The chosen theme of STC2016 is focusing on the transformation of modern healthcare by the disruptive innovation of the Internet of Things (IoT). To better understand the basic idea of the IoT, it is good to go back to Kevin Ashton, who introduced the term for the first time in 1999. He stated that a€oeIn the real world, things matter more than ideasa€¯. His original idea was that a€oeWe need to empower computers with their own means of gathering information, so they can see, hear, and smell the world for themselves, in all its random glory. RFID and sensor technology enable computers to observe, identify, and understand the worlda€”without the limitations of human-entered data.a€¯ The IoT has entered mostly unnoticed in the everyday life of modern citizens, via their phone, watch, devices managing their home a€oesystemsa€¯, their car and shopping cards, and many more little helpers. These developments will change dramatically the relationship between the individual and the machine. It will have a great impact on the autonomy of the citizen, especially in relation to the health and social care system. The plea for an increasing role of the citizen in its responsibility for its own health can now be supported by IoT. IoT can provide the citizen a key role in the transition from the medical curative model to a citizen-centered health system and a social interconnected model focused on preventive medicine and wellbeing preservation. The IoT can contribute to build communities of informed and connected (e-)Patients that can interact in real time with each other, and with health and social care providers. The IoT can be the driver for the paradigm shift towards sustainable health and social care systems. But as the concept of Caring Village of the Future states as its main objective a€oelinking IT with Empathya€¯, there should be a balance between the potential of the IoT and the values and priorities of the patient and ethical values such as the respect of privacy and patient data confidentiality which has to be managed in line with its introduction in health care. The STC2016 conference will deal with the convergence of a process originally fuelled by technical and scientific forces, and the current political forces driven by the sustainability agenda of health and social care. This should emphasize the process to humanize the more and more solitary individual although more and more connected and surrounded by the IoT. Our ambition is to concentrate on this debate and create a platform for these different dimensions of this unstoppable development. STC2016 will create a focus on this special topic in a two-day long, one session style conference, in which we look for a balanced program with contributions combining fundamental, applied and industrial aspects of the IoT in health.
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