Survey of Energy Efficient and Contention Based MAC Protocol in WBAN for Medical and Consumer Supply Chain Application

Survey of Energy Efficient and Contention Based MAC Protocol in WBAN for Medical and Consumer Supply Chain Application

A. Punitha (Vickram College of Engineering, India) and Sujin P. Jose (Madurai Kamaraj University, India)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/jgc.2012070104
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The authors provide an extensive survey of recent energy-efficient and contention based medium access control (MAC) protocols for wireless body area networks (WBANs). They briefed the crucial applications of WBAN in present scenario and also discussed low-power and contention based MAC protocols for medical and consumer electronics. The authors outlined the future applications of WBAN and the enhancement to be incorporated to improve the efficiency of WBAN systems.
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The area of sensor network has grown significantly with the rapid advancements of wireless communication and semiconductor technologies supporting a range of applications including medical and healthcare systems. A Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) is a special purpose sensor network designed to operate autonomously to connect various medical sensors and appliances, located inside and outside of a human body. WBAN consists of a series of miniature sensor nodes that are used to monitor vital signals such as temperature, heart rate, brain activities and electrocardiogram. Each sensor has enough intelligence to gather, store and process data, and is able to communicate with other sensor nodes or body aggregator which performs a lot of functions such as sensing, gathering data, serving as a user interface, and bridging WBAN to higher level infrastructures Hanson et al. (2009). Implementation of a WBAN for medical monitoring and other applications will offer flexibilities and cost saving options to both health care professionals and patients. Two significant advantages are offered by WBAN compared to current electronic patient monitoring systems. The first advantage is the mobility of patients due to use of portable monitoring devices. Second advantage is the location independent monitoring facility. Being an autonomous device a WBAN node can search and find a suitable communication network to transmit data to a remote database server for storage. WBAN will also connect itself to the internet to transmit data in a non-invasive manner. As health care sector is increasingly looking for advanced ICT (Information & Communication Technology) systems to efficiently administer the healthcare delivery for a range of services advanced ICT systems will be able to deliver healthcare not only to patients in hospitals and medical centres but also in their homes and workplaces thus offering cost savings, and improving the quality of life of patients. The WBAN system is divided into three levels as shown in Figure 1. The lowest level consists of a set of intelligent sensors or nodes. These are the reduced function devise. These can only communicate with their parent device and cannot act as parent. The second level is the personal server (Internet enabled PDA, cell-phone, or home computer). These are full function devices and they can communicate with their children as well as with the external network. The third level encompasses a network of remote server which is the remote application to which data or information is transferred.

Figure 1.

Data flow in an integrated WBAN


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