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Smart wearables for remote health monitoring, from prevention to rehabilitation: current R&D, future challenges

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1 Author(s)
A. Lymberis ; Inf. Soc. Directorate-Gen., Eur. Comm., Brussels, Belgium

Telemedicine has significantly broaden its scope the last few years. In the 90's, it was mainly used by healthcare providers, regardless time and location, for second opinion and patient consultation. Today it elaborates solutions for remote health monitoring to support prevention, early diagnosis, disease management, treatment and home rehabilitation. Remote health monitoring could lead to a significant reduction of total cost in healthcare by avoiding unnecessary hospitalisations and ensuring that those who need urgent care get it sooner. Latest developments in micro- and nanotechnologies as well as in information processing and wireless communication offer, today, the possibility for smart miniaturisation and non-invasive biomedical measurement as well as for wearable sensing, processing and communication. Although developing specific systems and applications to address specific user needs, the "smart health wearable" research and industrial community faces a number of common critical issues, e.g. biomedical sensors, scenarios of use (linked to the business scenarios), data security and confidentiality, risk analysis, user interface, medical knowledge/decision support, dissemination, user acceptance and awareness, business models and exploitation. Beyond technology, which seems providing proof of concept, real future challenges such as clinical validation and impact assessment of the newly developed smart wearable applications, are ahead. This paper review the current status in research and development of smart wearable health applications, developed especially under the EU research activities and analyse the outstanding issues and future challenges to be achieved in the future.

Published in:

Information Technology Applications in Biomedicine, 2003. 4th International IEEE EMBS Special Topic Conference on

Date of Conference:

24-26 April 2003