Non-Intrusive Health-Monitoring Devices

Non-Intrusive Health-Monitoring Devices

Yujun Fu (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong), Hong Va Leong (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong), Grace Ngai (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Stephen Chan (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch055
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Health Monitoring And Non-Intrusive Technology

Health monitoring has long been an important issue, and affordability and demand have always been important aspects for consideration. The former comes as a positive influence as technology advances and smaller and smarter devices become available at lower cost. The latter is induced by the changing demographics of an aging society in which more people need to rely on the technology for ensuring their health. According to (Celler & Sparks, 2015), there are currently over 40 major international manufacturers of tele-monitoring systems, and yet far more products to monitor health for vital signals. However, most contemporary health-monitoring devices are expensive, or intrusive. For instance, one cannot expect everybody to own an ECG (electrocardiogram) device at home. It is also very tedious and intrusive to attach the many needed electrodes to a human. Though such sophisticated devices are in general capable of returning a lot of sensing data, they also create heavy demand on the computation power for processing. Another example is the health chair (Anttonen & Surakka, 2005; Griffiths, Saponas, & Brush, 2014). Though not as intrusive as the ECG devices and many other similar devices, these chairs are often fairly expensive with a good number of sensors attached and they cannot often follow the users to move from places to places freely. The processing overhead or computational demand is also non-negligible.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intrusive and Non-Intrusive Measurement: Intrusive measurement refers to the use of devices or measurement procedures that affect the normal situation of the person, bringing a significant impact on the mobility or comfort of the person involved, e.g., a person wearing a headmount device with electrodes attached. Non-intrusive measurement refers to the use of devices or measurement procedures that induce minimal impact on the person involved. In an extreme case, the person being monitored would not even notice the existence of the device or procedure, e.g., a user being watched by a webcam that collects changes in his/her facial skin tone.

Affective Computing: The study and development of systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human affects (emotions). It was derived from human computer interaction and has since grown into an interdisciplinary field spanning computer science, psychology, and cognitive science.

Health Monitoring: Techniques and devices associated with the capturing of important parameters about the health of a person, oftentimes, a patient. Communication and alert mechanisms should also be included so that a proper authority or party can be notified in case of emergency or anomaly.

Body Area Network: Previously known as a body sensor network, extending from the sensor network to a network of wearable sensors located on/with/in the body of a human being that cooperate for the benefit of the human, normally returning readings concerning the human. The network is mostly deployed to the support of m-health (mobile health) and even u-health (ubiquitous health).

E-Health: Systems and supporting technology for health-care, carried out with the help of information technology, in terms of data acquisition, data storage, data retrieval, data maintenance, and data dissemination. It can be considered as the electronic version of a more conventional health-care system.

Physiological Signals: Readings or measurements that are produced by the physiological process of human beings, e.g., heart-beat rate (electrocardiogram or ECG/EKG signal), respiratory rate and content (capnogram), skin conductance (electrodermal activity or EDA signal), muscle current (electromyography or EMG signal), brain electrical activity (electroencephalography or EEG signal).

Sensors and Biosensors: A sensor is capable of making some measurement about its target, e.g., a thermometer. A sensor that is designed to measure biological phenomenon or a sensor that is combined with a biological component is called a biosensor, e.g., thermometer measuring the body temperature of a human under the ear or measurement of glucose concentration in blood.

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