Wireless body area networks. What is it really? (part 2)

Patients and doctors noticed that even if they don’t use all of the sensors, there are still a lot of connections that have to be made for data transfer. It would be much more comfortable for a patient to use a wireless technology. To make it even more complicated, a perfect situation would be if each of such sensors could be manufactured by a different company and still cooperate. This a ground reason for specifying a standard of Wireless Body Area network.

But the world doesn’t end on the topic of medical monitoring. Such system of wireless communication can be used in much broader range of applications especially that application of this technology is almost always connected with some kind of Broad Area Network. For example Jaff [1] in his thesis lists such applications:

  • medical domain: ex. sleep staging, for computer-assisted physical rehabilitation, for monitoring patient at home, at hospital
  • fitness and wellness: monitoring of workout, step meters (like one from NIKE embedded in a shoe)[2] , bike speed sensors and cadence sensors. What is interesting at the moment NIKE pedometer uses proprietary wireless technology, so it can’t be used with anything else than IPOD.
  • military domain: real-time information about the location and physiological status.
  • safety and security domain: biosensors used for monitoring firefighters or hazardous material workers (using hazmat sensors), for detecting chemical and biological attacks, for automatic identification and authorization (similar to RFID tags)
  • social networking and entertainments domain: exchanging digital profile or business cards, match making (hobby, interest, game, community member), creating groups with same preference and emotion

[1]http://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:231674/FULLTEXT01

[2]http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/

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