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Cognitive Radio for Medical Body Area Networks Using Ultra Wideband

CHÁVEZ-SANTIAGO, R. ; E. NOLAN, K. ; Holland, O. ; DE NARDIS, L. ; Ferro, J.M. ; Barroca, N. ; Borges, Luis M. ; Velez, F. J. ; GONÇALVES, V. ; Balasingham, I.

IEEE Wireless Communications Vol. 19, Nº 4, pp. 74 - 81, August, 2012.

ISSN (print): 1536-1284
ISSN (online):

Scimago Journal Ranking: 1,72 (in 2012)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/MWC.2012.6272426

Wearable wireless medical sensors beneficially impact the healthcare sector, and this market is experiencing rapid growth. In the United States alone, the telecommunications services market for the healthcare sector is forecast to increase from $7.5 billion in 2008 to $11.3 billion in 2013. Medical body area networks improve the mobility of patients and medical personnel during surgery, accelerate the patients’ recovery, and facilitate the remote monitoring of patients suffering from chronic diseases. Currently, MBANs are being introduced in unlicensed frequency bands, where the risk of mutual interference with other electronic devices can be high. Techniques developed during the evolution of cognitive radio can potentially alleviate these problems in medical communication environments. In addition, these techniques can help increase the efficiency of spectrum usage to accommodate the rapidly growing demand for wireless MBAN solutions and enhance coexistence with other collocated wireless systems. This article proposes a viable architecture of an MBAN with practical CR features based on ultra wideband radio technology. UWB signals offer many advantages to MBANs, and some features of this technology can be exploited for effective implementation of CR. We discuss the physical and MAC layer aspects of the proposal in addition to the implementation challenges.