) monitoring. Objective: This study aimed to test the clinical value of a new wireless sensor device (SmartCardia) and its usefulness in monitoring the heart rate (HR) and SpO2 of patients. Methods: We performed an observational study and monitored the HR and SpO2 of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). We compared the device under test (SmartCardia) with the ICU-grade monitoring system (Dräger-Healthcare). We defined optimal correlation between the gold standard and the wireless system as <10% difference for HR and <4% difference for SpO2. Data loss and discrepancy between the two systems were critically analyzed. Results: A total of 58 ICU patients (42 men and 16 women), with a mean age of 71 years (SD 11), were included in this study. A total of 13.49 (SD 5.53) hours per patient were recorded. This represents a total recorded period of 782.3 hours. The mean difference between the HR detected by the SmartCardia patch and the ICU monitor was 5.87 (SD 16.01) beats per minute (bias=–5.66, SD 16.09). For SpO2, the average difference was 3.54% (SD 3.86; bias=2.9, SD 4.36) for interpretable values. SmartCardia’s patch measures SpO2 only under low-to-no activity conditions and otherwise does not report a value. Data loss and noninterpretable values of SpO2 represented 26% (SD 24) of total measurements. Conclusions: The SmartCardia device demonstrated clinically acceptable accuracy for HR and SpO2 monitoring in ICU patients.

  • Source: freepik; Copyright: rawpixel; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Longitudinal Magnetic Resonance Imaging as a Potential Correlate in the Diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease: Exploratory Data Analysis


    Background: Alzheimer disease (AD) is a degenerative progressive brain disorder where symptoms of dementia and cognitive impairment intensify over time. Numerous factors exist that may or may not be related to the lifestyle of a patient that result in a higher risk for AD. Diagnosing the disorder in its beginning period is important, and several techniques are used to diagnose AD. A number of studies have been conducted on the detection and diagnosis of AD. This paper reports the empirical study performed on the longitudinal-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Open Access Series of Brain Imaging dataset. Furthermore, the study highlights several factors that influence the prediction of AD. Objective: This study aimed to correlate the effect of various factors such as age, gender, education, and socioeconomic background of patients with the development of AD. The effect of patient-related factors on the severity of AD was assessed on the basis of MRI features, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), estimated total intracranial volume (eTIV), normalized whole brain volume (nWBV), and Atlas Scaling Factor (ASF). Methods: In this study, we attempted to establish the role of longitudinal MRI in an exploratory data analysis (EDA) of AD patients. EDA was performed on the dataset of 150 patients for 343 MRI sessions (mean age 77.01 [SD 7.64] years). The T1-weighted MRI of each subject on a 1.5-Tesla Vision (Siemens) scanner was used for image acquisition. Scores of three features, MMSE, CDR, and ASF, were used to characterize the AD patients included in this study. We assessed the role of various features (ie, age, gender, education, socioeconomic status, MMSE, CDR, eTIV, nWBV, and ASF) on the prognosis of AD. Results: The analysis further establishes the role of gender in the prevalence and development of AD in older people. Moreover, a considerable relationship has been observed between education and socioeconomic position on the progression of AD. Also, outliers and linearity of each feature were determined to rule out the extreme values in measuring the skewness. The differences in nWBV between CDR=0 (nondemented), CDR=0.5 (very mild dementia), and CDR=1 (mild dementia) are significant (ie, P<.01). Conclusions: A substantial correlation has been observed between the pattern and other related features of longitudinal MRI data that can significantly assist in the diagnosis and determination of AD in older patients.

  • Elderly woman using her app to buy online. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Dementia-Related Products on an e-Commerce Platform

    Authors List:


    Dementia is a neurocognitive disorder, which affects older adults. There are currently no medication treatments available to cure dementia, but a number of biomedical technologies could be useful in assisting patients with dementia. With the continued growth of electronic commerce (e-commerce), online shopping for aging and health-related products will only continue to increase. Using the Tmall marketplace as an example, the purpose of this viewpoint is to describe the current trends of dementia-related products and devices available on an e-commerce platform. Feedback and critiques in the form of consumer reviews should be used to improve the design of dementia-related products. Online medical product consumers, however, must be vigilant about the effectiveness and risks of these biomedical devices.

