Coexistence of ZigBee-based WBAN and WiFi for Health Telemonitoring Systems
The development of telemonitoring via wireless body area networks (WBANs) is an evolving direction in personalized medicine and home-based mobile health. A WBAN consists of small, intelligent medical sensors which collect physiological parameters such as EKG (electrocardiogram), EEG (electroencephalography) and blood pressure. The recorded physiological signals are sent to a coordinator via wireless technologies, and are then transmitted to a healthcare monitoring center. One of the most widely used wireless technologies in WBANs is ZigBee because it is targeted at applications that require a low data rate and long battery life. However, ZigBee-based WBANs face severe interference problems in the presence of WiFi networks. This problem is caused by the fact that most ZigBee channels overlap with WiFi channels, severely affecting the ability of healthcare monitoring systems to guarantee reliable delivery of physiological signals.
To solve this problem, we have developed an algorithm that controls the load in WiFi networks to guarantee the delay requirement for physiological signals, especially for emergency messages, in environments with coexistence of ZigBeebased WBAN and WiFi. Since WiFi applications generate traffic with different delay requirements, we focus only on WiFi traffic that does not have stringent timing requirements. In this paper, therefore, we propose an adaptive load control algorithm for ZigBee-based WBAN/WiFi coexistence environments, with the aim of guaranteeing that the delay experienced by ZigBee sensors does not exceed a maximally tolerable period of time. Simulation results show that our proposed algorithm guarantees the delay performance of ZigBee-based WBANs by mitigating the effects of WiFi interference in various scenarios.