The Body Area Network (BAN) extends the range of existing wireless network technologies by an ultra‐low range, ultra‐low power network solution optimised for long‐term or continuous healthcare applications. It enables wireless radio communication between several miniaturised, intelligent Body Sensor (or actor) Units (BSU) and a single Body Central Unit (BCU) worn at the human body. A separate wireless transmission link from the BCU to a network access point ‐ using different technology ‐ provides for online access to BAN components via usual network infrastructure. The BAN network protocol maintains dynamic ad‐hoc network configuration scenarios and co‐existence of multiple networks.
BAN is expected to become a basic infrastructure element for electronic health services: By integrating patient‐attached sensors and mobile actor units, distributed information and data processing systems, the range of medical workflow can be extended to include applications like wireless multi‐parameter patient monitoring and therapy support. Beyond clinical use and professional disease management environments, private personal health assistance scenarios (without financial reimbursement by health agencies / insurance companies) enable a wide range of applications and services in future pervasive computing and networking environments.
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