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Towards Ubiquitous Mobility Solutions for Body Sensor Networks on HealthCare

Caldeira, JMLPC ; Rodrigues, J. R. ; Lorenz, P.

IEEE Communications Magazine Vol. 50, Nº 5, pp. 108 - 115, May, 2012.

ISSN (print): 0163-6804
ISSN (online):

Journal Impact Factor: 4,007 (in 2014)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/MCOM.2012.6194390

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The use of electronic health (eHealth) tech- nologies in healthcare improves the quality of health services furnished to patients. The appli- cation of these technologies helps physicians and other health professionals to pursue early detec- tion of abnormal status on patients’ health. Body sensor networks are a type of wireless sensor networks aimed to be deployed on persons in order to collect physiological parameters for healthcare monitoring purposes. These BSNs are composed by several small sensors placed along patient’s body, and capable to send (wirelessly) the collected health parameters to remote pro- viders. BSNs need to operate every time and everywhere to transmit these important parame- ters to healthcare providers or automatic system to detect any anomaly in the patient health sta- tus. To provide this continuous monitoring of patients, it is mandatory to provide mobility sup- port for the BSN so it can always be connected to some gateway to the Internet and therefore to back-end health providers. Several mechanisms with mobility support for mobile devices have been provided. However, the mobility support of a whole BSN has not been fully addressed. This article overviews available handover mechanisms used for wireless sensors mobility and proposes a new ubiquitous mobility approach for BSNs in healthcare. A case study with this new handover mechanism developed for a hospital infirmary is presented and highlights the gain of perfor- mances of the proposed solution.