  • A boy wearing a VR headset. Source: Wikimedia Commons; Copyright: Skydeas; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Immersive Virtual Reality in Health Care: Systematic Review of Technology and Disease States


  • Source: Unsplash; Copyright: Gus Moretta; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Factors That Contribute to the Use of Stroke Self-Rehabilitation Technologies: A Review


    Background: Stroke is increasingly one of the main causes of impairment and disability. Contextual and empirical evidence demonstrate that, mainly due to service delivery constraints, but also due to a move toward personalized health care in the comfort of patients’ homes, more stroke survivors undergo rehabilitation at home with minimal or no supervision. Due to this trend toward telerehabilitation, systems for stroke patient self-rehabilitation have become increasingly popular, with many solutions recently proposed based on technological advances in sensing, machine learning, and visualization. However, by targeting generic patient profiles, these systems often do not provide adequate rehabilitation service, as they are not tailored to specific patients’ needs. Objective: Our objective was to review state-of-the-art home rehabilitation systems and discuss their effectiveness from a patient-centric perspective. We aimed to analyze engagement enhancement of self-rehabilitation systems, as well as motivation, to identify the challenges in technology uptake. Methods: We performed a systematic literature search with 307,550 results. Then, through a narrative review, we selected 96 sources of existing home rehabilitation systems and we conducted a critical analysis. Based on the critical analysis, we formulated new criteria to be used when designing future solutions, addressing the need for increased patient involvement and individualism. We categorized the criteria based on (1) motivation, (2) acceptance, and (3) technological aspects affecting the incorporation of the technology in practice. We categorized all reviewed systems based on whether they successfully met each of the proposed criteria. Results: The criteria we identified were nonintrusive, nonwearable, motivation and engagement enhancing, individualized, supporting daily activities, cost-effective, simple, and transferable. We also examined the motivation method, suitability for elderly patients, and intended use as supplementary criteria. Through the detailed literature review and comparative analysis, we found no system reported in the literature that addressed all the set criteria. Most systems successfully addressed a subset of the criteria, but none successfully addressed all set goals of the ideal self-rehabilitation system for home use. Conclusions: We identified a gap in the state-of-the-art in telerehabilitation and propose a set of criteria for a novel patient-centric system to enhance patient engagement and motivation and deliver better self-rehabilitation commitment.

  • Interventional cardiology. Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: Dmitry Kalinovsky; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Modular Catheter Systems in Minimally Invasive Interventional Medical Procedures: Case Study


    Background: Medical device catheters that are used in minimally invasive interventional medical procedures all follow the same integrated design and use paradigm. The features and elements of any catheter device are combined in a single unitary construction. A modular approach to the design, construction, and use of these types of interventional catheters may provide significant advantages and benefits not available with an integrated design paradigm. Objective: This paper aimed to present the design of a modular catheter system and the findings from an initial veterinary use as a case study for the potential of modular catheter systems in general. Methods: A modular catheter system was designed using commercially available angioplasty balloon dilatation catheters as one module in the system and a custom designed scoring adapter as the other module. The scoring adapter incorporates wires to add scoring features to the angioplasty balloon catheter to improve the dilatation performance during a pulmonary valvuloplasty procedure. The scoring adapter also includes a novel attachment mechanism to couple the scoring adapter to any 0.035-inch guidewire–compatible angioplasty balloon catheter. Results: The modular catheter system was successfully designed, manufactured, and used in an initial minimally invasive veterinary cardiovascular intervention to treat a case of canine subvalvular pulmonary stenosis. The scoring adapter and angioplasty balloon catheter were successfully combined tableside in the operating room at the time of the procedure and used to successfully dilate the subvalvular obstruction. Conclusions: The successful design and use of the presented modular catheter system demonstrates the feasibility and potential advantages of this type of paradigm to enable physicians to create interventional catheter devices at the time of a procedure guided by the procedural needs.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: prostooleh; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    The Effects of Titanium Implant Surface Topography on Osseointegration: Literature Review


