Biomedical Engineering Reference
because it is necessary to consider many different points of view, not to mention
the needs of different users. Ergonomics represents an opportunity to encourage
a more general consideration of the user, of his/her abilities, mental and physical
limitations and requirements during development.
The human-centered approach for the development of methods, products, envi-
ronments, systems and services in the field of healthcare requires also integration
of knowledge: architects, engineers and designers work closely for the study, anal-
ysis, evaluation and design of new solutions. Multidisciplinarity and technical and
cultural “contamination” and cooperation are the key words that lead to innovation
across its pillars: human, technology and design. It is needed to create a new com-
plex and multifactorial process in which technological factors, organizational and
human dimensions must find a balanced mix for a full success of the outcomes.
Wearable technologies in general and WBS in the healthcare sector represent a
new field developing according to these assumptions.
The history of the WBS is relatively recent: the first studies date back to 1996
in the United States (Fig. 4.1 ).
Initially, research in wearable systems for health was oriented to technologi-
cal integration of existing platforms: thanks to the microelectronics evolution, the
research focus was the miniaturization and the integration of biomedical technolo-
gies to develop new compact systems to measure physiological signals and at the
same time allow remote clinical surveillance through communication, processing
and transmission technologies that allow to share such data everywhere.
Fig. 4.1 The family tree of wearable computing technology: the medical developments and
applications started in the mid-nineties in the USA