Towards a multi-scalar framework for smart healthcare

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Journal Article
Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 2018, 7 (1), pp. 33 - 52
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© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of emerging technologies in the promotion of health and well-being at the urban, domestic and bodily scale, through the systematic examination of technologies such as physical sensing systems and physiological data monitoring, that are currently explored as drivers for achieving sustainable healthcare within a multi-scalar approach. Design/methodology/approach: A comprehensive study of the various technologies associated with smart healthcare is provided, first investigating smart cities, physical sensing systems and geospatial data as potential enablers of public health. Then the discourse shifts towards exploring Smart Home technologies for healthcare, first reviewing strategies of enhancing the home environment with multisensory components, and then discussing the emergence of physiological monitoring devices and their interconnection with the domestic and urban environment. Findings: While the implementation of Internet of Things, physical sensing systems and geospatial analytics in extracting and analyzing the multiple information layers of the urban, the domestic and the bodily environment, has been widely explored, there is little consideration on the transition from the domestic to the urban level, and while within each of the different scales, the need for a multi-componential approach is addressed, there is minimal effort towards its materialization. Originality/value: The major contribution of this study therefore lies in laying the ground for further research towards a multi-scalar relational approach that views smart healthcare as a trajectory, binding the bodily, to the domestic and the urban fabric.
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