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The first InternationalWorkshop on New Generation of Wearable Systems for eHealth
took place in Lucca, Italy, 11–14 December 2003. It is a significant milestone in the
dissemination and promotion of this new multidisciplinary area which is expected to play
an important role in the evolving health care and health delivery sector, in Europe and
Over a century ago, with the work of Alexander Graham Bell, the motivation underlying
the first use of the telephone in communication had a health-related origin: a
doctor attempted to be in contact with his deaf mother and sister. Early developments
in electronic patient records took place over 40 years ago through the pioneering
work of Ed Hammond and his interest in community and family medicine. Very
soon, the European Union will be celebrating a 20-year history of co-financing
eHealth research and development initiatives.
The theme of Medinfo2007 is “Building Sustainable Health Systems”. Particular foci are health
challenges for the developing and developed world, the social and political context of health care, the
knowledge that is needed for safe and effective health care, and the difficult task of building and
maintaining complex health information systems. Sustainable health information systems are those that
can meet today’s needs without compromising the needs of future generations. It is a challenge and an
opportunity to develop and implement systems that can be improved – not replaced.