Body Area Network

How has body area network become the core of the medical sector?

Today, networking media has been explored throughout the world in different fields including health departments and computer networking. To find chronic diseases in the human body, a network has been created. This network is termed as a body area network (BAN). Typically, the body area network can be described as the different kinds of n/w involved in monitoring and detecting the entire human body system. It’s also called the body sensor network.

All that we need to know about a body area network?

A body area network or a wireless body area network (WBAN) is a wearable computer device’s wireless n/w. Such instruments can be put in a specific position in the human body or can be surface mounted on the human body. Increasing focus on wearable devices like glasses, watches, has resulted in a greater focus on wireless networking.

A BAN field is a specific area that could allow cheap and continuous medical records to be tracked over the Internet. Various smart physiological sensors can be integrated into a WBAN and can be used for detecting medical conditions. This area relies on the viability of inside the human body before the physician inserts small biosensors. The human body’s fixed sensors will collect various physiological variations to examine the patient’s health status.

  1. Innovations & Developments

Advancements in wireless technology have prompted wireless body area networks (WBAN) being evolved. In this technology, a set of communicating devices are placed around the human body. IEEE 802.15 Working Group formed a body area network study group to create standards for the use of wireless technologies for medical device communication in different healthcare services.

There is a broad range of possible applications and user situations in hospitals, homes, and gyms. Wearable applications cover healthcare, body automation, medical monitoring, entertainment, and body interaction. Further, implantable applications include medical implants, e.g. capsule endoscope and pacemakers.

Using Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), the system is designed for optimum battery life. In this, individual sensors only interact with the personal server in a WBAN that communicates with the home server, usually connected to the Internet. The operating scenarios are determined in IEEE 802.15.6, on the basis of the location of the communicating nodes, i.e. implant, body surface, and external positions.

  1. Application zones of the wireless body area network technology

Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) applications are usually limited. The constant research and development are going to expand its range of applications in this area. The application of WBAN is mainly found in medical and healthcare systems. WBAN’s primary applications are as follows:

  • Biofeedback

Remote human body monitoring can be done through WBAN. It is possible to access the data gathered by sensors to collect valuable parameters from the body. Patients can care for and maintain their health through biofeedback mechanisms such as temperature analysis, detection of blood pressure, ECG, etc. Biofeedback was introduced for helping with maintenance and improvement of health by tools that track body movements continuously. This will create awareness of some physiological behaviors.

  • Rehabilitation

Patients can regain their normal functional capacities through rehabilitative treatments. Proper steps of recovery and therapy will allow a person who has had a stroke, to work independently. For maintaining a proper movement pattern, these patients are closely monitored. WBAN’s main application in this field involves diversification of sensors, data fusion, real-time feedback, and home-based recovery health through tools that track body activities constantly.

  • Remote Patient Monitoring

The primary uses of WBAN are telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. Telemedicine uses information technology to diagnose and treat patients located at a remote location. WBAN has made it possible to provide patients at a distant location with healthcare services. It is possible to treat even more patients using telemedicine.

Body sensors collect body signals and transfer them for processing to remote physicians and doctors. Doctors can use this information for medical diagnosis and prescription health calculations. This will conjure up an integrated system of healthcare. Patients’ daily activities can be tracked in order to gather critical parameters from the human body.

  1. Wearable wireless body area network technology for remote physiological signal monitoring system

Ischemic disease and stroke are known to be the leading cause of death in the world’s population. Stress, lifestyle change, unhealthy food habits, smoking & alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, etc. are the causes of these diseases. Proper health management is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes hospital visits and lacking regular health check-ups.

The health status of patients must be tracked non-invasively and at the initial stage of the disease. Non-invasive instruments for testing different physiological parameters for use in hospitals, clinics, and at home are widely available in the market. Yet there is a need to monitor individuals’ health status when conducting their daily tasks, which is possible through the use of a Wearable Physiological Monitoring System (WPMS).

Owing to their rise in technological advances, wearable remote health monitoring systems have gained significant popularity in recent years. Wearable Body Area Networks (WBAN) is one type of the Wearable Physiological Monitoring System (WPMS) used for tracking the wearer’s health status for a long period.

To sum up

The body area network market is projected to proliferate at a rapid pace. Technologies used in networking in the body area keep evolving rapidly as the field exists in early maturity stages. With the emergence of health and fitness applications, smartwatches, and wearable devices, ‘digital wellness’ continues to play a greater role in daily lives.

Several research studies clarify that demand for remote monitoring and diagnostics will keep rising in the healthcare sector over the coming years and studies also explain that the trend will continue.