Ambient Intelligence: A Prescription for Smarter Healthcare - Ambiq

November 17, 2023

COVID-19 was a catalyst for revealing severe foundational issues in the healthcare industry. While modernization and the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) had begun, many hospitals and care providers were still using outdated legacy systems without support from the latest advancements in technology. 

Now, in a world that saw a decade of AI adoption in the past few years, healthcare organizations have the opportunity to provide better patient care and improve patient outcomes, thanks to artificial intelligence and supplementary technologies like ambient intelligence (AmI). In 2021, 90% of healthcare organizations had adopted artificial intelligence, up from only 47% before COVID-19, showing the rapid adoption of advanced technologies to revolutionize healthcare.1 

What Is Ambient Intelligence? 

A new development in information technology, AmI holds the potential to transform the healthcare industry further. Built upon the concept of sensitive and responsive electronic environments, ambient intelligence represents the future of intelligent computing. Ambient intelligence is when unobtrusive, contactless sensors are embedded in the physical environment, creating a new age of smart care facilities. 

The primary use of ambient intelligence is in digital health monitoring, especially for patients. IoT devices nowadays contain multiple contactless sensors to collect data 24/7 continuously. More, the devices with embedded AI can use advanced machine learning intelligence to send alerts and recommendations to the patients and provide real-time insights to physicians to streamline patient healthcare dynamically. 

However, it’s important to note that ambient and remote patient monitoring are different. While both create a more dynamic, automated patient care experience, ambient monitoring doesn’t require patients to wear smart technology like medical wearables. 

How Does Ambient Intelligence Work? 

To enable these smart care facilities of the future, healthcare professionals must understand how ambient intelligence works. Unobtrusive, contactless sensors are embedded in physical environments like patient rooms, surgical rooms, recovery units, etc. The sensors work together to create a digital environment aware of human presence. Sensors can detect and track temperature, movement, blood pressure, heart rate, and more that are context-aware and adaptive to changing patient needs. 

Data is gathered in real-time to support providers in making optimized care decisions for patients. Ambient intelligence also monitors and tracks everyday movements and behavior, providing transparency into patient recovery and allowing for early detection of incidents. 

Use Cases of Ambient Intelligence 

For healthcare organizations, embedding ambient intelligence into physical environments can effectively support providers, staff, and patients. Ambient intelligence helps providers make better care decisions, reduces nurse burnout, and improves patient safety, all while reducing costs. Like many artificial intelligence tools, ambient intelligence lowers the amount of manual and repetitive tasks, allowing skilled care providers to focus on higher qualityhealthcare and increased productivity. 

Intensive Care 

Approximately 81% of healthcare leaders believe ambient intelligence could improve the quality of care for patients2. In intensive care units, providers can rely on ambient intelligence to turn collected data into actionable insights by establishing the correlation between patient movement and faster recovery. Products with the right sensors can also help track patient deterioration, allowing providers to intervene early and reduce long-term ICU stays. 

Alzheimer’s Patients 

Ambient intelligence can foster independence in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Ambient-assisted living can help monitor older adults, remind them to take medications, and analyze daily activities to detect significant changes. Aging patients can also be monitored for early signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s, allowing providers to intervene early. 

Aging Patients At-Home 

Aging patients living at home are at an increased risk for incidents and emergencies. Ambient intelligence can help identify changes in movement patterns, sleep rhythms, and behavior to signal a decline in quality of life. Falls are particularly dangerous for older people, and ambient intelligence can build 3-D reenactments of falls based on visual and audio cues to help providers improve personalized care. 

Post-Surgery Monitoring 

Around 31% of surgeries have postoperative complications, with 8% being major complications3. Ambient intelligence in recovery rooms can continuously observe recovery-related behaviors, giving providers insight into movement and other activities. Ambient intelligence can also reduce the time spent in recovery and improve post-surgical outcomes. 

Real-Life Examples of Ambient Intelligence 


Care.AI 4 recently raised $27 million in funding to develop ambient monitoring products to support overloaded and burned-out care teams. Its platform is currently deployed in over 1500 facilities across the U.S., including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living homes, to reduce costs, smooth out redundant processes, and allow care teams to focus on patients. 

Ambient Clinical Analytics 

Ambient Clinical Analytics5 developed the Sepsis DART™, a real-time communication platform that uses smart notifications to help combat physician and nurse fatigue. It reduces the manual communication between care teams and the mental strain of continuous alerts. 


Intelligent power management company Eaton6 leveraged its existing smart breaker technology to create a digital abstract of patients’ everyday activities based on their usage of home electrical devices and appliances. Specifically for aging patients, this smart ambient monitoring helps reduce the need for human staff to make continuous visits while still providing a high level of care. 

How Ambiq Contributes 

To make dynamic, immersive smart homes and care facilities a reality, IoT devices must have optimal battery life and performance. Ultra-low power system-on-chip (SoC) solutions from Ambiq® help these life-saving ambient products operate for days, months, and even years on a lithium battery or a single charge. 


1 90% of Hospitals Have Artificial Intelligence Strategies in Place | March 11, 2021
2 Ambient clinical intelligence (ACI) – what it is and why you need it | October 4, 2022 
3 Incidence and Risk Factors of Postoperative Complications in General Surgery Patients | November 14, 2022
4 Smart Care Facility Platform |®
5 Ambient Clinical Analytics | Clinical Analytics Solution
6 Eaton Launches Smart Ambient Monitoring API; New Application of Smart Breaker Data to Inform Caregiving in Congregate and Remote Healthcare Environments | Business Wire | July 19, 2023

Article written Charlene Wan