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Special Issue "Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Applications"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensor Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lorenzo Mucchi
Website
Guest Editor
DINFO, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
Interests: wireless sensors and body area networks; security and privacy; radio propagation and modelling; molecular communications
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Matti Hämäläinen
Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Wireless Communications Finland, Oulu, Finland
Interests: radio channel modelling; UWB systems; wireless sensor and body area networks
Dr. Massimiliano Pierobon
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 68508, USA
Interests: molecular communication theory for nanonetworks, communication engineering applied to intelligent drug delivery systems, and biological circuit network engineering
Dr. Diep Nguyen
Website
Guest Editor
University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Interests: computer networking, wireless communications, machine learning applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Advanced solutions for personal health management, including patients’ health monitoring and risk prediction systems, rely on new technologies for providing trustable measuring and data communications from the data source to the medical health control centre. Wireless body area networks (WBAN) play a key role in this context. The main focus of this Special Issue is personalized medicine: remote monitoring of patients via the adoption of innovative sensors solutions, including implantable sensors, wearable sensors, and sensors and devices for remote diagnosis and for chronic diseases and co-morbidities analysis. Moreover, efficient algorithms for data pre-processing within the sensors, and power optimization strategies and communication mechanisms for the collection of data from sensors (in-body communications) and their transmission to the cloud (out-body communications), are some of the main topics of this Special Issue.

All these topics aim to make the healthcare processes more effective, focusing on various theoretical and experimental views on the WBAN applications, technologies and utilizations based on extended versions of best-evaluated papers from Bodynets 2019, as well as quality papers from open call.

Dr. Lorenzo Mucchi
Dr. Matti Hämäläinen
Dr. Massimiliano Pierobon
Dr. Diep Nguyen
Prof. Giancarlo Fortino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Theoretical Aspects of Resting-State Cardiomyocyte Communication for Multi-Nodal Nano-Actuator Pacemakers
Sensors 2020, 20(10), 2792; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20102792 - 14 May 2020
Abstract
The heart consists of billions of cardiac muscle cells—cardiomyocytes—that work in a coordinated fashion to supply oxygen and nutrients to the body. Inter-connected specialized cardiomyocytes form signaling channels through which the electrical signals are propagated throughout the heart, controlling the heart’s beat to [...] Read more.
The heart consists of billions of cardiac muscle cells—cardiomyocytes—that work in a coordinated fashion to supply oxygen and nutrients to the body. Inter-connected specialized cardiomyocytes form signaling channels through which the electrical signals are propagated throughout the heart, controlling the heart’s beat to beat function of the other cardiac cells. In this paper, we study to what extent it is possible to use ordinary cardiomyocytes as communication channels between components of a recently proposed multi-nodal leadless pacemaker, to transmit data encoded in subthreshold membrane potentials. We analyze signal propagation in the cardiac infrastructure considering noise in the communication channel by performing numerical simulations based on the Luo-Rudy computational model. The Luo-Rudy model is an action potential model but describes the potential changes with time including membrane potential and action potential stages, separated by the thresholding mechanism. Demonstrating system performance, we show that cardiomyocytes can be used to establish an artificial communication system where data are reliably transmitted between 10 s of cells. The proposed subthreshold cardiac communication lays the foundation for a new intra-cardiac communication technique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Evaluation of RTS/CTS Scheme in Beacon-Enabled IEEE 802.15.6 MAC Protocol for Wireless Body Area Networks
Sensors 2020, 20(8), 2368; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20082368 - 22 Apr 2020
Abstract
The IEEE 802.15.6 standard has the potential to provide cost-effective and unobtrusive medical services to individuals with chronic health conditions. It is a low-power standard developed for wireless body area networks and enables wireless communication inside or near a human body. This standard [...] Read more.
