Technologies for Wellbeing and Healthy Living: Perspectives and Challenges

Technologies for Wellbeing and Healthy Living: Perspectives and Challenges

Jochen Meyer (OFFIS Institute for Information Technology, Oldenburg, Germany)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/ijhcr.2014010103


It is a strange paradox that the public is talking about health technology but cares more about disease technology: people address chronic diseases, people want to change unhealthy behaviors, people aim to help carers and nurses - but people hardly ever look at those who are and want to remain healthy. This is even stranger, as times of health outnumber periods of disease in most persons` lifetimes. Somewhat surprisingly, technology available today is not yet optimally suited to help staying healthy. The authors discuss challenges with respect to the adaption of health behavior models, long-term interaction, quality of data, design of devices, primary use of data, and life-long data. And the authors suggest understanding technical systems for wellbeing as navigational systems, guiding a person through life on a healthy path.
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Personal Health Technology Today

From the advent of personal computers and later the internet, ICT- based systems have been used to assist healthy living. (Chatterjee & Price, 2009) describe four generations of such technologies: The first generation are “prescriptive” systems in the late 1960s that mainly support the one-on-one persuasion between a health care provider and the patient. Second generation: “descriptive” systems, starting in the mid 1980s, are web based systems aiming to provide information and content to the patient. The third and current generation are “environmental” systems from around year 2000 which integrate sensing and information exchange to infer a user’s present state and impact change. The authors envision a fourth generation of “automated” systems in which human intervention is minimal and which are able to provide recommendations to the user in a fully automated and highly personalized way.

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