Electronic Healthcare. Third International Conference, eHealth 2010, Casablanca, Morocco, December 13-15, 2010, Revised Selected Papers

Research Article

Experimental Evaluation of IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee for Multi-patient ECG Monitoring

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-642-23635-8_23,
        author={Helena Fern\^{a}ndez-L\^{o}pez and Jos\^{e} Correia and Ricardo Sim\"{o}es and Jos\^{e} Afonso},
        title={Experimental Evaluation of IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee for Multi-patient ECG Monitoring},
        proceedings={Electronic Healthcare. Third International Conference, eHealth 2010, Casablanca, Morocco, December 13-15, 2010, Revised Selected Papers},
        proceedings_a={E-HEALTH},
        year={2012},
        month={10},
        keywords={ZigBee wireless sensor networks e-Health remote vital signs monitoring},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-642-23635-8_23}
    }
    
  • Helena Fernández-López
    José Correia
    Ricardo Simões
    José Afonso
    Year: 2012
    Experimental Evaluation of IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee for Multi-patient ECG Monitoring
    E-HEALTH
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-23635-8_23
Helena Fernández-López1,*, José Correia1,*, Ricardo Simões,*, José Afonso1,*
  • 1: University of Minho
*Contact email: hlopez@dei.uminho.pt, higino.correia@dei.uminho.pt, rsimoes@dep.uminho.pt, jose.afonso@dei.uminho.pt

Abstract

IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are a promising alternative to cabled systems for patient monitoring in hospitals. Some areas where monitoring systems based on WSNs can be successfully used are ambulatory, waiting and triage rooms, post-op, and emergency rooms. The low power and small size ZigBee devices have the ability to form self-configuring networks that can extend themselves through a hospital wing or floor. Using spatially distributed networks, it is possible to cover an extended area and serve several patients. However, the low data rate protocols provided by IEEE 802.15.4 poses several challenges, mainly because its protocols were primarily designed to operate in low traffic load scenarios, whereas some vital signs sensors generate a large volume of data. This work presents an experimental evaluation of the performance of multi-hop ZigBee networks comprised of several nodes that carry the traffic of wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors. The results indicate that star networks can relay 100% of the traffic generated by at least 12 ECG nodes. In tree topologies, the increase of the network traffic load reduces the performance but even these networks can reliably relay the traffic of a considerable number of ECG nodes.