The IEEE 802.15.6 standard has the potential to provide cost-effective and unobtrusive medical services to individuals with chronic health conditions. It is a low-power standard developed for wireless body area networks and enables wireless communication inside or near a human body. This standard utilizes a Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) protocol to improve network performance under different channel access priorities. However, the CSMA/CA proposed in the IEEE 802.15.6 standard has poor throughput performance and link reliability when some of the nodes deployed on a human body are hidden from each other. We employ the RTS/CTS scheme to solve hidden node problems in IEEE 802.15.6 networks over a lossy channel. To improve performance of the RTS/CTS scheme, we adjust transmission power levels of the nodes according to transmission failures. We estimate throughput and energy consumption of the proposed model by differentiating several parameters, such as contention window size, values of bit error ratios, number of nodes in different priority classes. The performance results are obtained through analytical approximations and simulations. We observe that the proposed model significantly improves performance of the IEEE 802.15.6 CSMA/CA by resolving hidden node problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN)-Based Telemedicine for Emergency Care
Sensors 2020, 20(7), 2153; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20072153 - 10 Apr 2020
Abstract
This paper is a collection of telemedicine techniques used by wireless body area networks (WBANs) for emergency conditions. Furthermore, Bayes’ theorem is proposed for predicting emergency conditions. With prior knowledge, the posterior probability can be found along with the observed evidence. The probability [...] Read more.
This paper is a collection of telemedicine techniques used by wireless body area networks (WBANs) for emergency conditions. Furthermore, Bayes’ theorem is proposed for predicting emergency conditions. With prior knowledge, the posterior probability can be found along with the observed evidence. The probability of sending emergency messages can be determined using Bayes’ theorem with the likelihood evidence. It can be viewed as medical decision-making, since diagnosis conditions such as emergency monitoring, delay-sensitive monitoring, and general monitoring are analyzed with its network characteristics, including data rate, cost, packet loss rate, latency, and jitter. This paper explains the network model with 16 variables, with one describing immediate consultation, as well as another three describing emergency monitoring, delay-sensitive monitoring, and general monitoring. The remaining 12 variables are observations related to latency, cost, packet loss rate, data rate, and jitter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Mutual Authentication Protocol for D2D Communications in a Cloud-Based E-Health System
Sensors 2020, 20(7), 2072; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20072072 - 07 Apr 2020
Abstract
The development of the Internet of Things (IoT) predicts several new applications, some of which are designed to be incorporated into e-health systems, and some technologies, like cloud computing and device-to-device communication (D2D), are promising for use in the support of resource-constrained devices [...] Read more.
The development of the Internet of Things (IoT) predicts several new applications, some of which are designed to be incorporated into e-health systems, and some technologies, like cloud computing and device-to-device communication (D2D), are promising for use in the support of resource-constrained devices employed in Mobile-health (m-health) and Telecare Medicine Information Systems (TMIS). In a scenario with billions of devices predicted for the IoT, it is essential to avoid performance and security problems, among others. Security is fundamental for the achievement of optimal performance regarding the sensibility of e-health shared data and, especially, the anonymity of patients and other entities, while it is also essential to consider the scarcity of bandwidth in wireless networks. This paper proposes a new mutual authentication protocol for m-health systems, which supports D2D communication, ensuring security and surpassing the performance and security of other authentication procedures reported in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Biometric Identity Based on Intra-Body Communication Channel Characteristics and Machine Learning
Sensors 2020, 20(5), 1421; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20051421 - 05 Mar 2020
Abstract
In this paper, we propose and validate using the Intra-body communications channel as a biometric identity. Combining experimental measurements collected from five subjects and two multi-layer tissue mimicking materials’ phantoms, different machine learning algorithms were used and compared to test and validate using [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose and validate using the Intra-body communications channel as a biometric identity. Combining experimental measurements collected from five subjects and two multi-layer tissue mimicking materials’ phantoms, different machine learning algorithms were used and compared to test and validate using the channel characteristics and features as a biometric identity for subject identification. An accuracy of 98.5% was achieved, together with a precision and recall of 0.984 and 0.984, respectively, when testing the models against subject identification over results collected from the total samples. Using a simple and portable setup, this work shows the feasibility, reliability, and accuracy of the proposed biometric identity, which allows for continuous identification and verification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Towards Wearable-Inertial-Sensor-Based Gait Posture Evaluation for Subjects with Unbalanced Gaits
Sensors 2020, 20(4), 1193; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20041193 - 21 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Human gait reflects health condition and is widely adopted as a diagnostic basis
in clinical practice. This research adopts compact inertial sensor nodes to monitor the function
of human lower limbs, which implies the most fundamental locomotion ability. The proposed
wearable gait analysis [...] Read more.
