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This paper describes two methods for noncontact monitoring of heart and lung activity, namely magnetic bioimpedance monitoring and capacitive electrocardiogram (ECG) recording. In principle, both methods bear the potential for mobile application in a personal healthcare scenario. To illustrate their performance, prototypes for both methods have been developed and first results are presented. Finally, the fundamental drawbacks and limitations of these methods are discussed, including a detailed stability analysis of the capacitively coupled ldquoright legrdquo in capacitive ECG measurements with mismatching electrode capacities and the development of an adaptive noise canceller for magnetic bioimpedance monitoring based on a nonlinear signal coupling model.