Dr. Emil Jovanov has been selected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, in recognition of his contribution to the field of wearable health monitoring.
An assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Jovanov in 2000 was the first to suggest Wireless Body Area Networks — systems that allow internet-based health monitoring with data captured by wearable devices.
“Of course, now mobile health is all common sense,” says Jovanov, “but everybody knows what it means to have proposed that back in 2000 and implemented in 2002. I believe that the concept of mHealth definitely changed, and continues to change, the lives of people.”
Jovanov continues his work in the field of mHealth, combining aspects of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things for personal health monitoring via smartphones, the cloud and wireless networks.
In the future, Jovanov says, this array of sensors, embedded in everyday objects, can create a bubble to detect and prevent disease.
“That bubble can be your digital guardian angel,” he says. “The advantage of this approach is that you can monitor individual health parameters every time the individual interacts with the intelligent device.”
Two of Jovanov’s early inventions, nearly 20 years ago, are the wearable wireless stress monitor for pilots and the wearable wireless remote heart monitor.
Among Jovanov’s recent patents are a smart water bottle that monitors a users fluid intake and a smart pill bottle that tracks when patients take medication. And he envisions even more.
“I believe we are yet to see the convergence of all these technologies,” he says, “and that is a convergence that will change the world.”
Each year, the IEEE board selects fellows from around the world based on their significant contributions to the organization’s fields of interest. The number of annual honorees equals fewer than a tenth of a percent of the organization’s voting members.