IJCNS  Vol.2 No.8 , November 2009
A Review of Wireless Body Area Networks for Medical Applications
Abstract: Recent advances in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, integrated circuits, and wireless communication have allowed the realization of Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs). WBANs promise unobtrusive ambulatory health monitoring for a long period of time, and provide real-time updates of the patient’s status to the physician. They are widely used for ubiquitous healthcare, entertainment, and military applications. This paper reviews the key aspects of WBANs for numerous applications. We present a WBAN infrastructure that provides solutions to on-demand, emergency, and normal traffic. We further discuss in-body antenna design and low-power MAC protocol for a WBAN. In addition, we briefly outline some of the WBAN applications with examples. Our discussion realizes a need for new power-efficient solu-tions towards in-body and on-body sensor networks.
Cite this paper: nullS. ULLAH, P. KHAN, N. ULLAH, S. SALEEM, H. HIGGINS and K. Sup KWAK, "A Review of Wireless Body Area Networks for Medical Applications," International Journal of Communications, Network and System Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 8, 2009, pp. 797-803. doi: 10.4236/ijcns.2009.28093.

[1]   J. G. Cleland, K. Swedberg, and F. Follath, “A survey of the quality of care among patients with heart failure in Europe. Part 1: Patient characteristics and diagnosis,” The Euro Heart Failure Survey Programme, Euro Heart Journal, pg 24, pp. 442–463, 2003.

[2],2933,142436,00.html Date Visited, 15 December 2008.

[3]   Heart Failure Facts and Figures: OU Medical Centre.

[4] repofkorea.pdf.

[5]   A. Barroso, J. Benson, et al., “The DSYS25 sensor platform,” In Proceedings of the ACM sensys, 2004.

[6]   C. Borger, et al.: “Health spending projections through 2015: Changes on the horizon,” In Health Affairs Web Exclusive W61, February 22, 2006.

[7]   Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM), ETSI TR 102 655, pg 21, 2008.

[8], Date Visited, 21 November 2008.

[9], Date Visited, 20 January 2009.

[10], Date Visited, 21 July 2008.

[11]   E. Jovanov, A. Milenkovic, C. Otto, and P. de Groen, “A wireless body area network of intelligent motion sensors for computer assisted physical rehabilitation,” Journal of Neuro Engineering and Rehabilitation, Vol. 2, No. 6, March 2005.

[12] Date Visited, 16 March 2008.

[13], Date Visited, 09 February 2008.

[14], Date Visited, 25 April 2008.

[15], Date Visited, 11 January 2009.

[16], Date Visited, 16 December 2008.

[17]   IEEE P1073.0.1.1/D01J, “Draft guide for health informatics-point-of-care medical device,” Communication- technical report-Guidelines for the use of RF wireless technology, 2006.

[18], Date Visited, 12 February 2009.

[19]   G.-Z Yang, “Body sensor networks,” Springer, pp. 117–143, 2006.

[20]   J. Wojclk, et al., “Tissue recipe calibration requirements, SSI/DRB-TP-D01-003,” Spectrum Sciences Institute RF Dosemetry Research Board, 51 Spectrum Way, Nepean, Ontario, K2R 1E6, Canada.

[21]   H. M. Li, H Jindong H. Tan, “Heartbeat driven medium access control for body sensor networks,” Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGMOBILE, International Workshop on Systems and Networking Support for Healthcare and As-sisted Living Environments, pp. 25–30, 2007.

[22]   Braem, B. Latre, I. Moerman, C. Blondia, and P. Demeester, “The Wireless Autonomous Spanning tree Protocol for multihop wireless body area networks,” in Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Personalized Networks. San Jose, California, USA, 2006.

[23]   B. Latre, B. Braem, I. Moerman, C. Blondia, E. Reusens, W. Joseph, and P. Demeester, “A low-delay protocol for multihop wireless body area networks,” Fourth Annual International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Networking & Services, Mobi Quitous, pp. 1–8, 6–10, 2007.

