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A body area network (BAN), also referred to as a wireless body area network (WBAN) or a body sensor network (BSN), is a wireless network of wearable computing devices.[1][2][3][4] BAN devices may be embedded inside the body, implants, may be surface-mounted on the body in a fixed position "Wearable technology or may be accompanied devices which humans can carry in different positions, in clothes pockets, by hand or in various bags.[5] Whilst there is a trend towards the miniaturization of devices, in particular, networks consisting of several miniaturized body sensor units (BSUs) together with a single body central unit (BCU).[6][7] Larger decimeter (tab and pad) sized "smart devices, accompanied devices, still play an important role in terms of acting as a data hub, data gateway and providing a user interface to view and manage BAN applications, in-situ. The development of WBAN technology started around 1995 around the idea of using "wireless personal area network (WPAN) technologies to implement communications on, near, and around the human body. About six years later, the term "BAN" came to refer systems where communication is entirely within, on, and in the immediate proximity of a human body.[8][9] A WBAN system can use WPAN wireless technologies as gateways to reach longer ranges. Through gateway devices, it is possible to connect the wearable devices on the human body to the internet. This way, medical professionals can access patient data online using the internet independent of the patient location.[10]



The rapid growth in physiological sensors, low-power integrated circuits, and wireless communication has enabled a new generation of "wireless sensor networks, now used for purposes such as monitoring traffic, crops, infrastructure, and health. The body area network field is an interdisciplinary area which could allow inexpensive and continuous health monitoring with real-time updates of medical records through the Internet. A number of intelligent physiological sensors can be integrated into a wearable wireless body area network, which can be used for computer-assisted rehabilitation or early detection of medical conditions. This area relies on the feasibility of implanting very small biosensors inside the human body that are comfortable and that don't impair normal activities. The implanted sensors in the human body will collect various physiological changes in order to monitor the patient's health status no matter their location. The information will be transmitted wirelessly to an external processing unit. This device will instantly transmit all information in real time to the doctors throughout the world. If an emergency is detected, the physicians will immediately inform the patient through the computer system by sending appropriate messages or alarms. Currently the level of information provided and energy resources capable of powering the sensors are limiting. While the technology is still in its primitive stage it is being widely researched and once adopted, is expected to be a breakthrough invention in "healthcare, leading to concepts like "telemedicine and "mHealth becoming real.


Initial applications of BANs are expected to appear primarily in the healthcare domain, especially for continuous monitoring and logging vital parameters of patients suffering from "chronic diseases such as "diabetes, "asthma and "heart attacks.

Other applications of this technology include sports, military, or security. Extending the technology to new areas could also assist communication by seamless exchanges of information between individuals, or between individual and machines.


The latest international standard for BANs is the "IEEE 802.15.6 standard.[11]


Body Sensor

A typical BAN or BSN requires vital sign monitoring "sensors, motion detectors (through "accelerometers) to help identify the location of the monitored individual and some form of communication, to transmit vital sign and motion readings to medical practitioners or care givers. A typical body area network kit will consist of sensors, a "Processor, a "transceiver and a "battery. Physiological sensors, such as "ECG and "SpO2 sensors, have been developed. Other sensors such as a blood pressure sensor, "EEG sensor and a "PDA for BSN interface are under development.[12]

Wireless communication in the U.S.[edit]

The FCC has approved the allocation of 40 MHz of spectrum bandwidth for medical BAN low-power, wide-area radio links at the 2360-2400 MHz band. This will allow off-loading MBAN communication from the already saturated standard Wi-Fi spectrum to a standard band.[13]

The 2360-2390 MHz frequency range is available on a secondary basis. The FCC will expand the existing Medical Device Radiocommunication (MedRadio) Service in Part 95 of its rules. MBAN devices using the band will operate under a ‘license-by-rule’ basis which eliminates the need to apply for individual transmitter licenses. Usage of the 2360-2390 MHz frequencies are restricted to indoor operation at health-care facilities and are subject to registration and site approval by coordinators to protect aeronautical telemetry primary usage. Operation in the 2390-2400 MHz band is not subject to registration or coordination and may be used in all areas including residential.[14]


Problems with the use of this technology could include:

