Wireless Networks

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 1–18

A survey on wireless body area networks

Authors

    • Department of Information TechnologyGhent University/IBBT
  • Bart Braem
    • Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of Antwerp/IBBT
  • Ingrid Moerman
    • Department of Information TechnologyGhent University/IBBT
  • Chris Blondia
    • Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of Antwerp/IBBT
  • Piet Demeester
    • Department of Information TechnologyGhent University/IBBT
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11276-010-0252-4

Cite this article as:
Latré, B., Braem, B., Moerman, I. et al. Wireless Netw (2011) 17: 1. doi:10.1007/s11276-010-0252-4

Abstract

The increasing use of wireless networks and the constant miniaturization of electrical devices has empowered the development of Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs). In these networks various sensors are attached on clothing or on the body or even implanted under the skin. The wireless nature of the network and the wide variety of sensors offer numerous new, practical and innovative applications to improve health care and the Quality of Life. The sensors of a WBAN measure for example the heartbeat, the body temperature or record a prolonged electrocardiogram. Using a WBAN, the patient experiences a greater physical mobility and is no longer compelled to stay in the hospital. This paper offers a survey of the concept of Wireless Body Area Networks. First, we focus on some applications with special interest in patient monitoring. Then the communication in a WBAN and its positioning between the different technologies is discussed. An overview of the current research on the physical layer, existing MAC and network protocols is given. Further, cross layer and quality of service is discussed. As WBANs are placed on the human body and often transport private data, security is also considered. An overview of current and past projects is given. Finally, the open research issues and challenges are pointed out.

Keywords

Wireless body area networks Routing MAC

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010