The monitoring of vital signs is a basic task that has been carried out on patients that are admitted into specialized units, such as coronary care units, intensive care units and operating rooms. There is now a good deal of interest in the ever-increasing possibility of such monitoring being extended further, outside the hospital setting (e.g. to the patient's home). We point out some of the aspects that have most significantly affected the evolution of monitoring systems, and identify some of the most important lines of research and improvement: endowing systems with greater intelligence (conditioned to a good degree by considerable advances at the level of sub-symbolic processing); the introduction of standards for the representation and transmission of monitoring information; ubiquity, in both the possibility of monitoring patients in any location and situation, and the capability of accessing this monitoring information. We end by presenting a line of research into intelligent ubiquitous monitoring developed by the authors.
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