    Background: A variety of claims are made regarding the effects of surface topography on implant osseointegration. The development of implant surfaces topography has been empirical, requiring numerous in vitro and in vivo tests. Most of these tests were not standardized, using different surfaces, cell populations, or animal models. The exact role of surface chemistry and topography on the early events of the osseointegration of dental implants remains poorly understood. Objective: The aim of this study was to consider the major claims made concerning the effects of titanium implant surface topography on osseointegration. The osseointegration rate of titanium dental implants is related to their composition and surface roughness. The different methods used for increasing surface roughness or applying osteoconductive coatings to titanium dental implants were reviewed. Important findings of consensus were highlighted, and existing controversies were revealed. Methods: This paper considered many of the research publications listed in Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online and presented in biomedical research publications and textbooks. Surface treatments, such as titanium plasma spraying, grit blasting, acid etching, alkaline etching, anodization, polymer demixing, sol-gel conversion, and their corresponding surface morphologies and properties were described. Results: Many in vitro evaluations are not predictive of or correlated with in vivo outcomes. In some culture models, increased surface topography positively affects proosteogenic cellular activities. Many studies reveal increase in bone-to-implant contact (BIC), with increased surface topography modifications on implant surfaces. Conclusions: Increased implant surface topography improves the BIC and the mechanical properties of the enhanced interface.

  • The Oculus Touch controllers. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Leia C Shum; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Determining the Accuracy of Oculus Touch Controllers for Motor Rehabilitation Applications Using Quantifiable Upper Limb Kinematics: Validation Study


    Background: As commercial motion tracking technology becomes more readily available, it is necessary to evaluate the accuracy of these systems before using them for biomechanical and motor rehabilitation applications. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the relative position accuracy of the Oculus Touch controllers in a 2.4 x 2.4 m play-space. Methods: Static data samples (n=180) were acquired from the Oculus Touch controllers at step sizes ranging from 5 to 500 mm along 16 different points on the play-space floor with graph paper in the x (width), y (height), and z (depth) directions. The data were compared with reference values using measurements from digital calipers, accurate to 0.01 mm; physical blocks, for which heights were confirmed with digital calipers; and for larger step sizes (300 and 500 mm), a ruler with hatch marks to millimeter units. Results: It was found that the maximum position accuracy error of the system was 3.5 ± 2.5 mm at the largest step size of 500 mm along the z-axis. When normalized to step size, the largest error found was 12.7 ± 9.9% at the smallest step size in the y-axis at 6.23 mm. When the step size was <10 mm in any direction, the relative position accuracy increased considerably to above 2% (approximately 2 mm at maximum). An average noise value of 0.036 mm was determined. A comparison of these values to cited visual, goniometric, and proprioceptive resolutions concludes that this system is viable for tracking upper-limb movements for biomechanical and rehabilitation applications. The accuracy of the system was also compared with accuracy values from previous studies using other commercially available devices and a multicamera, marker-based professional motion tracking system. Conclusions: The study found that the linear position accuracy of the Oculus Touch controllers was within an agreeable range for measuring human kinematics in rehabilitative upper-limb exercise protocols. Further testing is required to ascertain acceptable repeatability in multiple sessions and rotational accuracy.

  • The MIT-Wrist Robot. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Stan Durand; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    The Impact of Aging and Hand Dominance on the Passive Wrist Stiffness of Squash Players: Pilot Study


    Background: Passive joint stiffness can influence the risk of injury and the ability to participate in sports and activities of daily living. However, little is known about how passive joint stiffness changes over time with intensive repetitive exercise, particularly when performing unilateral activities using the dominant upper limb. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the difference in passive wrist quasi-stiffness between the dominant and nondominant upper limb of competitive squash players, compare these results with a previous study on young unskilled subjects, and explore the impact of aging on wrist stiffness. Methods: A total of 7 healthy, right-side dominant male competitive squash players were recruited and examined using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Wrist-Robot. Subjects were aged between 24 and 72 years (mean 43.7, SD 16.57) and had a mean of 20.6 years of squash playing experience (range 10-53 years, SD 13.85). Torque and displacement data were processed and applied to 2 different estimation methods, the fitting ellipse and the multiple regression method, to obtain wrist stiffness magnitude and orientation. Results: Young squash players (mean 30.75, SD 8.06 years) demonstrated a stiffer dominant wrist, with an average ratio of 1.51, compared with an average ratio of 1.18 in young unskilled subjects. The older squash players (mean 64.67, SD 6.35 years) revealed an average ratio of 0.86 (ie, the nondominant wrist was stiffer than the dominant wrist). There was a statistically significant difference between the magnitude of passive quasi-stiffness between the dominant and nondominant wrist of the young and older squash player groups (P=.004). Conclusions: Findings from this pilot study are novel and contribute to our understanding of the likely long-term effect of highly intensive, unilateral sports on wrist quasi-stiffness and the aging process: adults who participate in repetitive sporting exercise may experience greater joint quasi-stiffness when they are younger than 45 years and more flexibility when they are older than 60 years.

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