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The Future of Emergency Medicine: Innovations Making Patients The Point-of-Care 

The Future of Emergency Medicine: Innovations Making Patients The Point-of-Care  | Healthcare and Technology news |
Six minutes before brain damage

Car crashes, home injuries, fires, natural disasters. The difference between life and death often depends on the speed and efficiency of emergency care services. The work of doctors, paramedics, and nurses being in the first line of the battle against early and meaningless death or paralyzation is extremely difficult and inspirational at the same time. Sometimes there are only seconds left to save a patient’s life. In case of high-risk patients, each minute waiting for treatment significantly reduces their chance of surviving. This includes cardiac arrest patients, where brain damage typically starts within four to six minutes.

No wonder that millions of people (including The Medical Futurist team) jittered through more than 300 episodes of Chicago County General Hospital’s ER starting from the 1990s, and that the gig ensured a standing place for George Clooney among the biggest stars. The suggestive power of doctors and nurses saving lives also gave a rise to medical documentaries, such as the BBC’s An Hour To Save Your Life, the American docudrama entitled Untold Stories of the ER with re-enactments of real-life medical stories or the more recent incarnation of ER, entitled Chicago Med.

Patients to the hospital or hospital to the patient?

In spite of the impression through the television screens that the emergency department is one of the most important medical specialties, the field is relatively new and it is mostly the product of the accelerated, globalized world we live in. Some experts say that modern emergency medicine services were first developed in the United States in the 1960s; as a response to the increased traffic accidents due to the boom of cars on the newly built American highways. Later one, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Singapore followed shortly thereafter, developing their respective emergency medical systems in the 1970s and 1980s.

While the aim of emergency care is the same in every country – providing timely care to victims of sudden and life-threatening injuries or emergencies in order to prevent needless mortality or long-term morbidity –; two different approaches emerged. The Anglo-American model represents the “patient to the hospital” practice, while the Franco-German model means the “hospital to the patient” way of thinking.


The latter is used in most European countries, and it means that medical doctors supported by paramedics treat more patients on the scene of an accident or in their homes then bringing them to the hospital, thus emergency care happens on the scene or en route to the hospital. In the case of the Anglo-American model, fewer patients are treated on the spot, and they rather transport the injured to the emergency room as fast as possible for treatment. Currently, countries in the developed world use some practices from both models, but the latest digital technologies will rather push emergency medicine in the direction of the “hospital to the patient” approach. Let me show you how!

We collected the latest innovations making it possible to treat medical and trauma emergencies faster and more efficient than ever before. Dávid Márkus, first aid expert and medical student at Semmelweis Medical School, helped us a lot with finding the relevant directions. He is also the developer of a chatbot on Messengerthat teaches people how to do proper CPR in Hungary.

1) Apps simplifying communication, administration and in-flight emergency care

Pulsara is a Montana-based U.S. start-up whose app simplifies communication in emergency care. It allows paramedics to alert an emergency department before arrival with the patient. It does so not only by calculating the estimated time of arrival based on GPS, but users are able to attach pictures of the ECG, the injury, the medicine list of the patient, send the personal data and the parameters of the patient, etc. Alerting the stroke team/cardiologists or anyone else who might be involved in the treatment of the patient this way allows the ED workers to prepare much better and faster for the arrival of the critically ill patient.

On its website, the team said they got the idea when a group of physicians, fed up with the pitfalls of their current acute care protocols, posed the question at a dinner table “How can we improve patient care in our facilities?” I hope in the future, they’ll have more fruitful dinners like this one.


Full Code Pro is a free and easy-to-use app developed by the American Heart Association. It makes it easy to document critical interventions, a „code” during critical events such as CPR or cardiac arrest resuscitation. It not only allows the worker to record events (e.g. shock) with only one tap, measures times, counts down according to the protocol but also helps the team by having a metronome built in to optimize chest compression rhythm. Full Code Pro makes it easy to administer cardiac arrests, and also gives an opportunity to debrief the case so that the team can learn from the collected data as well. Thus, you can fully focus on the patient without sacrificing proper documentation. A win-win situation!

