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Wearable Health Systems and Applications: The Contribution of Information & Communication Technologies

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1 Author(s)
Lymberis, A. ; European Comm., Brussels

The interest for wearable health systems originates mainly from the need to extend health services out of the hospital and monitor patients over extensive periods of time. Smart wearable health systems (SWHS) are integrated systems in contact with or near to the body able to sense, (and/or act), process and communicate biomedical and physical parameters. Significant advances in biomedical technology, materials engineering, micro/nanotechnologies and information and communication technologies (ICT) lead to new possibilities for increasing miniaturisation, communication capabilities and system "intelligence". The new possibilities for wearable monitoring are mainly provided at the level of microsensors, wrist and other body worn devices, and smart biomedical clothing. Research and development in these areas has been strongly supported through public funding and private investments worldwide. In Europe the major R&D activities were promoted and supported by the European Commission, Information Society Technologies (IST) programme, mainly through health telematics (telemedicine, e-Health) and micro-nano technologies activities. The aim of these projects was the development and testing of innovative integrated user-friendly systems, environments and scenarios of use that could lead to market exploitation in a short to mid term future (3-5 years). This paper presents the rationale and the results of research on wearable health systems in Europe and comments on the current challenges and futures perspectives in the field

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2005. IEEE-EMBS 2005. 27th Annual International Conference of the

Date of Conference:

17-18 Jan. 2006