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Methods Inf Med. 2009;48(1):29-37.

On health-enabling and ambient-assistive technologies. What has been achieved and where do we have to go?

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Health Informatics Centre, LIME, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Uppsala, Sweden.



To provide an introductory overview on selected areas of health-enabling and ambient-assistive technologies and to suggest relevant fields for future research.


Summarizing the state of the art for 1) ambient environments and 2) health-related sensor technologies, 3) presenting relevant medical conditions and their relation to health-enabling technologies, and 4) illustrating the application of those technologies for lifestyle management with examples for activity monitoring and prevention of overweight. The suggestions for future research are based on own research projects in this field.


Health-enabling and ambient-assistive technologies are regarded to have the potential to significantly improve quality of life and efficiency of health care in aging societies. Research on health-enabling and ambient-assistive technologies is highly multidisciplinary.


It still has, to a large extent, to be exploratory. An increasing amount of outcomes research through well-designed evaluation studies that explore technical solutions in a social context and in relation to individual needs will be crucial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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