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Apr 2011: Tecfa Brown Bag Seminar

An increasing availability of miniaturized computing, storage and communication resources for personal wearable electronics devices as well as the availability of diverse sensors for human vital signs (e.g., heart rate, respiration) enable the development of a wide variety of wearable systems for ambulatory psychophysiological measurements. These systems pave the way for acquisition of quality data relevant for research studies or clinical practice in a healthcare domain carried out outside of the controlled laboratory environments. To date, there exists a number of such systems, however, neither the systems themselves nor details on their features are easily accessible by healthcare practitioners interested in their use for research or regular healthcare practice. In this presentation I outline the results of our initial survey on the state-of-the-art in off-the-shelf wearable Body Area Network (BAN) systems for ambulatory psychophysiological measurements and their features. I first present a high-level overview and definition of such a BAN for healthcare use, especially for chronic disease management. I discuss its relevant features and the issues influencing the system performance and usability (e.g., wearability), and therefore influencing the clinical outcome of the BAN use. I wish to jointly highlight the design challenges and open issues that still need to be addressed to make such systems effective for chronic care management.