Scenarios and applications for wearable technologies and WBSNs with energy harvesting

Scenarios and applications for wearable technologies and WBSNs with energy harvesting

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The tremendous advances in radio communications and ultra-low power (ULP) electronics have enabled the development of communicating biomedical sensors for the continuous monitoring of patients' physiological signals. In the last decade, much research has been done towards the advancement of wireless body area network (WBAN) technology, resulting in the release of the IEEE 802.15.6-2012 standard for the interconnection of wearable and implantable biomedical sensors. This chapter provides an overview of the sets of wireless body sensor network (WBSN) applications, as well as of their characterization parameters. One of the key requirements for widespread adoption of the WBSN technology for daily healthcare is, however, the ease of use of the sensing devices. From the patient's perspective, this means that besides being small, unobtrusive and ergonomic, WBAN nodes have to be capable of long-term operation without the need to frequently charge, recharge or even use batteries. Although the recent advances in ULP electronics have reduced the power consumption of major WBSN node components to the sub-milliwatt (sub-mW) level, the vision for uninterrupted self-powered WBANs has yet to be realized. Energy harvesting (EH), i.e. taking energy from ambient sources to power autonomous wireless networked systems, is a developing technology with a tremendous potential to complement ULP electronics towards the realization of this vision, thereby enabling the perpetual remote monitoring of a patient's vital signs. An integrated circuit (IC) that integrates most of network functionalities onto low power wearable systems has been introduced as well.

Chapter Contents:

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Classification of applications and characterization parameters
  • 2.3 Spectrum opportunities for RF-EH
  • 2.4 RF-EH solutions for WBAN
  • 2.4.1 Single-band RF-EH solutions
  • 2.4.2 Multi-band RF-EH solutions in the GSM 900/1800 bands
  • 2.4.3 Supercapacitor-based energy storing system
  • 2.5 MAC for opportunistic RF-EH for WBAN
  • 2.5.1 Double stage MAC for radio cognitive networks
  • 2.5.2 Opportunistic RF-EH for WBAN
  • 2.6 An integrated circuit for low power wearable system
  • 2.7 Discussion and concluding remarks
  • References

Inspec keywords: power consumption; physiology; energy harvesting; patient monitoring; power integrated circuits; wireless sensor networks; biomedical equipment; telecommunication power management; body area networks; biomedical communication; low-power electronics; body sensor networks; health care

Other keywords: patient vital signs; wireless body sensor network applications; radiocommunications; ULP electronics; WBSN node components; biomedical sensors; ultra-low power electronics; wearable sensors; autonomous wireless networked systems; power consumption reduction; continuous monitoring; IEEE 802.15.6-2012 standard; wireless body area network technology; characterization parameters; daily healthcare; physiological signals; WBSN technology; implantable biomedical sensors; energy harvesting; network functionalities; uninterrupted self-powered WBAN; low power wearable systems; long-term operation; perpetual remote monitoring; integrated circuit; sensing devices

Subjects: Energy harvesting; Power electronics, supply and supervisory circuits; Wireless sensor networks; Sensing devices and transducers; Biomedical communication

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