Archive (2016–2006)

On Health-enabling and Ambient-assistive Technologies

Journal: Methods of Information in Medicine
Subtitle: A journal stressing, for more than 50 years, the methodology and scientific fundamentals of organizing, representing and analyzing data, information and knowledge in biomedicine and health care
ISSN: 0026-1270
Issue: 2009 (Vol. 48): Issue 1 2009
Pages: 29-37

On Health-enabling and Ambient-assistive Technologies

S. Koch (1), M. Marschollek (2), K.-H. Wolf (2), M. Plischke (2), R. Haux (2)

(1) Health Informatics Centre, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; (2) Peter L. Reichertz Institute for Medical Informatics, University of Braunschweig – Institute of Technology and Hannover Medical School, Germany


Medical Informatics, information storage and retrieval, Home care services, integrated advanced information management systems, nursing record


Objectives: To provide an introductory overview on selected areas of health-enabling and ambient-assistive technologies and to suggest relevant fields for future research. Methods: Summarizing the state of the art for 1) ambient environments and 2) health-related sensor technologies, 3) presenting relevant medical conditions and their relation to health-enabling technologies, and 4) illustrating the application of those technologies for lifestyle management with examples for activity monitoring and prevention of overweight. The suggestions for future research are based on own research projects in this field. Results: Health-enabling and ambient-assistive technologies are regarded to have the potential to significantly improve quality of life and efficiency of health care in aging societies. Research on health-enabling and ambient-assistive technologies is highly multidisciplinary. Conclusions: It still has, to a large extent, to be exploratory. An increasing amount of outcomes research through well-designed evaluation studies that explore technical solutions in a social context and in relation to individual needs will be crucial.

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