Body Area Networks: Smart IoT and Big Data for Intelligent Health Management. 14th EAI International Conference, BODYNETS 2019, Florence, Italy, October 2-3, 2019, Proceedings

Research Article

Optical Wireless Data Transfer Through Biotissues: Practical Evidence and Initial Results

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-030-34833-5_16,
        author={Iqrar Ahmed and Alexander Bykov and Alexey Popov and Igor Meglinski and Marcos Katz},
        title={Optical Wireless Data Transfer Through Biotissues: Practical Evidence and Initial Results},
        proceedings={Body Area Networks:  Smart IoT and Big Data for Intelligent Health Management. 14th EAI International Conference, BODYNETS 2019, Florence, Italy, October 2-3, 2019, Proceedings},
        proceedings_a={BODYNETS},
        year={2019},
        month={11},
        keywords={Near-infrared communications Biological tissue Optical wireless communications Implantable medical devices Medical wireless communications Medical technology WBAN},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-030-34833-5_16}
    }
    
  • Iqrar Ahmed
    Alexander Bykov
    Alexey Popov
    Igor Meglinski
    Marcos Katz
    Year: 2019
    Optical Wireless Data Transfer Through Biotissues: Practical Evidence and Initial Results
    BODYNETS
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-34833-5_16
Iqrar Ahmed1,*, Alexander Bykov1, Alexey Popov1, Igor Meglinski1, Marcos Katz1
  • 1: University of Oulu
*Contact email: iqrar.ahmed@oulu.fi

Abstract

Light has been used in many medical applications to monitor health status and diagnose diseases. Examples include optical sensing through nearinfrared (NIR) spectroscopy, optical coherence tomography, and pulse oximetry. In this article, we propose and demonstrate digital communications through biological tissues using near-infrared light. There are many possible uses to an optical system transmitting information across tissues. In current practices, implants predominantly use radio frequency (RF) radiation for communication. However, molecular biology restricts use of the RF in terms of power, frequency etc., while interference and security issues represent technological challenges in RF communication. In this paper, we demonstrate a novel way of employing NIR light for wireless transmission of data through biological tissues. A phantom mimicking a biological tissue is illuminated with a NIR 810 nm wavelength light-emitting diode (LED), and a light detector with line-of-sight alignment is placed on receiving end. An experimental testbed for Optical Communications through Biotissue (OCBT) was designed and implemented using mostly off-the-shelf components. Measurements for different levels of optical output power and thicknesses were carried out. Transmission rates as high as several tens of kilobits-per-second across several millimeters of tissues were achieved. Hardware limitations in modulating the baseband signal prevented achieving higher data rates. In addition, a high-resolution picture was successfully transmitted through biotissue. The communication system as well as details of the testbed implementations are presented in this paper. Moreover, initial performance measures as well as suggestions for potential use of this optical communication system are also presented and discussed.