[24]   H. M. Li and J. D. Tan, “Medium access control for body sensor networks,” Computer Communications and Networks, ICCCN’07, pp. 210–215, 13–16 August 2007.

[25]   N. F. Timmons and W. G. Scanlon, “Analysis of the performance of IEEE 802.15.4 for medical sensor body area networking,” IEEE SECON, 2004.

[26]   W. Ye, J. Heidemann, and D. Estrin, “Medium access control with coordinated adaptive sleeping for wireless sensor networks,” IEEE Communications Letters, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 493–506, 2004.

[27]   T. V. Dam and K. Langendoen, “An adaptive energy- efficient MAC protocol for wireless sensor networks,” in SenSys’03, Los Angeles, pp. 171–180, 2003.

[28]   IEEE Std.802.15.4, “Wireless medium access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications for low data rate wireless personal area networks (WPAN),” 2006.

[29]   A. El-Hoiydi and J.-D. Decotignie, “WiseMAC: An ultra low power MAC protocol for the downlink of infrastructure wireless sensor networks,” in the Proceedings of the Ninth IEEE Symposium on Computers and Communication, ISCC’04, Alexandria, Egypt, pp. 244–251, 2004.

[30]   Technical Requirement Document, IEEE 802.15.6, Janu-ary 2009.

[31]   A. Sikora and V. Groza, “Coexistence of IEEE 802.15.4 with other systems in the 2.4 GHz ISM-band,” IEEE IMTC Proceeding, May 2005.

[32]   N. Golmie, D. Cypher, and O. Rebala, “Performance analysis of low rate wireless technologies for medical applications,” Computer Communications, Vol. 28, No. 10, pp. 1255–1275, June 2005.

[33]   N. Chevrollier, N. Montavont, and N. Golmie, “Hand-overs and interference mitigation in healthcare environ-ments,” IEEE MILCOM Proceeding, October 2005.

[34]   Howitt and J. Gutierrez, “IEEE 802.15.4 low rate-wire-less personal area network coexistence issues,” IEEE WNCN Proceeding, 2003.

[35]   IEEE 802.11e Std, “Amendment to Part 11: Wireless LAN medium access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications,” Medium Access Control Quality of Services Enhancements, November 2005.

[36]   D. Cavalcanti, R. Schmitt, and A. Soomro, “Performance analysis of 802.15.4 and 802.11e for body sensor network applications,” 4th International Workshop on Wearable and Implantable Body Sensor Networks, BSN, 2007.

[37]   B. Zhen, H. B. Li, and R. Kohno, “IEEE body area networks and medical implant communications,” Proceedings of the ICST 3rd International Conference on Body Area Networks, Tempe, Arizona, 2008.

[38]   S. Ullah, R. Islam, et al., “Performance analysis of a preamble based TDMA protocol for wireless body area network”, Journal of Communications Software and Systems, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 222–226, 2008.

[39], Date Visited, 17 March 2009.

[40]   IEEE 15-08-0644-07-0006-TG6, Technical Requirements Document, 2008.

[41]   S. Ullah, H. Higgins, Y. W. Cho, H. S. Lee, and K. S. Kwak, “Towards RF communication and multiple access protocols in a body sensor network,” JDCTA: International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 9–16, 2008.

[42]   B. Lo and G. Z. Yang, ”Key technical challenges and current implementations of body sensor networks,” IEEE Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Body Sensor Networks (BSN’05), pp. 1–5, April 2005.

[43]   National Center for Health Statistics, URL: http://www., Date Visited, 12 March 2009.

[44]   H.-T. Chu, C.-C. Huang, Z.-H. Lian, and T. J. P. Tsai, “A ubiquitous warning system for asthma-inducement,” in IEEE International Conference on Sensor networks, Ubiquitous and Thrustworthy Computing, Taichung, Taiwan, pp. 186–191, 2006.