The Outdoor Wireless Healthcare Monitoring System for Hospital Patients Based on ZigBee

The Outdoor Wireless Healthcare Monitoring System for Hospital Patients Based on ZigBee

Xiaoxin Xu (Zhejiang University, China), Mingguang Wu (Zhejiang University, China), Bin Sun (China JiLiang University, China), Jianwei Zhang (China JiLiang University, China) and Cheng Ding (HangZhou Meacon Automatic Technology Co., Ltd, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-541-4.ch010
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Advances in embedded computing systems have resulted in the emergence of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), which provide unique opportunities for sensing physical environments. ZigBee-compliant WSN platforms have been proposed for healthcare monitoring, smart home, industrial monitoring and sensor, and other applications. In this chapter, the authors, using TI CC2430 and CC2431 chipsets with Z-Stack, designed an outdoor patients’ healthcare monitoring system for tracking patients and helping doctors and nurses to keep tabs on patients’ health remotely. Furthermore, several important techniques are elaborated, including reliable communication, localization algorithm, and backup power, which can enhance the system performance. Finally, some suggestions for future development are presented.
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The name of ZigBee comes from the zigzagging path a bee (a data packet) takes to get from flower to flower (or node to node) (Niagara, 2005). ZigBee is primarily intended low power and low duty-cycle sensors. ZigBee nodes can active for less than 1% of the time. For instance, an off-line node can connect to a network in about 30 ms. Waking up a sleeping node takes about 15 ms, as does accessing a channel and transmitting data. Our healthcare system will get benefit from this technology. In large outdoor monitoring area, not all of nodes should work all the times. These nodes could go to sleep, and wake up until a new task coming.

As an IEEE 802.15.4 based standard, ZigBee is described by referring to the 7-layer OSI model for layered communication systems. But not all of the 7 layers are defined, ZigBee Alliance only specifies four layers (Physical, Data Link, Network, and Application), as well the Application Layer (APL) that allows end-developers design custom applications that use the services provided by the lower layers. It should be noted that the ZigBee Alliance choose to use an already existing data link and physical layers specification. These are published IEEE 802.15.4 (IEEE Standard 2003) standards for low-rate personal area networks. The network and application layer are defined by the alliance itself.

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