Dr. Ray Bertino, Clinical Professor of Radiology and Surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, worked with a team of aviation experts to develop airRx, the world’s only smartphone app that’s designed to help physicians deal with some of the most common in-flight medical emergencies. The app contains the 23 most common medical emergency situations that could be encountered during a flight, various flight and cabin crew roles, as well as the medico-legal implications for volunteering to assist. It could give a piece of mind for doctors traveling on board of an airplane as well as passengers fearing that something might happen to them while going from San Francisco to Beijing.

2) Video game for practice & 911 chatbot for real situations

Airway EX is a professional video game developed by Level Ex, a Chicago-based start-up applying video game technology to healthcare. The app allows practicing anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and medical professionals to simulate the performance of airway procedures. It provides realistic endotracheal intubation scenarios so that the doctors and paramedics can better prepare for difficult airway management. The app scores the worker’s speed, the caused damage, bleeding and also monitors the virtual patient’s vital signs while the procedure takes place. Moreover, it can be used anywhere – on the subway, at home or on the Bahamas during holidays (but we don’t recommend that).


The 911bot, a messenger-based chatbot was developed during a Disrupt Hackathon in New York with the aim to help users in emergency situations. It lets anyone report emergencies to the authorities through a quick image-based interface, which might be a lot faster than making a phone call. And as your report is sent through the system, it offers options to send extra information and pictures or video footage. As most people are frozen when a lethal or serious accident happens, the app gives advice on how to handle the situation well and how not to cause even more harm to the injured or bystanders.

3) Portable ultrasound, ECG & other point-of-care devices

The appearance of pocket-sized, user-friendly and portable diagnostic devices make it easier and faster to treat a patient on the spot. No matter whether its ultrasound, ECG or laboratory testing, behemoth machines are things of the past.

While some years ago ultrasound diagnosis was the privilege of radiologists, nowadays emergency medical specialists have an opportunity to use bedside point-of-care ultrasound devices (PoCUS) to answer some yes-or-no questions (e.g. intraabdominal bleeding). Ultrasound machines such as SonoSite’s or Clarius’ hand-held products allow any doctor to use them easily while working on a code or a critically ill patient.


Yet, we all know it’s not only about the size. Not so long ago, it was a huge innovation that a smartphone was able to make a one-lead ECG. However, even if it showed the rhythm, it wasn’t able to replace standard 12-lead ECG. In many cases, if the doctor does not see all the 12 leads, a possible heart attack might be easily mistaken. Now, Smart Heart Pro allows users to make a 12-lead ECG with a smartphone or tablet wirelessly, that is as accurate as a similar standard bedside exam.

Luckily, the long hours waiting for laboratory blood test results will also be over soon with hand-held, lightweight point-of-care testing (PoCT) devices, such as the i-STAT testing equipment. Abbott’s fast and accurate blood analyzer allows doctors to evaluate the patient’s blood sample on the spot and wirelessly transmit the results or the data to colleagues. Invaluable time gain during emergency situations!

4) Medical drones

Drones have great potential in making the transport of drugs, vaccines or medical aids faster. Thus, they could greatly support the work of emergency services. Google, the tech giant with a significant medical portfolio, patented a device that can call for a drone in emergency situations to fly in with life-saving medical equipment on board. You would push a button, and a drone would appear on the spot. How amazing would that sound?

And what about drones delivering automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) directly to people who have just suffered a heart attack? Researchers from the University of Toronto are already experimenting with the ideabased on their inspiration from ambulance drones in the Netherlands. AED-carrying drones have also been tested in Stockholm with promising results: it arrived at the patient within a quarter of the time that ambulance took to arrive. And drones are not simple transporting machines: they can provide instructions to the bystanders on providing CPR, using the AED and they also allow the dispatch team to give feedback via its own video connection. It is estimated that within 1-2 years this lifesaving innovation can take place in the daily routine in Sweden, and hopefully other countries as well.

