A Wireless Body Area Network System for Monitoring Physical Activities and Health-Status via the Internet
Abstract: Recent technological advances in wireless communications, mobile computation, and sensor technologies have enabled the development of low-cost, miniature, lightweight,intelligent wireless sensor devices or “motes”. A collection of these devices can beplaced strategically on the key positions of the human body and connected by meansof a wireless network to form a Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN). WBAN has recently attracted a great deal of attention from researchers both inacademia as well as industry. This is primarily due to its unique capabilities and promising applications in areas like healthcare, fitness, sports, military and security. Inthe healthcare domain, WBAN promises to revolutionize healthcare system throughallowing inexpensive, unobtrusive, non-invasive, ambulatory monitoring of human’shealth-status anytime, anywhere. In this thesis, we propose a WBAN-based prototype system for remotely monitoring mobile user’s physical activities and health-status via the Internet. The system consistsof a WBAN and a remote monitoring server (RS). The WBAN comprises a personalserver (PS) and a number of custom-made wireless sensor nodes each featuring amotion sensor for monitoring physical activity, and a temperature sensor formonitoring body temperature. The PS is a minicomputer equipped with a GPSreceiver for tracking and monitoring user’s location, a ZigBee module forcommunication with the sensor nodes, and a GPRS module for communication withthe RMS. The RMS is an internet enabled PC. The sensors measure body motions and temperature and send the measurement datato the PS via a ZigBee network. The PS collects the data, process them and uploadsthem via GPRS to the RMS where the data can be visualized and displayed for userinspection and/or stored in a filesystem/database for post analysis. Currently the system is in a prototype phase and is developed as a proof-of-concept.The proposed system, once perfected, can be used in different application scenarios.For example, for remotely monitoring elderly people, people with disabilities, patientsundergoing physical rehabilitations, athletes or soldiers during training/exercises, etc.
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