The capacity to research, develop and manufacture systems that employ components based on nano- and microstructures with biological functionality, and are capable to share, ubiquitously, information is at the forefront of worldwide competition. A new generation of advanced materials, processes and emerging technologies is building up enabling highly integrated, miniaturized and smart micro-nano-bio-systems to be engineered. These fast technology developments are also stimulating the explosive growth in life sciences, which is leading to an ever increasing understanding of life at the sub-cellular and molecular level. By bringing these parallel developments to biomedicine and health, ultrafast and sensitive systems can be developed to prevent illness, to support lifestyle, to make early diagnosis or treat diseases with high accuracy and less invasiveness, and to support body functions or to replace lost functionality. Such systems will enable the delivery of individualized health services with better access and outcomes at lower costs than previously deemed possible, making a substantial contribution to bringing healthcare expenditures under control and increase its productivity. The MNBS (Micro-Nano-Bio Systems) group of EU funded projects aims at speeding up the convergence of micro- and nanotechnology with the life sciences and accelerating the development of highly integrated diagnostic, monitoring and therapeutics devices. This paper presents R&D activities supported through the MNBS group that are relevant to pHealth and discusses directions to be taken in order to overcome the current problems. Finally, it addresses future challenges to build highly integrated and reliable systems including innovation and usability issues.
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