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The field of Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) has been growing considerably in the last years. A WBAN enables to monitor vital body signs through the placement of sensors on the human body and offers to patients more flexibility and mobility. In this paper, we examine the Quality of Service (QoS) performance metrics evaluation (single and multi-hop topology) of the Scheduled Channel Polling-MAC (SCP) protocol, whilst considering the IEEE 802.15.4 standard in the context of remote patient monitoring applications. We applied the MiXiM Framework (based on OMNeT++) in the network simulations. Our simulations results help to clarify some missing aspects in the original SCP protocol description. The IEEE 802.15.4 compliant Medium Access Control (MAC) is compared with the MAC layer in the absence of the IEEE 802.15.4, leading to similar values for the throughput in saturated conditions. The results also show that considering low duty cycles, the use of IEEE 802.15.4 leads to lower energy. For multi-hop experiments in high duty cycles, the energy consumptions are lower with the AT86RF231 transceiver, comparing with the CC1100 and CC2420. Future work includes the adaptation of the SCP protocol to the IEEE 802.15.6 standard, which has been specially developed to optimize the WBAN performance at the physical and MAC layers.
Date of Conference: 27-29 April 2011