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European Visions for the Knowledge Age

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European Visions for the Knowledge Age

A Quest for New Horizons in the Information Society

Paul T Kidd (Ed)
ISBN 978-1-901864-08-3 (Paperback)
Price: See buy on-line link



Chapter 9
André Dittmar
People are concerned about their health, and this concern is growing every year. Furthermore, society, health policy and patients' requirements are changing. The basic needs of human beings are intrinsically negative: that is to say, people have sought to avoid cold, heat, hunger, and thirst. Improvements in the standard of living have changed these needs, which are becoming increasingly positive: citizens' needs are now about comfort, pleasure, health and quality of life. In western society in particular, there is a fundamental shift taking place from a concentration on basic human needs, to a more positive involvement of citizens in their own quality of life and health.
Scientific progress in chemistry, physics, and genetics enables the development of these positive needs. Wearable health devices are becoming more sophisticated, and the care they provide is increasingly individualised. But do the risks counterbalance the benefits? Is developing a healthy lifestyle just a personal option, or can it also become a social obligation? Are biomedical sensors for citizens' health, such as an analyser to help control diet and food intake, friends or spies?
It may be difficult to answer all these questions; however, in the future, healthcare monitoring is likely to move towards the use of sophisticated wearable devices, that are appropriately designed, simple and easy to use - but which also minimise risks. A range of possible future developments is described in this chapter.


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