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Advances in technology have led to development of various sensing, computing and communication devices that can be woven into the physical environment of our daily lives. Such systems enable on-body and mobile health-care monitoring, can integrate information from different sources, and can initiate actions or trigger alarms when needed. In this paper, we describe the general characteristics of medical monitoring applications and use physical movement monitoring as the pilot application. Furthermore, we elaborate several important design techniques that can be tightly coupled with real-time signal processing, and may enhance the system performance. Finally, we present our preliminary results on the movement monitoring application and demonstrate the feasibility of our proposed design techniques.