5) Driverless ambulances

As the development of driverless cars continues, the potential for turning cars into points-of-care and the use of their unmanned driving capacity will become more and more obvious. There are already some governments considering driverless ambulances as technology taking some of the strain off the emergency services. These ambulances would work as “medical taxis”. They would pick up low-risk patients and transport them to the nearest hospital or clinic for treatment. With the introduction of these ambulances, the need for paramedics to respond to every call – regardless of severity – would be greatly reduced. Although it might be less comfortable for people to get into a driverless car to the hospital at first. Could you imagine sending your wife in labor to the emergency unit in a driverless ambulance? We’ll probably have to get used to the idea!

Concerning “moving ambulances”, in the future, the car will be a place to measure vital signs passively and store the recorded data in clouds. Then it will either notify the patient if there is something wrong or keep a finger on the pulse on the long-term. Mercedes-Benz salesman Rob Tinkham described how one of their cars can already tell if the driver has become too tired to drive. He added that the seat belt, the steering wheel or practically anything the driver might touch, can be used as a biometric sensor to gain information about the driver. It could help detect a drop in blood sugar or an imminent heart attack. Perhaps, our driverless car will notify the emergency services and the robot receptionist of the hospital in the future if there is an urgent matter to handle.

A possible emergency scene from the future

Digital technologies not only help patients receive care quicker and in a more efficient manner, but they can also support emergency care units to handle situations safer and more confidently. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security published an imagined scenario about how technological innovations would help the work of emergency service providers 15 years from now.

Their clothing made of smart, light materials would protect them from gunshots or punctures. They might easily turn on the high-visibility mode of their clothing if they go to dark places or work at night. Sensors and wearables would monitor their own health and fitness while providing their location. Using self-driving ambulances, first responders would have the time to prepare for situations and receive patient data already on the way to the scene. This could help bring exactly the right equipment to the patient in need. It would be easier to access patient data and monitor vital signs through various sensors, wearables – or digital tattoos. Moreover, with the help of exoskeletons, first responders could lift patients with less effort.


The future of emergency services looks more streamlined, data-based, efficient and faster than ever before, while both taking the needs of the patient and the limitations of caregivers into consideration. So, hopefully, within a couple of years, no one will have to wait for an unnecessarily long time until getting proper care. Yet, knowing what to do in an emergency situation or how to do CPR will come in handy anytime, so check out this video and keep stayin’ alive!

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Are Wearables Dangerous for Health?

Are Wearables Dangerous for Health? | Healthcare and Technology news |

It’s been repeatedly stressed by healthcare practitioners how beyond a balanced diet and exercise, getting sufficient sleep is vital to our health and wellbeing.


There are wearables that can already track our daily activities such as heart rate when we exercise and even the number of steps we have walked that day and the distance. In addition to that, some wearables can monitor your sleep patterns.


But how accurate are they and are they good for you?


Sleep specialists at Rush University Lab in Chicago reported an increase in patients who were complaining about sleep disorders. However, it was observed that those who wore wearables that tracked their sleep started to develop an obsession over getting enough sleep.


As most people are aware, eight hours is what is commonly referred to as the “right amount of sleep.” And because of this, people who tracked that they were getting less than that started to develop anxiety over not getting enough sleep, and the strain resulted in disrupted sleep.


Furthermore, sleep trackers cannot differentiate between light and day and could be tracking the wearer as asleep when they are in fact just resting. Ultimately, it has been observed that sleep trackers aren’t always accurate.


Remember that sleep trackers like other activity trackers are wearable digital devices that measure, amongst other things, your arm movement with a detector called an accelerometer. So it is entirely possible that the sleep tracker is indicating you are asleep when you are in fact, not.


If you are struggling with a sleeping disorder such as insomnia, a sleep tracker will only tell you how much sleep you didn’t get and is not sensitive or sophisticated enough to diagnose the problem. Ultimately, it may keep people from seeking the medical attention they need to fully diagnose if they have a sleeping disorder that may be detrimental to their overall health.


Furthermore, those who are tracking that they are getting a full eight hours of sleep may be misled that they have no sleep disorder, when in fact, they do. Their tracker may indicate they slept for eight hours, but it will not always accurately track if they were restless or had brief moments of awakening.


The bottom line is that too many people may be relying too much on the numbers that their wearables are recording and not on the actual quality of their sleep. Are they waking up refreshed and feeling restored? Are they energised or did they wake up more tired than before they slept because their sleep was restless and disruptive?

