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A Survey on Intrabody Communications for Body Area Network Applications

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4 Author(s)
Seyedi, M. ; Coll. of Eng. & Sci, Victoria Univ., Footscray, VIC, Australia ; Kibret, B. ; Lai, D.T.H. ; Faulkner, M.

The rapid increase in healthcare demand has seen novel developments in health monitoring technologies, such as the body area networks (BAN) paradigm. BAN technology envisions a network of continuously operating sensors, which measure critical physical and physiological parameters e.g., mobility, heart rate, and glucose levels. Wireless connectivity in BAN technology is key to its success as it grants portability and flexibility to the user. While radio frequency (RF) wireless technology has been successfully deployed in most BAN implementations, they consume a lot of battery power, are susceptible to electromagnetic interference and have security issues. Intrabody communication (IBC) is an alternative wireless communication technology which uses the human body as the signal propagation medium. IBC has characteristics that could naturally address the issues with RF for BAN technology. This survey examines the on-going research in this area and highlights IBC core fundamentals, current mathematical models of the human body, IBC transceiver designs, and the remaining research challenges to be addressed. IBC has exciting prospects for making BAN technologies more practical in the future.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 8 )