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A Survey on LPWAN Technologies in WBAN for Remote Health-Care Monitoring

1
Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Pretoria 0184, South Africa
3
Department of Computer Science, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5268; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19235268
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 21 November 2019 / Accepted: 21 November 2019 / Published: 29 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)
In ubiquitous health-care monitoring (HCM), wireless body area networks (WBANs) are envisioned as appealing solutions that may offer reliable methods for real-time monitoring of patients’ health conditions by employing the emerging communication technologies. This paper therefore focuses more on the state-of-the-art wireless communication systems that can be explored in the next-generation WBAN solutions for HCM. Also, this study addressed the critical issues confronted by the existing WBANs that are employed in HCM. Examples of such issues include wide-range health data communication constraint, health data delivery reliability concern, and energy efficiency, which are attributed to the limitations of the legacy short range, medium range, and the cellular technologies that are typically employed in WBAN systems. Since the WBAN sensor devices are usually configured with a finite battery power, they often get drained during prolonged operations. This phenomenon is technically exacerbated by the fact that the legacy communication systems, such as ZigBee, Bluetooth, 6LoWPAN, and so on, consume more energy during data communications. This unfortunate situation offers a scope for employing suitable communication systems identified in this study to improve the productivity of WBANs in HCM. For this to be achieved, the emerging communication systems such as the low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) are investigated in this study based on their power transmission, data transmission rate, data reliability in the context of efficient data delivery, communication coverage, and latency, including their advantages, as well as disadvantages. As a consequence, the LPWAN solutions are presented for WBAN systems in remote HCM. Furthermore, this research work also points out future directions for the realization of the next-generation of WBANs, as well as how to improve the identified communication systems, to further enhance their productivity in WBAN solutions for HCM. View Full-Text
Keywords: 5G; energy efficiency; health-care monitoring; LoRa; LPWAN; NB-IoT; Sigfox; WBAN; medical nanosensors; cloud computing 5G; energy efficiency; health-care monitoring; LoRa; LPWAN; NB-IoT; Sigfox; WBAN; medical nanosensors; cloud computing
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Olatinwo, D.D.; Abu-Mahfouz, A.; Hancke, G. A Survey on LPWAN Technologies in WBAN for Remote Health-Care Monitoring. Sensors 2019, 19, 5268.

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