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Wearable Technology Devices and Apps Take Patient Care to the Street

Wearable Technology Devices and Apps Take Patient Care to the Street | Healthcare and Technology news |

Wearable technology has evolved beyond fitness bracelets and now enables patients to receive healthcare services on the go.

Similar to fitness bracelets and apps, sensors embedded in wearable devices record patients’ daily activities, and companion apps display personal healthcare data that’s programmed to respond to each patient’s specific conditions. While in operation, these companion apps transmit a patient’s data to his or her medical team, keeping them informed and the patient connected.

Below are three wearable technology devices and apps that take patient care to the street, monitoring the patient’s vital signs, medication and even pain levels.


HealthPatch MD
The sensors in the HealthPatch MD disposable patch, when adhered to the patient’s chest, can track a patient’s vital signs and body position to monitor and alert caregivers for concerns. The ECG sensors track heart rate, heart rate variability, temperature and respiration, while the accelerator sensor monitors physical activity, as well as records body position, and alerts a patient’s medical team if he or she falls.

Because it collects and streams your information in real time, the resulting record shows how each of a patient’s separate body systems are functioning in context with all the others. Bluetooth technology connects the patch to the related app that transmits the data to a patient’s medical office.


Some patients struggle with remember when to take their medications and how much they should take, but they may find the Helius smart sensor pills alleviates some of the medication guesswork. Swallowing one of these digital pills places a sensor in a patient’s stomach to register when and how often medications are taken. In the stomach, gastric fluids complete the electrical circuit within the pill and the sensor then alerts the companion smartphone app  when it detects the presence of the medicine. Helius sensors can also track related physiological activity, such has how the body responds to treatment.

In July, Helius pills were cleared by the FDA to be used as an aid in the measurement of medication adherence but faces privacy challenges when combined with other medications.


Quell Relief
Chronic knee pain affects 14% of Americans over the age of 24, and that number rises to 34% over the age of 65, but many refuse to take pain medication to relieve it. The Quell Relief knee brace may provide relief to knee pain sufferers, as it stimulates sensory nerves, which carry neural pulses to a patient’s brain. These neural pulses block pain signals in your body.

The product looks and acts like a standard knee brace, but has a small electrode on the inside. After calibration to your particular pain tolerance, the device delivers neural pulses over time. The Quell app keeps the record of your therapy over time and can also monitor your sleep quality.

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Wearables and HealthIT

Wearables and HealthIT | Healthcare and Technology news |

The market for healthcare wearables is expanding and is now going beyond smart watches and fitness trackers. In a study by PWC, it was noted that consumers are now showing solid support for wearables, with almost 60% seeing value in connected fitness bands, watches, eyeglasses and clothing. And health remains the No. 1 reason that consumers are buying these devices.


In a prediction by Tractica by 2021, healthcare wearables will be worth $ 17.8 billion. This could potentially be true with devices like Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike and the like’s going beyond fitness tracking, typically mounted on the wrist, ankle, or belt—track the physical activities of the wearer, including steps taken, stairs climbed, sleep hours and quality logged, and distance traveled. But wearables are now going beyond all of these fitness monitors.


There could soon be medical sensors that could be made to track health from inside, with this new technology patients will be able to ingest the sensors in the form of a pill and once the work is done, the pill will dissolve. The aim behind an ingestible capsule is that make the operation of tapping vitals, a simple task without the need of wearing a band or a device.


There are talks of IBM creating chips that are a piece of software that can be implanted into the brain to prevent seizures. There’s also talk of stomach acid being used to power batteries. In reality, there is no telling where this rapidly paced industry will head to next.

With so much happening on the wearables front and a lot of data being generated, the future could see doctors studying both medicine and statistics.

