Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) have recently received much attention due to the possibility to be used in healthcare applications. For these applications, link reliability and energy efficiency are critical issues, as in many cases, information carried can be vital for the patient and batteries cannot be easily replaced. The wireless on-body channel experiences significant temporal variation due to body movements and the use of relays is sometimes necessary in order to guarantee reliability or improve lifetime. In this paper, an experimental evaluation is used to give a better understanding about reliability, energy consumption and lifetime in a single hop or a two hops communication. This analysis keeps into consideration the correlations between propagation on different links which affect simultaneously the time-varying connectivity on different links of the body. The results shows that an off-body relays could be used to increase data reliability, minimize energy requirements and maximize network lifetime.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.