Wearable Health Care System Paradigm

  • Yang Hao, Robert Foster
  • August 2014, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/9781118893715.ch17

What is it about?

This book chapter is part of the "Handbook of Biomedical Telemetry" (IEEE/Wiley, 2014) and covers wearable health care system applications of biomedical telemetry. It begins with a review of the ways in which wearable sensors can be used for both critical and non-critical monitoring of physiological signals, before surveying some of the main wireless technologies available for use "on-body". It concludes with three application examples.

Why is it important?

Wearable technology has seen rapid growth in recent years, with fitness trackers, smart watches, and other consumer devices becoming increasingly popular. This is paralleled by such movements as "the quantified self" and "hack your health", and builds on trends for medical devices to become wearable as well. This chapter covers key aims and objectives to be met by wearable devices for health applications, and how various issues may require trade-offs.


Dr Robert N Foster
University of Birmingham

"Digital health" is a key area of the Internet of Things, and wearable health care devices are integral to realising the digital health agenda. These systems have the potential to give doctors access to more relevant, detailed and timely data by catching health-related events during normal activities, even providing clinically-relevant data in real-time when coupled with cloud-based support systems linked to the healthcare providers. Treating chronic patients in the community, rather than a hospital, will decrease costs and inconvenience for both patients and healthcare providers, and could enable rapid response to dangerous conditions (e.g., heart attacks). Furthermore, these systems have a role in monitoring and promoting "welness" in healthy users.

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