Given the soaring costs associated with the treatment of ever more prevalent chronic disease, it is widely agreed that a revolution is required in health care provision. It is often thought that the necessary technology already exists for the home-based monitoring of such patients and that it is other factors which are holding back the more widespread clinical uptake of these new tools. The authors suggest that the necessary sensor-related technologies are often not as advanced as may first appear; certainly they are generally not adequate for the robust, long-term monitoring of patients under real-life conditions. An additional problem is the evident efforts to apply a given sensor and related technology platform to any and all monitoring scenarios without sufficient consideration of patient needs and the clinical requirements. The authors review the key sensing platforms and suggest the applications for which they are best suited.