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Role of Wireless ICT in Health Care and Wellness - Standards, Technologies and Markets

This report concentrates on recent contributions of wireless communications in health care and fitness to enhance the quality of service together with the significant cost reduction.

The health care cost is rising each year, and in the U.S. reached around 16%-17% of the GDP with the trend to add at least one percent each year. Wide utilization of wireless communications, as our analysis showed, can reduce the health care cost by billions of dollars on an annual basis. Much of that savings is derived by reducing hospitalizations and extending independent living for seniors.

Ambient Intelligence is a vision where environment becomes smart, friendly, context-aware and responsive to any type of human needs. In such a world, computing and networking technology coexist with people in a ubiquitous, friendly and pervasive way. Numerous miniature and interconnected smart devices create a new intelligence and interact with each other seamlessly. For health care, this translates into proliferation of remote monitoring and telemedicine.

The report addresses recent advances of wireless technologies in medical/fitness applications.

Particular, it analyzes the following:

  • WICT standardization for the Body Area Network (WBAN) and Medical Body Area Network (WMBAN).
  • Bluetooth technology and its Medical Profile
  • ZigBee technology and its Medical Profile
  • Wi-Fi low-power consumption technology
  • Z-Wave and other technologies
  • Continua Health Care Alliance activities and wireless communications.

All these technologies can satisfy, in various degrees, major requirements that the health care industry is asking for: a combination of extremely low power sensor consumption and very low transmitted power together with high reliability and quality of service (QoS). Note that the analysis distinguished recent advances in the creation of standards specifically for WBAN and WMBAN and the use of technologies that were modified to satisfy particular requirements of medical/fitness industries (such as BT or ZigBee).

1. Recent technological progress in low-power integrated circuits, wireless communications and physiological sensors promote the development of tiny, lightweight, ultra-low-power monitoring devices that can be used in a wide spectrum of applications. A body-centric network, so-called WBAN-Wireless Body Area Network, can be formed by integrating these devices on a human body (or its proximity). WBAN, with sensors consuming extremely low power, is used to monitor patients in critical conditions inside hospital. Outside the hospital, the network can transmit patients' vital signs to their physicians over the Internet (or private networks) in real time.

This report analyzes the WBAN development, evolving standards, markets and applications. Details of the IEEE802.15.6, IEEE 802.15.4j and ETSI standards are discussed.

2. Bluetooth is one of the most popular technologies in consumer electronics. Until recently, it was used in health care mostly for interconnection various medical apparatus. The situation is changing with the development of the Bluetooth health device profile-HDP. This profile is used for connecting application data Source devices such as blood pressure monitors, weight scales, glucose meters, thermometers, and pulse oximeters to application data Sink devices such as mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers, and health appliances without the need for cables. This profile can be combined with another Bluetooth development - Ultra-low Power (ULP) consumption profile - to make sure that medical devices can be in the operational conditions for many months and even years.

3. ZigBee technology from its origination was aimed to provide inexpensive, low-power consumption nodes. In March of 2009, the ZigBee Alliance has completed development of an application profile for the wireless communication standard aimed at remote health care monitoring (Personal, Home and Hospital Care (PHHC) Profile). Specifically, this profile supports secure monitoring and management of non-critical, low-acuity health care services targeted at chronic disease management, obesity and ageing. It also provides full support for IEEE 11073 devices including glucometers, pulse oximeters, electrocardiographs, weight scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors and respirometers.

The report assesses characteristics of Bluetooth and ZigBee technologies and benefits of their utilization in health care and wellness. Market issues are also addressed with emphasis on medical applications.

The report also addresses Wi-Fi low power consumption technology, Z-Wave, ANT and other.

Altogether, the report shows the importance of wireless communications integration into health care to achieve significant cost reduction together with the best care.

Table of Contents

1.0. Introduction

  • 1.1. General
  • 1.2. Scope
    • 1.2.1. Choices
  • 1.3. Status
  • 1.4. Requirements
  • 1.5. WBAN - WMBAN
  • 1.6. Bluetooth
  • 1.7. ZigBee
  • 1.8. Wi-Fi
  • 1.9. Demand
  • 1.10. Crisis
  • 1.11. Continua
  • 1.12. Focus
  • 1.13. Research Methodology
  • 1.14. Target Audience