Human gait reflects health condition and is widely adopted as a diagnostic basis
in clinical practice. This research adopts compact inertial sensor nodes to monitor the function
of human lower limbs, which implies the most fundamental locomotion ability. The proposed
wearable gait analysis system captures limb motion and reconstructs 3D models with high accuracy.
It can output the kinematic parameters of joint flexion and extension, as well as the displacement
data of human limbs. The experimental results provide strong support for quick access to accurate
human gait data. This paper aims to provide a clue for how to learn more about gait posture
and how wearable gait analysis can enhance clinical outcomes. With an ever-expanding gait database,
it is possible to help physiotherapists to quickly discover the causes of abnormal gaits, sports injury
risks, and chronic pain, and provides guidance for arranging personalized rehabilitation programs
for patients. The proposed framework may eventually become a useful tool for continually monitoring
spatio-temporal gait parameters and decision-making in an ambulatory environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Fuzzy Logic and Bio-Inspired Firefly Algorithm Based Routing Scheme in Intrabody Nanonetworks
Sensors 2019, 19(24), 5526; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19245526 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
An intrabody nanonetwork (IBNN) is composed of nanoscale (NS) devices, implanted inside the human body for collecting diverse physiological information for diagnostic and treatment purposes. The unique constraints of these NS devices in terms of energy, storage and computational resources are the primary [...] Read more.
An intrabody nanonetwork (IBNN) is composed of nanoscale (NS) devices, implanted inside the human body for collecting diverse physiological information for diagnostic and treatment purposes. The unique constraints of these NS devices in terms of energy, storage and computational resources are the primary challenges in the effective designing of routing protocols in IBNNs. Our proposed work explicitly considers these limitations and introduces a novel energy-efficient routing scheme based on a fuzzy logic and bio-inspired firefly algorithm. Our proposed fuzzy logic-based correlation region selection and bio-inspired firefly algorithm based nano biosensors (NBSs) nomination jointly contribute to energy conservation by minimizing transmission of correlated spatial data. Our proposed fuzzy logic-based correlation region selection mechanism aims at selecting those correlated regions for data aggregation that are enriched in terms of energy and detected information. While, for the selection of NBSs, we proposed a new bio-inspired firefly algorithm fitness function. The fitness function considers the transmission history and residual energy of NBSs to avoid exhaustion of NBSs in transmitting invaluable information. We conduct extensive simulations using the Nano-SIM tool to validate the in-depth impact of our proposed scheme in saving energy resources, reducing end-to-end delay and improving packet delivery ratio. The detailed comparison of our proposed scheme with different scenarios and flooding scheme confirms the significance of the optimized selection of correlated regions and NBSs in improving network lifetime and packet delivery ratio while reducing the average end-to-end delay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling and Characterization of Capacitive Coupling Intrabody Communication in an In-Vehicle Scenario
Sensors 2019, 19(19), 4305; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19194305 - 04 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Intrabody communication (IBC) has drawn extensive attention in the field of ubiquitous healthcare, entertainment, and more. Until now, most studies on the modeling and characterization of capacitive coupling IBC have been conducted in open space, while influences when using metallic-enclosed environments such as [...] Read more.
Intrabody communication (IBC) has drawn extensive attention in the field of ubiquitous healthcare, entertainment, and more. Until now, most studies on the modeling and characterization of capacitive coupling IBC have been conducted in open space, while influences when using metallic-enclosed environments such as a car, airplane, or elevator have not yet been considered. In this paper, we aimed to systematically investigate the grounding effect of an enclosed metal wall of a vehicle on the transmission path loss, utilizing the finite element method (FEM) to model capacitive coupling IBC in an in-vehicle scenario. The results of a simulation and experimental validation indicated that the system gain in an in-vehicle scenario increased up to 7 dB compared to in open space. The modeling and characterization achieved in this paper of capacitive coupling IBC could facilitate an intrabody sensor design and an evaluation with great flexibility to meet the performance needs of an in-vehicle use scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Body Area Networks for Health Applications)
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