6th Annual International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services

Research Article

Security for Pervasive Medical Sensor Networks

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        author={Oscar Garcia-Morchon and Thomas Falck and Tobias Heer and Klaus Wehrle},
        title={Security for Pervasive Medical Sensor Networks},
        proceedings={6th Annual International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services},
        keywords={Medical Information Systems Medical Sensor Network Patient Area Network Security.},
  • Oscar Garcia-Morchon
    Thomas Falck
    Tobias Heer
    Klaus Wehrle
    Year: 2009
    Security for Pervasive Medical Sensor Networks
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.MOBIQUITOUS2009.6832
Oscar Garcia-Morchon1,*, Thomas Falck1,*, Tobias Heer2,*, Klaus Wehrle2,*
  • 1: Distributed Sensor Systems at Philips Research Europe, Netherlands.
  • 2: Distributed Systems at RWTH Aachen University, Germany.
*Contact email: oscar.garcia@philips.com, thomas.falck@philips.com, tobias.heer@rwth-aachen.de, Klaus.wehrle@rwth-aachen.de


Wireless sensor networks are going to allow for ubiquitous health monitoring, improving users’ well-being, the healthcare system, and helping to quickly react on emergency situations. Meeting the strict security needs of these ubiquitous medical applications is a big challenge, since safety and privacy of medical data has to be guaranteed all the way from the sensor nodes to the back-end services, the system has to fulfill latency needs, and lots of mobility is expected. In this paper, we introduce a deployment model for wireless sensor networks for pervasive healthcare based on the concepts of patient area networks and medical sensor networks, and propose a complete and efficient security framework for them. Our security framework is organized into three layers, addressing the operational requirements and security needs at the patient area network, medical sensor network and back-end levels. We specify how these layers are interconnected with each other as well as the needed security mechanisms that allow for the efficient and practical deployment of secure pervasive healthcare systems based on wireless sensor networks.