Examples of Ambient Healthcare

tags: ambient healthcare, healthcare
created: Mon 26 December 2016; status: published;

Ambient healthcare is a strategy of triggering healthcare events much earlier than it would otherwise occur. It works by using the wealth of sensors around us and machine-learning algorithms us to detect trends before a human consciously would notice.


  1. While tracking steps and motion, the software notices a very slight but increasing change in gait over period of a year. It decides to mention it to the user and, because of the person's age, suggests seeing a doctor to head off a future knee replacement.
  2. Laptop camera notices minute changes in a person's face (puffy cheeks, different skin reflectivity, redness below nostrils) and detects the person is sniffling and coughing. It suggests the user has a cold or the flu and should not go into the office. It offers to notify their workplace and schedule a video visit with their doctor.
  3. As person walks into work, software notices they have 5 minutes more than usual before their meeting and suggests taking the steps to get some exercise.
  4. Microphone data from phone notices an occasional but persistent cough lasting for weeks, indicating developing lung trouble.
  5. As person pulls into McDonald's, the software mentions they've eaten there 9 times in the last two months. It checks current incentives from their health insurance and finds the insurer will offer a $25 gift card for reducing that to one fast food meal per month.
  6. Person has been complaining off and on about shoulder pain. Software suggests the user could be headed for rotator cuff injury and should meet with a physical trainer to understand what's going on, and maybe reduce their weekly tennis games.

Question 1: What can you diagnose from individual physical symptoms?

Question 2: What can you additionally diagnose from multiple physical symptoms?