Biomedical Engineering Reference
Case Study: Wearable Systems
4.1 Introduction and Reference Scenario
All people consider health the main and essential value for quality of life, both at a
personal and social level. Thus society dedicates a lot of resources to the develop-
ment of technologies and their impact in the medical field is enormous.
Now, together with the concept of evidence-based medicine, we can also talk
about technology-based medicine in several applications. Technology also allows
for the development of the concept of quality of care: it is no longer enough to
have diagnosis and advanced therapies but well-being, pleasure and comfort have
become indispensable too [ 1 ].
In the modern vision of Healthcare there is also a trend to user participa-
tion in prevention and treatment. This refers to active collaboration of users and
their families in the process of basic health (prevention, diagnosis and treatment)
through the use of new technologies such as the monitoring of physiological
parameters. The future of health care is based on new devices that can provide
more accurate and personalized diagnosis and treatment, accessible anywhere,
Shorter hospitalizations and better home care are the objectives for the cur-
rent organization of national health services. This can be achieved only through
technologies aimed at monitoring patients anytime and anywhere for disease pre-
vention, follow-up and support for rehabilitation that can be integrated with the
mobile communication network that is already widespread.
In this context, wearable sensors represent a proposal of strategic interest.
Initially, the interest in wearable systems for health arose from the need to
ensure and extend health services out of the hospital and monitor the state of
health for a sufficiently long period of time.
Wearable Biomedical Systems (WBS) can be defined as integrated platforms
applicable on/to the body to provide “medical activity”: from monitoring biomedi-
cal parameters to drugs delivery and/or supporting/replacing lost functions (assis-
tive technologies) [ 2 ].