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Body Area Networks Used to Monitor Elderly Patients

Introduction

In recent years, the amount of the elderly population has increased greatly in the developing countries. This caused a problem of the lack of the place for the high-level services in the hospitals. The workers of the medical sphere gained a new task to develop the system that will be convenient for patients and will provide the accurate data. The new invention, such as body area networks helped to solve this problem. This new system is in charge for the collecting the accurate data and providing the elderly people with high-speed service. Besides, the elderly people often face the problem in going to the hospital and visiting a doctor. This new system helps to get their diagnosis while sitting at home.

Background

The body area network is the area of wireless communication that consists of many tiny sensors, placed on the body of the patient. These sensors help in collecting all the necessary data and transferring it to the personnel for the diagnosis.   

The scheme of the work is very simple, and patients get used to it within a short period. “Condition Monitoring system is detecting the relevant quantities, monitoring and collecting the data, assessing and evaluating the information, information display devices, performing decision making with alarm functions. Wireless sensor networks are responsible for sensing as well as transfer of information which should be fast, easy to install and maintain.” (Laddi, Prakash, Sharma and Kumar).

The personnel use the standards, such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, MICS, and Ultra Wide Band (UWB) to perform the gathering of the data.

Bluetooth provides the data rate of 3Mbps and the range of 10m. It supports many mobile devices, but it is the consumer of a great deal of power. Zig Bee is the most commonly used device. It handles complex communications with low energy consumption. Medical Implant Communications Service (MICS) helps to perform the communications in WBAN. It serves for gathering signals from the sensors on the body in a multi-hop structure. “As compared to UWB, MICS has very low power radiation and thus is most suitable for the sensors used in UHC monitoring system.” (Jovanov). Ultra Wide Band (UWB) provides a high rate of the data communication. Localization and transmitters become easier than before due to this type. It provides the best and traffic free route when the emergency occurs. 

The mobility of the system is the best feature of it for making the process of investigation of the patient’s health state. “Lots of work is going on towards the monitoring of physiological signals based on mobile telephony and Internet. The challenges lie towards having low power consumption and lightweight amidst other considerations such as bio vital signs detection and determination on a 24 by 7 basis by simply having a low power system located on the clothes of the patients which will enable the caregivers to respond to them in the fastest possible time.” (Giachino). The sphere of medicine repeatedly needs an improvement. It does not stop and provide patients with new inventions that change the conditions of treatment and make the process easier. 

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