Besides hardware-centric challenges, the following human-centric challenges should be addressed for practical BAN development. These include [21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Developing wireless body area networks standard
  2. ^ Sana Ullah, Henry Higgins, Bart Braem, Benoit Latre, Chris Blondia, Ingrid Moerman, Shahnaz Saleem, Ziaur Rahman and Kyung Sup Kwak, A Comprehensive Survey of Wireless Body Area Networks: On PHY, MAC, and Network Layers Solutions, Journal of Medical Systems (Springer), 2010. "doi:10.1007/s10916-010-9571-3.
  3. ^ Chen, Min; Gonzalez, Sergio; Vasilakos, Athanasios; Cao, Huasong; Leung, Victor (2010). "Body Area Networks: A Survey" (PDF). Mobile Networks and Applications (MONET). Springer Netherlands. 16 (2): 1–23. "doi:10.1007/s11036-010-0260-8. "ISSN 1383-469X. 
  4. ^ Movassaghi, Samaneh; Abolhasan, Mehran; Lipman, Justin; Smith, David; Jamalipour, Abbas (2014). "Wireless Body Area Networks: A Survey". IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials. IEEE. 
  5. ^ Poslad, Stefan (2009). Ubiquitous Computing Smart Devices, Smart Environments and Smart Interaction. Wiley. "ISBN "978-0-470-03560-3. 
  6. ^ Schmidt R, Norgall T, Mörsdorf J, Bernhard J, von der Grün T (2002). "Body Area Network BAN--a key infrastructure element for patient-centered medical applications". Biomed Tech. 47 (1): 365–8. "doi:10.1515/bmte.2002.47.s1a.365. "PMID 12451866. 
  7. ^ O'Donovan, T., O'Donoghue, J., Sreenan, C., O'Reilly, P., Sammon, D. and O'Connor, K.: A Context Aware Wireless Body Area Network (BAN), In proceedings of the Pervasive Health Conference 2009,
  8. ^ M. R. Yuce (2010). "Implementation of wireless body area networks for healthcare systems". Sensors and Actuators A: Physical. 162: 116–129. "doi:10.1016/j.sna.2010.06.004. 
  9. ^ http://doc.utwente.nl/66761/1/WG1_Val_Jones_Richard_Bults.pdf
  10. ^ M. R. Yuce & J. Y. Khan (2011). "Wireless Body Area Networks: Technology, Implementation, and Applications". Pan Stanford Publishing. Retrieved December 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= ("help)
  11. ^ IEEE P802.15.6-2012 Standard for Wireless Body Area Networks
  12. ^ http://vip.doc.ic.ac.uk/bsn/m621.html
  13. ^ "'Body Area Networks' should free hospital bandwidth, untether patients - Computerworld". Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  14. ^ "FCC Dedicates Spectrum Enabling Medical Body Area Networks | FCC.gov". Retrieved 2012-06-06. 
  15. ^ On Vulnerabilities of the Security Association in the IEEE 802.15.6 Standard Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Wearable Security and Privacy (Wearable'15), 2015.
  16. ^ O?Donoghue, J. Herbert, J. and Fensli, R.: Sensor Validation within a Pervasive Medical Environment, In Proceedings of IEEE Sensors, South Korea, "ISBN 1-4244-0376-6, 2006.
  17. ^ [1] O?Donoghue, J., Herbert, J. and Kennedy, R.: Data Consistency within a Pervasive Medical Environment, In Proceedings of IEEE Sensors, South Korea, "ISBN 1-4244-0376-6, 2006.
  18. ^ "Implementation of wireless body area networks for healthcare systems". Sensors and Actuators A: Physical. 162: 116–129. "doi:10.1016/j.sna.2010.06.004. 
  19. ^ Garcia P., "A Methodology for the Deployment of Sensor Networks", IEEE Transactions On Knowledge And Data Engineering, vol. 11, no. 4, December 2011.
  20. ^ "Data Management Within mHealth Environments: Patient Sensors, Mobile Devices, and Databases". J. Data and Information Quality. 1: 5:1–5:20. "doi:10.1145/2378016.2378021. 
  21. ^ Lai, D. , Begg, R.K. and Palaniswami, M. eds, Healthcare Sensor Networks: Challenges towards practical implementation, "ISBN 978-1-4398-2181-7, 2011
  22. ^ https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/research/misl/2009publications/pervasive09.pdf

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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