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Special Issue, October 2007, pp.21-29




Healthcare for the Healthy People: Miniaturization, Sensing and Actuation Trends and Needs

in Preventive and Predictive Medicine


Alberto SANNA, Marco NALIN, Riccardo SERAFIN

e-Services for Life & Health, Scientific Institute H. San Raffaele,

via Olgettina 60, 20132, Milan Italy,

Tel.: 02 2643 2919, fax: 02 2643 3997

E-mail: alberto.sanna@hsr.it, marco.nalin@hsr.it, riccardo.serafin@hsr.it



Received: 7 September 2007   /Accepted: 19 September 2007   /Published: 8 October 2007


Abstract: In modern medicine the role of prevention and prediction is acquiring an increasing market share, due to augmented awareness and interest of the population toward these issues, and to the recognition by public bodies that investing on prevention will be the only mean to afford economical sustainability in the future.


Prediction must rely on the dynamic collection of several personal information, not only about the physical condition of the individual, but also about his/her behaviors and the environmental conditions.


Prevention will increasingly imply the ability to modify the detected behaviors. However, monitoring these parameters and acting in response to undesired conditions requires a constant presence in people's everyday life.


The target population for these services is healthy people that possibly won't spend too much in terms of time or money in invasive or costly solutions. For these reasons, we foresee an emerging role for sensing and actuation technologies able to provide miniaturization, pervasiveness and low costs.


Keywords: Prevention, Preventive medicine, Predictive medicine, Environmental monitoring, Personal monitoring


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