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We present a simple but effective handoff protocol that enables continuous monitoring of ambulatory patients at home by means of resource-limited sensors. Our proposed system implements a 2-tier network: one created by wearable sensors used for vital signs collection, and another by a point-to-point link established between the body sensor network coordinator device and a fixed access point (AP). Upon experiencing poor signal reception in the latter network tier when the patient moves, the AP may instruct the sensor network coordinator to forward vital signs data through one of the wearable sensor nodes acting as a temporary relay if the sensor-AP link has a stronger signal. Our practical implementation of the proposed scheme reveals that this relayed data operation decreases packet loss rate down to 20% of the value otherwise obtained when solely using the point-to-point, coordinator-AP link. In particular, the wrist location yields the best results over alternative body sensor positions when patients walk at a 0.5 m/s.
Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:15 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: July 2011