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We propose the cross-layer based battery-aware time division multiple access (TDMA) medium access control (MAC) protocols for wireless body-area monitoring networks in wireless healthcare applications. By taking into account the joint effect of electrochemical properties of the battery, time-varying wireless fading channels, and packet queuing characteristics, our proposed schemes are designed to prolong the battery lifespan of the wireless sensor nodes while guaranteeing the reliable and timely message delivery, which is critically important for the patient monitoring networks. In addition, we develop a Markov chain model to analyze the performance of our proposed schemes. Both the obtained analytical and simulation results show that our proposed schemes can significantly increase the battery lifespan of sensor nodes while satisfying the reliability and delay-bound quality of service (QoS) requirements for wireless body-area monitoring networks. Furthermore, the case study of the electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring application shows that besides meeting the delay requirements, our proposed schemes outperform the IEEE 802.15.4 and Bluetooth protocols in terms of battery lifespan.
Date of Publication: May 2009