QoS-Aware Buffer-Aided Relaying Implant WBAN for Healthcare IoT: Opportunities and Challenges

Guofa Cai, Yi Fang, Jinming Wen, Guojun Han, Xiaodong Yang

Internet of Things (IoT) have motivated a paradigm shift in the development of various applications such as mobile health. Wireless body area network (WBAN) comprises many low-power devices in, on, or around the human body, which offers a desirable solution to monitor physiological signals for mobile-health applications. In the implant WBAN, an implant medical device transmits its measured biological parameters to a target hub with the help of at least one on-body device(s) to satisfy its strict requirements on size, quality of service (QoS, e.g., reliability), and power consumption. In this article, we first review the recent advances of conventional cooperative WBAN. Afterwards, to address the drawbacks of the conventional cooperative WBAN, a QoS-aware buffer-aided relaying framework is proposed for the implant WBAN. In the proposed framework, hierarchical modulations are considered to fulfill the different QoS requirements of different sensor data from an implant medical device. We further conceive some new transmission strategies for the buffer-aided signal-relay and multi-relay implant WBANs. Simulation results show that the proposed cooperative WBAN provides better performance than the conventional cooperative counterparts. Finally, some open research challenges regarding the buffer-aided multi-relay implant WBAN are pointed out to inspire more research activities.

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