Towards Easy-to-Use, Safe, and Secure Wireless Medical Body Sensor Networks

Towards Easy-to-Use, Safe, and Secure Wireless Medical Body Sensor Networks

Javier Espina (Philips Research Europe, the Netherlands), Heribert Baldus (Philips Research Europe, the Netherlands), Thomas Falck (Philips Research Europe, the Netherlands), Oscar Garcia (Philips Research Europe, the Netherlands) and Karin Klabunde (Philips Research Europe, the Net)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-332-6.ch009
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Wireless body sensor networks (BSNs) are an indispensable building stone for any pervasive healthcare system. Although suitable wireless technologies are available and standardization dedicated to BSN communication has been initiated, the authors identify key challenges in the areas of easy-of-use, safety, and security that hinder a quick adoption of BSNs. To address the identified issues they propose using body-coupled communication (BCC) for the automatic formation of BSNs and for user identification. They also present a lightweight mechanism that enables a transparent security setup for BSNs used in pervasive healthcare systems.
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Wireless Body Sensor Networks (BSNs) are an enabling technology for the paradigm shift towards pervasive health monitoring. Instead of the traditional event-driven model where patients go to their doctor only when they are sick, we envision that a person’s state of health is continuously monitored through the use of smart body-worn medical sensors to detect changes to the worse before a critical condition arises. Thereby emergency cases are prevented and both patients and care givers are empowered to act more proactive in general. However, pervasive health monitoring systems will be widely adopted only if users experience them as easy-to-use and trustworthy, which is a challenging task as we illustrate in this chapter.

Although several wireless technologies are available to allow body-worn sensors to communicate with one another, they all presume that the user has connected all her body sensors to a single network. But since existing wireless standards fail to provide support for setting up a network, this turns out to be a difficult job, asking too much of normal users. We propose a mechanism for making wireless body-worn medical sensors aware of the person they belong to by combining body-coupled with wireless communication. This enables a user to create a wireless BSN by just sticking the sensors to her body.

We exploit Body-Coupled Communication (BCC) to also eliminate the mixing up of medical data from different patients, which is a common source of errors. For this the user wears a personal identifier that broadcasts her unique user ID around her body. Thereby all her body-worn sensors are able to unambiguously annotate their readings with her ID.

Protecting the user’s privacy and ensuring confidentiality of medical data is essential for the acceptance of any pervasive healthcare system. To this end we describe a security system for BSNs that takes the resource constraints of tiny sensors into account and can be rolled out in an easy and unobtrusive way.

The remainder of the chapter is organized as follows. Section 1 introduces the concept of wireless medical BSNs by describing some sample applications and suitable available and upcoming wireless technologies. In Section 2 we present our approach for automatic network formation and user identification based on BCC. A lightweight security system for pervasive BSNs is described in detail in Section 3. In Section 4 we identify some future trends relevant for the deployment of BSNs followed by our conclusions in Section 5.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Katie A Siek, Kay H Connelly, Beenish Chaudry, Desiree Lambert, Janet L. Welch
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Chapter 2
Ana Ferreira, Luis Barreto, Pedro Brandao, Ricardo Correia
Virtual electronic patient records (VEPR) enable the integration and sharing of healthcare information within large and heterogeneous organizations... Sample PDF
Accessing an Existing Virtual Electronic Patient Record with a Secure Wireles Architecture
Chapter 3
Phillip Olla, Joseph Tan
This chapter provides an overview of mobile personal health record (MPHR) systems. A Mobile personal health record is an eclectic application... Sample PDF
Personal Health Records Systems Go Mobile: Defining Evaluation Components
Chapter 4
Ing Widya, HaiLiang Mei, Bert-Jan Beijnum, Jacqueline Wijsman, Hermie Hermens
In mobile healthcare, medical information are often expressed in different formats due to the local policies and regulations and the heterogeneity... Sample PDF
Medical Information Representation Framework for Mobile Healthcare
Chapter 5
Daniel Ruiz-Fernandez, Antonio Soriano-Paya
The incorporation of computer engineering into medicine has meant significant improvements in the diagnosis-related tasks. This chapter presents an... Sample PDF
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Chapter 6
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Incorporating healthcare information systems into clinical settings has been shown to reduce medication errors and improve the quality of work in... Sample PDF
Managing Mobile Healthcare Knowledge: Physicians' Perceptions on Knowledge Creation and Reuse
Chapter 7
Yousef Jasemian
Recording of physiological vital signs in patients’ real-life environment could be especially useful in management of chronic disorders; for example... Sample PDF
Patient Monitoring in Diverse Environments
Chapter 8
Monica Tentori, Daniela Segura, Jesus Favela
Hospital work is characterized by intense mobility, a frequent switching between tasks, and the need to collaborate and coordinate activities among... Sample PDF
Monitoring Hospital Patients Using Ambient Displays
Chapter 9
Javier Espina, Heribert Baldus, Thomas Falck, Oscar Garcia, Karin Klabunde
Wireless body sensor networks (BSNs) are an indispensable building stone for any pervasive healthcare system. Although suitable wireless... Sample PDF
Towards Easy-to-Use, Safe, and Secure Wireless Medical Body Sensor Networks
Chapter 10
Yousef Jasemian
People living with chronic medical conditions, or with conditions requiring short term monitoring, need regular and individualized care to maintain... Sample PDF
Sensing of Vital Signs and Transmission Using Wireless Networks
Chapter 11
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Towards Wearable Physiological Monitoring on a Mobile Phone
Chapter 12
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A Framework for Capturing Patient Consent in Pervasive Healthcare Applications
Chapter 13
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Chapter 14
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Chapter 15
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