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Besides the mentioned facts, WSNs, as the “weapon” of healthcare, assume far
more possibilities. For example, if we include implantable sensors, we get a com-
pletely new face of medicine. At this very point, the off-the-shelf market is not
overfilled with these products, so this subject is only mentioned here, and may be
considered in some future study.
We must be aware of the current state in the field of interest, in order to generate
innovative ideas. The aim of this chapter is to uncover the state-of-the-art in medi-
cal applications based on WSNs, so in the following we will introduce a few large
projects being developed in research sectors. Firstly, we will talk about important
issues these applications are facing and the technologies in use. Projects include
various scenarios which can be categorized in at least one of the four patterns
emphasized earlier.
WSN - Existing Medical Applications (EXMAs)
The stress of this chapter is on an overview of medical applications based on
WSNs, being developed in large research sectors. Projects we talk about, are simply
unified as EXMAs, and further will be specified as such. EXMAs are recognized
as a significant part of today's research activities in the area of medical applications
of sensor networks. By highlighting the essence of these applications we under-
stand the way WSNs can facilitate medical proficiency.
Firstly, we will indicate some important issues EXMAs are facing and which
must be resolved during the implementation or deployment phase. Then, we will
emphasize the technologies WSNs rely on and give a comparison of a few selected
EXMAs - Important Issues
The main issues of medical applications based on wireless sensor networks can be
divided into three categories (Fig. 8.2 ):
Technical issues
Social issues
Personal issues
Three specified domains cover a remarkable number of problems. First one, the
domain of technical issues, is common to all applications depending on WSNs.
Social and personal issues are more related to health applications.
Now, we will explain all three types of EXMAs' issues. The interpretation itself
aims to uncover things we need to have in mind, in case we want to design and
implement a sensor network for some medical use.
Technical issues include power management, communication protocols, networks'
reliability, and security.
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