A piezoelectric sensor is a device that uses the piezoelectric effect, to measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain, or force by converting them to an electrical charge. The prefix piezo- is Greek for ‘press’ or ‘squeeze’.
A proper knowledge of the interaction between human physiology and daily living environmental conditions is essential to establish a connection between an individual’s lifestyle and his/her health status. Understanding these connections will give insight to the effect of pollution on human health.
Most modern prevention or intervention approaches rely deeply on early, accurate, and broad diagnosis, followed by close monitoring of the outcomes. This latter task is carried out by occasional screening and typically produces a series of time dependent snapshots at different levels (eg, biochemical, mechanical, cellular, and molecular). From a biological point of view, every human individual has a different susceptibility to disease. This simple observation has resulted in the concept of personalized medicine and procedures . However, for a personalized treatment to be really effective, accurate individualized information obtained at various levels in a continuous fashion is needed, possibly extending to acquiring a screen of the patients’ home environment.
The aging European Union (EU) population (and of all industrialized countries in general) and the increase in life expectancy are causing a rapid increase of the number of patients with multimorbidity and neurological diseases such as mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s. In this context, the above-described approach in which data are collected in a haphazard way will not suffice anymore. There is an urgent need to shift medical care from institutions to the daily living environment of patients to ensure a continuous follow-up. In addition to this clinical need, there is an economical urgency calling for care distributed differently than the traditional methods. The existing low ratio between care providers and care seekers will become even lower and the growing costs of assistance will soon become unsustainable. Information and communication technology (ICT) tools are already being proposed and studied to provide a solution to these problems, but much more is still expected.
One important aspect is that in general, elderly patients have a more limited capacity to deal with environmental challenges. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that the onset and course of highly prevalent diseases such as stroke, diabetes, and arthrosis are shaped by human environmental interaction (ie, mobility). Assessment and understanding of human-environmental interaction in daily life is therefore of vital importance to design targeted intervention paradigms that aim to optimize conditions such as muscle state, neural plasticity, sensorimotor integration, and internal physiological processes such as insulin metabolism or inflammation. This promotes healthy aging and self-dependency.