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WPI receives $1.2 million NIST award for pioneering study of wireless body area networks
Date:3/18/2010

h diabetes, whose insulin levels could change abruptly, or people with seizure-causing disorders. And since BANs can be interactive, health care professionals could use them to deliver treatment from afar--for example, to patients with pacemakers or installed insulin pumps.

While BAN technology is still new, the industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Indeed, the FCC has recently allocated specific spectrum bands for wireless medical communications, and committees have been formed to address standardization of these emerging technologies. In fact, standardization is one of the areas that the WPI research aims to address, Pahlavan says.

"Because innovations in wireless networks are based on radio propagation measurement science and engineering, standards committees devote considerable effort to measuring propagation characteristics," he notes. "It is essential to have consistent standards in order to evaluate the respective performances of alternative wireless solutions."

The goal of Pahlavan's team, which enjoys an international reputation for its research on radio frequency propagation and localization in wireless data networks, is to apply what it has learned by studying larger-scale networks (from wireless local networks such as Wi-Fi to personal networks like Bluetooth) to developing a comprehensive program for measuring the characteristics of radio frequency propagation in and around the body. Measurement and modeling of radio propagation and localization at such a small scale is expected to be challenging, Pahlavan notes. His lab will use a combination of empirical measurements, computational modeling and studies of phantoms (structures that simulate the characteristics of the human body) to complete the work.

"This research will help propel the growth of this powerful technology in the United States and help pave the way for standardization for body-area networks," Pahlavan says. "That growth, in turn, ha
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Contact: Michael Dorsey
mwdorsey@wpi.edu
508-831-5609
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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WPI receives $1.2 million NIST award for pioneering study of wireless body area networks
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