With the holiday season upon us, we are reminded that in all the hustle and bustle it is important to remember our health and ‘take care of ourselves’. The 2015 IEEE HealthCom conference, held 14-17 October in Boston, Massachusetts, was also a harbinger of what it may mean for health care to be more integrated into our daily lives. E-health promises to put more control into the hands and homes of individuals, whether through fitness trackers and digital health monitors worn on the body or through sophisticated, smart homes that provide the means to monitor our health while going about our daily activities (e.g., walking through the front door) as well as provide assistive care through monitoring movement and controlling heat and light.
With an aging population worldwide, these devices and sophisticated computations take on greater meaning. The need to provide secure health and home monitoring for our elderly population so that they (and eventually all of us) can maintain some degree of autonomy is critical. Relying on the newest wearable sensors, combined with innovative approaches to relaying data, the homes of the future may not only be smarter but may assist with increasing quality of life as we age. And that is a holiday gift we can all benefit from.
In this issue of the IEEE Life Sciences eNewsletter, we showcase some up and coming technologies including advanced facial simulation research that strives to put a face on Siri as well as the promise of contact lenses that deliver more than better eyesight. In addition, writer Shannon Fischer shares with us the highlights of the IEEE Life Sciences Technical Committee panel discussion at HealthCom15, which continues our coverage regarding the increasing need for standards in health care. As always, we welcome your feedback on the topics presented here and we look forward to bringing you more conversations in the coming months. Best wishes for a Happy New Year!