Wearable sensors in healthcare and sensor-enhanced health information systems: all our tomorrows?

Healthc Inform Res. 2012 Jun;18(2):97-104. doi: 10.4258/hir.2012.18.2.97. Epub 2012 Jun 30.


Wearable sensor systems which allow for remote or self-monitoring of health-related parameters are regarded as one means to alleviate the consequences of demographic change. This paper aims to summarize current research in wearable sensors as well as in sensor-enhanced health information systems. Wearable sensor technologies are already advanced in terms of their technical capabilities and are frequently used for cardio-vascular monitoring. Epidemiologic predictions suggest that neuropsychiatric diseases will have a growing impact on our health systems and thus should be addressed more intensively. Two current project examples demonstrate the benefit of wearable sensor technologies: long-term, objective measurement under daily-life, unsupervised conditions. Finally, up-to-date approaches for the implementation of sensor-enhanced health information systems are outlined. Wearable sensors are an integral part of future pervasive, ubiquitous and person-centered health care delivery. Future challenges include their integration into sensor-enhanced health information systems and sound evaluation studies involving measures of workload reduction and costs.

Keywords: Ambulatory Monitoring; Decision Support Systems; Health Information Technology.