[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aging population, prevalence of chronic diseases, and outbreaks of infectious diseases are some of the major challenges of our present-day society. To address these unmet healthcare needs, especially for the early prediction and treatment of major diseases, health informatics, which deals with the acquisition, transmission, processing, storage, retrieval, and use of health information, has emerged as an active area of interdisciplinary research. In particular, acquisition of health-related information by unobtrusive sensing and wearable technologies is considered as a cornerstone in health informatics. Sensors can be weaved or integrated into clothing, accessories, and the living environment, such that health information can be acquired seamlessly and pervasively in daily living. Sensors can even be designed as stick-on electronic tattoos or directly printed onto human skin to enable long-term health monitoring. This paper aims to provide an overview of four emerging unobtrusive and wearable technologies, which are essential to the realization of pervasive health information acquisition, including: 1) unobtrusive sensing methods, 2) smart textile technology, 3) flexible-stretchable-printable electronics, and 4) sensor fusion, and then to identify some future directions of research.
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