The classical NDE techniques of periodical maintenance are just now evolving towards the continuous health monitoring of materials and structures. Taking account of the relation of this approach with the bioinspired notion of smart materials, it seems useful to extend this passive concept to a more active one, especially in the case of materials systems as composite materials. Effectively, if sensors and actuators are embedded in a composite structure before curing in order to monitor and improve the processing parameters, they are able, remaining in the structure, to assume the health monitoring and some optimization of the usage in the next stages of the life. Moreover, in slightly damaged systems, it becomes reasonable to use the results collected by the sensors for improvements of safety of materials and structures. Finally in the last stage of the life, when the material is deeply damaged, it is sometimes possible to slow down, and more rarely, to heal the damage.