Electronic data processing has found its way into virtually all fields of medicine over the past decade. This particularly applies to anaesthesia and intensive care medicine. The development of sensors and the improvement of hardware have made the electronic monitoring of vital functions standard practice throughout the civilized world. The result of this development is a perplexing number of different devices resulting in a flood of data. The development of novel biosensors, the structuring and further utilization of the data, new forms of presentation and ergonomic design of the equipment are all goals which are currently being pursued.