A Modified IEEE 802.15.4 Superframe Structure for Guaranteed Emergency Handling in Wireless Body Area Network
Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) is a special purpose personal area network with health-care and other value-added applications. Recently, patient monitoring applications using WBAN have received significant attention. Patient monitoring applications are intended to report any sign of emergency in the monitored patient to the corresponding health personal so that necessary actions can be taken before it is too late. Therefore, the underlying protocol suite in WBAN should ensure that the emergency events will be timely reported. However, WBAN based on IEEE 802.15.4 might not be able to do so. Hence, in this paper, we devise the emergency handling capability in IEEE 802.15.4 MAC. We propose a modified superframe structure for supporting immediate emergency reporting and reliable data transmission. A fraction of inactive period is used opportunistically for three new periods in such a way that temporary switching between the new periods and inactive period occurs only for handling emergency events. We also suggest two different random channel access mechanisms for reporting emergencies. Through the numerical results, we show that the proposed scheme achieves improved latency and throughput in the WBAN environment with compare to IEEE 802.15.4.
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