2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Healthcare for the healthy people: miniaturization, sensing and actuation trend and needs in preventive and predictive medicine

A. Sanna, R. Serafin and M. Nalin
e-Services for Life and Health, Scientific Institute H. San Raffaele, Milan, IT

Keywords:
preventive medicine, predictive medicine, human health

Abstract:
In modern medicine the role of prevention and prediction is acquiring an increasing market share, on one side due to augmented awareness and interest of the population toward these issues, on the other due the recognition by public bodies that investing on prevention will be the only mean to afford economical sustainability in the years to come. To be effective, 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 in which such behaviors are enacted. Moreover, prevention will increasingly imply the ability to modify the detected behaviors, actuating both on the environmental conditions and the people life styles.

However, monitoring this parameters and acting in response to undesired conditions requires a constant presence in people's everyday life. Moreover, the target population for this services are 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 new sensing and actuation technologies able to provide miniaturization, pervasiveness and low costs.

In the talk, a twofold model of the person will be proposed, considering both his/her environmental context and psychophysical internal states. For the former, a model of human-environment interaction will be described, presenting a comprehensive collection of intake/outtake agents that come in contact with the person and that will assume increasing relevance in the future. For the detection of the latter, we will motivate the need to consider not only profiling and monitoring of classical clinical values (i.e. biochemicals levels, genetic markers), but also of new meaningful parameters, that can be directly measured or indirectly inferred in case of incomplete data, related to behaviors (how quick you eat, how much do you sleep...), attitudes towards certain activities (preferences, like/dislike), moods, physical activity levels etc.

The talk will include examples of new application scenario for miniaturized sensing and actuation technologies that will emerge in the near future, as the needs to monitor and act upon the aforementioned parameters for preventive/predictive purposes will increase.

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