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Patient data monitoring is a key issue for health and disease management. The use of wireless sensors within a body area network (BAN) makes this task seamless and easy. A BAN system is presented, which allows the connectivity of a wide range of heterogeneous body sensors to a portable hub device that is connectable to external networks (IEEE 802.11, GPRS). This BAN is based on the use of Zigbee/IEEE 802.15.4 standard technology and off-the-shelf modules. It is currently being used at the European level for the detection and the prediction of the human physiological state in relation to wakefulness, fatigue, and stress applications in which users carrying out daily activities are monitored in an unobtrusive and comfortable way. Characterised by its low power consumption, low cost, and ability to connect a wide range of heterogeneous sensors, this system can substantially improve the performance of different services, especially those that are health related.
Date of Publication: February 2008