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access icon free Body-centric wireless hospital patient monitoring networks using body-contoured flexible antennas

This study presents empirical results from a measurement campaign to investigate futuristic body-centric medical mesh networks for a hospitalised patient using flexible body-contouring antennas. It studies path loss in a medical environment (in a hospital bed in an open hospital ward) for ultra-wideband (UWB) and four narrowband schemes concurrently. It firstly investigates the antenna contouring effects due to mounting the flexible antennas on various body surfaces, then uses statistical analysis to explore optimal body locations for a master node to inform the allocation of processing power (assuming point-to-point link from other nodes). Results indicated how the most suitable body location varies depending on the posture and frequency scheme used. Also investigated are best route selections for multi-hop mesh network topologies for opportunistic networking for each of the presented postures and frequencies; this reveals how fewer hops were required to navigate around the narrowband network compared to UWB which effectively reduces required processing power and data traffic. Understanding how disparate body-centric medical devices communicate with one another in a body-mesh network is instrumental to the strategic and informed development of next generation healthcare patient monitoring solutions.

http://iet.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1049/iet-map.2017.0604
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