Although structural health monitoring and patient monitoring may benefit from the unique advantages of optical fiber
sensors (OFS) such as electromagnetic interferences (EMI) immunity, sensor small size and long term reliability, both
applications are facing different realities. This paper presents, with practical examples, several OFS technologies ranging
from single-point to distributed sensors used to address the health monitoring challenges in medical and in civil
OFS for medical applications are single-point, measuring mainly vital parameters such as pressure or temperature. In the
intra-aortic balloon pumping (IABP) therapy, a miniature OFS can monitor in situ aortic blood pressure to trigger
catheter balloon inflation/deflation in counter-pulsation with heartbeats. Similar sensors reliably monitor the intracranial
pressure (ICP) of critical care patients, even during surgical interventions or examinations under medical resonance
imaging (MRI). Temperature OFS are also the ideal monitoring solution for such harsh environments.
Most of OFS for structural health monitoring are distributed or have long gage length, although quasi-distributed short
gage sensors are also used. Those sensors measure mainly strain/load, temperature, pressure and elongation. SOFO type
deformation sensors were used to monitor and secure the Bolshoi Moskvoretskiy Bridge in Moscow. Safety of Plavinu
dam built on clay and sand in Latvia was increased by monitoring bitumen joints displacement and temperature changes
using SMARTape and Temperature Sensitive Cable read with DiTeSt unit. A similar solution was used for monitoring a
pipeline built in an unstable area near Rimini in Italy.