Continuous monitoring of physiological and physical parameters is necessary for the assessment and management of personal health status. It can significantly contribute to the reduction of healthcare cost by avoiding unnecessary hospitalisations and ensuring that those who need urgent care get it sooner. In conjunction with cost‐effective telemedicine platforms, ubiquitous health monitoring can significantly contribute to the enhancement of disease prevention and early diagnosis, disease management, treatment and home rehabilitation. Latest developments in the area of micro and nanotechnologies, information processing and wireless communication offer, today, the possibility for minimally (or non) invasive biomedical measurement but also wearable sensing, processing and data communication. Although the systems are being developed to satisfy specific user needs, a number of common critical issues have to be tackled to achieve reliable and acceptable smart health wearable applications e.g. biomedical sensors, user interface, clinical validation, data security and confidentiality, scenarios of use, decision support, user acceptance and business models. Major technological achievements have been realised the last few years. Cutting edge development combining functional clothing and integrated electronics open a new research area and possibilities for body sensing and communicating health parameters. This paper reviews the current status of research and development on smart wearable health systems and applications and discusses the outstanding issues and future challenges.
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