Key benefits of wearables include:

  • Easy monitoring of patients: This is especially true for patients with chronic ailments, who need to be in constant touch with the vitals, they need to be aware of any sudden change in vitals that could impact their health
  • Reduce Care co-ordination: Reducing the demands on family doctors and other primary care providers. The knock-on benefits could be even greater: by improving quality of care, reduced hospital admissions and bed stays.
  • Data analytics and big data: with the use of data so collected, the research work on various diseases and ailments has been expedited. The analytic s allows for an in-depth study of the vitals and helps in making decisions for providers.
  • Reduce costs: with easy patient monitoring and reduced care coordination the costs of hospitalization have reduced considerably.
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Barbara Lond's curator insight, December 22, 2017 3:40 PM
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Top Five Digital Transformation Trends In Health Care

Top Five Digital Transformation Trends In Health Care | Healthcare and Technology news |

Technology is changing every industry in significant ways. To help frame how, I’m starting a new series discussing top trends in various markets. First up: health care.

No one can dispute technology’s ability to enable us all to live longer, healthier lives. From surgical robots to “smart hospitals,” the digital transformation is revolutionizing patient care in new and exciting ways. That’s not all. National health expenditures in the United States accounted for $3.2 trillion in 2015—nearly 18% of the country’s total GDP. It’s predicted that the digital revolution can save $300 billion in spending in the sector, especially in the area of chronic diseases. Clearly there is value—human and financial—in bringing new technology to the health care market. The following are just a few ways how.



Even back in 2015, 80% of doctors surveyed said telemedicine is a better way to manage chronic diseases than the traditional office visit. Why? Telemedicine offers patients and health care providers both a new wave of freedom and accessibility. For the first time, a patient’s care options are not limited by geographic location. Even patients in remote areas can receive the highest quality of care, providing they have an internet connection and smart phone. Telemedicine can also save both time and money. Patients no longer have to schedule their days around routine follow-up visits (and long office waits). Instead, they can hop on a conference call to get the prescription update or check-up they need.

Nowhere has telepresence been more useful than in the mental health field. Now, those seeking emotional support can find access to a therapist or counselor at the click of a button, often for far less than they would pay for a full office visit. Internet therapies, for instance, “offer scalable approaches whereby large numbers of people can receive treatment and/or prevention, potentially bypassing barriers related to cost, location, lack of trained professionals, and stigma.” Telemedicine makes it possible.


Mobility And Cloud Access

Have you ever played phone tag with your doctor while waiting for important test results? It’s so nerve-racking! That’s why mobility and cloud access have been such a tremendous help in increasing accessibility for patients and doctors alike. By 2018, it’s estimated that 65% of interactions with health care facilities will occur by mobile devices. Some 80% of doctors already use smartphones and medical apps, with 72% accessing drug info on smart phones on a regular basis. Gone are the days of paper charts and file rooms. Hospitals, insurance companies, and doctor’s offices are now storing patient medical records in the cloud, with patients able to access test results online 24/7.

Given HIPAA laws relating to patient privacy, it’s probably no surprise this has also led to an increased focus on data protection and security. According to one report, “the black-market value of medical data is greater than even that of financial information.” Believe me when I say: No industry is more focused on virtualization security right now than health care.


Wearables And IoT

I remember the days when going into the local grocery store and getting my blood pressure read at one of those prehistoric machines seemed exciting. Imagine: A machine that helped me manage my own well-being without setting foot in a doctor’s office. Now, mobile devices as small as my cell phone can perform ECGs, DIY blood tests, or serve as a thermometer, all without even leaving my house. With help from automation, patients can even be prompted to check their weight, pulse, or oxygen levels, and enter results into mobile patient portals. Even better: They can transmit the results to my doctor in real time. Those details, when entered regularly, can help predict one’s risk for heart disease and other illnesses, ultimately saving lives. This is far more than cool. It’s life-saving.


Artificial Intelligence And Big Data

Big data is king in the digital world, and health care is no exception. Yes, it can be gathered to measure customer satisfaction. But perhaps more importantly, it can be used to automatically identify risk factors and recommend preventative treatment. Even more exciting: with the rise of the Internet of (Medical) Things (IoMT), mobile and wearable devices are increasingly connected, working together to create a cohesive medical report accessible anywhere by your health care provider. This data is not just useful for the patient. It can be pooled and studied en masse to predict health care trends for entire cultures and countries.


