Tickling is a type of sensation that is associated with laughter, smiling, or other similar reactions. Psychology research has shown that tickling and laughter can significantly relieve stress. Although several tickling artifacts have been suggested in prior work, limited knowledge is available if those artifacts could evoke laughter. In this article, we aim at filling this gap by designing and developing a novel foot-tickling mechanism that can evoke laughter. We first developed an actuator that can create tickling sensations along the sole of the foot utilising magnet-driven brushes. Then, we conducted two studies to identify the most ticklish locations of the foot’s sole and stimulation patterns that can evoke laughter. In a follow-up study with a new set of participants, we confirmed that the identified stimuli could evoke laughter. From the participants’ feedback, we derived several applications that such a simulation could be useful. Finally, we embedded our actuators into a flexible insole, demonstrating the potential of a wearable tickling insole.
Objective: The pulmonary sequelae of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have not been comprehensively evaluated. We performed a follow-up study analyzing chest computed tomography (CT) findings of COVID-19 patients at 3 and 6 months after hospital discharge.Methods: Between February 2020 and May 2020, a total of 273 patients with COVID-19 at the Shenzhen Third People's Hospital were recruited and followed for 6 months after discharge. Chest CT scanning was performed with the patient in the supine position at end-inspiration. A total of 957 chest CT scans was obtained at different timepoints. A semi-quantitative score was used to assess the degree of lung involvement.Results: Most chest CT scans showed bilateral lung involvement with peripheral location at 3 and 6 months follow-up. The most common CT findings were ground-glass opacity and parenchymal band, which were found in 136 (55.3%) and 94 (38.2%) of the 246 patients at 3 months follow-up, and 82 (48.2%) and 76 (44.7%) of 170 patients at 6 months follow-up, respectively. The number of lobes involved and the total CT severity score declined over time. The total CT score gradually increased with the increasement of disease severity at both 3 months follow-up (trend test P < 0.001) and 6 months follow-up (trend test P < 0.001). Patients with different disease severity represented diverse CT patterns over time.Conclusions: The most common CT findings were ground-glass opacity and parenchymal bands at the 3 and 6 months follow-up. Patients with different disease severity represent diverse CT manifestations, indicating the necessary for long-term follow-up monitoring of patients with severe and critical conditions.