3d International ICST Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare

Research Article

A context aware wireless body area network (BAN)

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        author={Tony O'Donovan and John O'Donoghue and Cormac Sreenan and David Sammon and Philip O'Reilly and Kieran A. O'Connor},
        title={A context aware wireless body area network (BAN)},
        proceedings={3d International ICST Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare},
        keywords={Biomedical monitoring Blood pressure Body sensor networks Context awareness Educational institutions Electrocardiography Laboratories Patient monitoring Protocols Wireless sensor networks},
  • Tony O'Donovan
    John O'Donoghue
    Cormac Sreenan
    David Sammon
    Philip O'Reilly
    Kieran A. O'Connor
    Year: 2009
    A context aware wireless body area network (BAN)
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.PERVASIVEHEALTH2009.5987
Tony O'Donovan1, John O'Donoghue2, Cormac Sreenan1, David Sammon2, Philip O'Reilly2, Kieran A. O'Connor3
  • 1: Mobile and Internet Systems Laboratory, Dept. of Computer Science, University College Cork, Ireland.
  • 2: Business Information Systems, University College Cork, Ireland.
  • 3: Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland


In monitoring a patient's real-time vital signs through Body Area Networks (BAN), rich data sources are communicated to medical practitioners. The benefit of BANs may be negated if medical practitioners are overloaded with streams of BAN data. It is essential that data is delivered in a timely context aware manner. In this paper a BAN designed for falls assessment among elder patients (65+ years) is presented, with an emphasis on the communication scheme chosen. The FrameComm MAC protocol described in this paper employs three data management techniques, 1) message priority, 2) opportunistic aggregation and 3) an adaptive duty cycle, all of which are designed to ensure that patient vital signs (i.e. data packets) are delivered under a variety of network loads. The protocol is evaluated using a small laboratory network, initially configured to communicate Beat-to-Beat (continuous blood pressure) readings when a patient goes from a sitting to a standing position and then with added ECG (ElectroCardioGram) readings.