Empowered Consumers

All of the above have led to an entirely new trend in healthcare: patient empowerment. While many of us have come to associate health care with high costs and long waits, patients are now in the driver’s seat, with better access to higher-quality doctors, and higher satisfaction rates overall. It’s a healthy new way to look at health care, and one that holds promise for all of us with easy access to the digital landscape. My blood pressure is already lowering just imagining the possibilities.

Technical Dr. Inc.s insight:
Contact Details : or 877-910-0004

Presenters's curator insight, October 24, 2017 4:16 AM
Al pensar en tecnología recurrimos a  muchos avances relacionados con la comunicación, educación... pero pocas veces nos planteamos que hay otros campos en los que también tiene una gran influencia. La industria tecnológica también está ayudando a cambiar el panorama de la salud. ¿Quieres conocer algunos de los avances tecnológicos más significativos en este campo?
Barbara Lond's curator insight, December 22, 2017 3:42 PM
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4 Important Ways Healthcare Technology Improves Your Patient Care

4 Important Ways Healthcare Technology Improves Your Patient Care | Healthcare and Technology news |

Healthcare technology continues to be a hot topic of conversation, as the world that we’ve long visualized gets closer to being our reality.

It’s changing how healthcare providers diagnose, treat, manage and monitor. Health tech has the potential to save lives, improve quality of life, and completely redirect the downward trajectory of hard to manage patients.

Let’s explore how 4 important health techs are improving patient care.

Predictive Analytics & Machine Learning

Physicians today utilize predictive analytics & machine learning to better identify high risk patients and put the right interventions in place to:

  • Prevent admissions
  • Prevent readmissions
  • Reduce decline and relapse
  • Improve medication compliance
  • Speed up recovery
  • Help patients respond to triggers
  • Better engage patients in between visits

Patients today want more personalized care Health tech like this helps give patients what they want as it improves patient care and patient outcomes.

Continue on see more.

Wearable Technology

For patients suffering from chronic conditions, wearable technology provides a better way for patients to meet their health metrics.

This is because they receive immediate feedback about their health, current state of being, and behaviors that will impact those metrics. In many cases, the data can even be accessed by their physician in real time.

Wearables provide tools patients need to track and adjust behavior on a moment-to-moment basis rather than waiting until they have a doctor’s visit.

Today doctors are using wearables to:

  • Help patients be more active
  • Keep patients informed about day to day heart health
  • Help those with musculoskeletal injuries and physical developmental delays regain or gain mobility, including paralysis of the lower extremities
  • Track sleep patterns
  • Better understand mood disorders
  • Painlessly monitor glucose levels
  • Relieve chronic pain

The potential of remote monitoring to improve care has long been studied, but more recently we are finding it within our reach.

Virtual Reality

Medical students today can use virtual reality (VR) to get hands-on without a real patient in sight. This allows for more in-depth training and real time feedback that doesn’t include your patient screaming when you make a wrong move.

Furthermore, doctors today use VR to help treat patients with:

  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Phobias

Through systematic desensitization, patients can face their fears, anger and sadness in a controlled setting. Before VR, such “facing of fears” would have been much more logistically challenging and less controlled.


As part of the patient’s desire for more personalized care, they’re looking for healthcare services that align with their personal needs. This goes beyond medical treatments.

Telemedicine does this in several very effective ways.  For example, telemedicine:

  • Provides ultimate convenience to patients who think they don’t have time to see the doctor, so patients don’t delay seeing the doctor.
  • Meets the needs of the elderly and other individuals who may be home-bound or even bed-ridden.
  • Eliminates that boring waiting room experience.
  • Helps keep patients with immune disorders out of medical facilities that, despite best efforts, become breeding grounds for infections and even superbugs.
  • Delivers most of the benefits of face to face, especially when combined with wearable technologies.
  • Provides a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform on which doctors and patients can connect.

Healthcare Technology Makes a Big Difference in Patients’ Lives

Whether you’re a doctor, nurse or other medical services provider, you understand that it’s not about medicine. It’s about people.

Through healthcare technology, you can make sure every patient gets the care that they deserve. You can tear down barriers to care, expand your reach, and improve patient outcomes.

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