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Minimally invasive surgery (MIS), where the surgeon operates trough small incisions, can greatly benefit from wireless sensor technology. Wireless body area networks are a promising field that is able to increase sensing ability in the patient while being almost unobtrusive, which is an important requirement in this type of surgery. In many cases, wired sensors must also be used in order to support this surgery effectively but integration of these with wireless sensors in not seamless. Also, current applications supporting MIS lack safety mechanisms to guarantee correct network operation or recovery from problems. We developed a middleware component that is able to manage connectivity and interaction between the sensors in the operating room, and applications using them. The middleware component, manages which nodes are allowed to be part of the network, provides a transparent interface between nodes and offers quality of service mechanisms based on application requirements. Such a component not only helps in the integration of all the nodes but increases safety of the network, a very important issue when developing medical applications.
Date of Conference: 3-5 Feb. 2010