Investigation on Healthcare Monitoring Systems: Innovative Services and Applications

Investigation on Healthcare Monitoring Systems: Innovative Services and Applications

Audace Manirabona, Lamia Chaari Fourati, Saâdi Boudjit
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5484-4.ch058
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Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) services and applications have emerged as one of the most attractive research areas and have become more and more widespread especially for healthcare use. Lots of researches have been carried out to specify innovative services and applications using healthcare monitoring systems (HMS). However, the WBAN requirements vary from one application/service to another. Furthermore, HMSs are expected to reduce healthcare costs by enabling the continuous remote monitoring of patients' health even during their daily activities and thus reduce the frequency of the patient's visits at hospital. From a medical point of view, the WBAN will emerge as a key technology by providing real-time health monitoring and diagnosis of many life-threatening diseases. In this paper, the authors outline the WBAN applications and services requirements for healthcare and review them with emphasis on their strength, limitations and design challenges. In addition, HMS architecture and its applications are deeply studied and some case studies are discussed.
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With the current trend in communication, networking and computing technologies coexist with people in a ubiquitous and pervasive way. The WBANs meet many needs for the market in a variety of innovating and interesting applications, it promises to revolutionize many domains such as ubiquitous healthcare applications (Jae-Myeong, et al. 2008; Huan-Bang, et al. 2008; Huan-Bang, et al. 2009; Dante, et al. 2010), military and aerospace (Tufail, et al. 2009), safety, interactive gaming, entertainment, animal managements and emergency (Jobs, et al. 2009). In the field of medical services (Gao, et al. 2008), the WBANs aim to facilitate health monitoring (Jobs, et al., 2009), medical care (Virone, G. et al.2006), and healthcare delivery in ambulances (Pomalaza-Rez, et al. 2007) and in emergency rooms (Otto, et al. 2006) and assistance to people with disabilities.

A WBAN is a collection of miniaturized wireless nodes deployed on or implanted in the body to supervise the human body functions and its environment. These nodes include sensors that sense physiological data and actuators that execute commands such as injection.

The sensors in turn can be categorized into wearable and implantable devices. Thus, the WBAN nodes for medical applications can be wearable (Pervez, et al. 2009) and/or just implants (Hung, et al. 2004). Wearable nodes are considered for both medical and non-medical applications; however, the WBAN implants are mainly considered for medical and healthcare applications. Wearable devices are those that can be used on a human body surface while implantable medical devices are those inserted inside human body. Non-medical applications include real-time audio/video streaming, data wave, stream delivery, etc.

A WBAN can include a large number of physiological sensors, which can be used as a bridge between the human body and a remote monitoring system or electronic systems such as household appliances, in order to generate all the information regarding the subject under observation and control. Nowadays, many kinds of sensors and actuators are already commercially available such as:

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