2.0. WBAN/WMBAN - Features and Standardization

  • 2.1. General
  • 2.2. Reasons
  • 2.3. Definition
    • 2.3.1. Structure
  • 2.4. Overview
    • 2.4.1. WBAN Requirements
  • 2.5. Groups
    • 2.5.1. By Application
    • 2.5.2. By Transmission Medium
    • 2.5.3. By Number of Nodes
    • 2.5.4. By Environment
    • 2.5.5. By Radio Type
    • 2.5.6. By Source
    • 2.5.7. By Response
    • 2.5.8. By Condition
  • 2.6. Standardization
    • 2.6.1. General
    • 2.6.2. IEEE 802.15.6
      • 2.6.2.1. Scope
      • 2.6.2.2. Status
      • 2.6.2.3. Structure
      • 2.6.2.4. Major Characteristics
        • 2.6.2.4.1. Specifics
        • 2.6.2.4.2. Overview
    • 2.6.3. IEEE 802.15.6: Major Points
      • 2.6.3.1. Areas of Applications
      • 2.6.3.2. Physical Layers
        • 2.6.3.2.1. Narrow Band
        • 2.6.3.2.2. UWB PHY
        • 2.6.3.2.3. HBC PHY
      • 2.6.3.3. MAC
      • 2.6.3.4. Security
      • 2.6.3.5. Power Savings
    • 2.6.4. IEEE 802.15.4j - Medical BAN (MBAN)
      • 2.6.4.1. Scope
      • 2.6.4.2. Differences
      • 2.6.4.3. Timeline
      • 2.6.4.4. Characteristics
        • 2.6.4.4.1. Spectrum and Channel Plan
        • 2.6.4.4.2. Major Parameters
      • 2.6.4.5. Benefits
    • 2.6.5. ISO/IEEE 11073 - Personal Health Data
    • 2.6.6. ETSI TR 101 557 V1.1.1 (2012-02)
      • 2.6.6.1. General
      • 2.6.6.2. ETSI - MBANS
      • 2.6.6.3. Market Characteristics
      • 2.6.6.4. Technical Details
  • 2.7. U.S. WBAN: Applications in Healthcare and Fitness - Summary
    • 2.7.1. Status
  • 2.8. WBAN for First Responders and Military
  • 2.9. U.S. Market: WBAN
  • 2.10. Samples: Vendors
    • AirStrip Technologies
    • FRWD
    • Intel
    • Medtronic
    • Nokia
    • Suunto
    • Sotera Wireless
    • Toumaz
    • Vivago
    • VitaMove
    • Zarlink
  • 2.11. Current and Future Trends-Getting Closer to WBAN

3.0. IEEE 802.15.1 (Bluetooth-BT)

  • 3.1. BT Protocol Stack
    • 3.1.1. Transport layer
      • 3.1.1.1. Radio Layer
      • 3.1.1.2. Baseband and Link Manager Layers
      • 3.1.1.3. Middleware Layer
  • 3.2. Profiles
    • 3.2.1. Power Consumption-ULP
    • 3.2.2. Medical Profile
      • 3.2.2.1. IEEE 11073 and BT
  • 3.3. Bluetooth Security
  • 3.4. Highlights
    • 3.4.1. The Standard:
    • 3.4.2. The Technology:
    • 3.4.3. Evolution
      • 3.4.3.1. BT v2.1
      • 3.4.3.2. BT v3.0
      • 3.4.3.3. BT v4.0 and Up
  • 3.5. Market Estimate
  • 3.6. BT Industry-HDP
    • Bluegiga
    • Cambridge Consultants
    • Continua
    • iFoundry-Nestronics
    • Laird Technologies
    • Nonin
    • Nordic Semiconductor
    • Stollmann

4.0. ZigBee

  • 4.1. General
  • 4.2. Technology
    • 4.2.1. Major Features
    • 4.2.2. Device Types
    • 4.2.3. Protocol Stack
      • 4.2.3.1. Physical and MAC Layers - IEEE802.15.4
        • 4.2.3.1.1. Frame
    • 4.2.4. Upper Layers
  • 4.3. Interoperability
  • 4.4. Security
  • 4.5. Platform Considerations
    • 4.5.1. Battery Life
  • 4.6. ZigBee Technology Benefits and Limitations
  • 4.7. Standardization Process
    • 4.7.1. ZigBee Alliance
      • 4.7.1.1. Objectives
    • 4.7.2. IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee
      • 4.7.2.1. IEEE 802.15.4 Radio
  • 4.8. Application Specifics
    • 4.8.1. Personal, Home and Hospital Care (PHHC) Profile - ZigBee Health Care
      • 4.8.1.1. Objectives
      • 4.8.1.2. Details
      • 4.8.1.3. Major Features
  • 4.9. Applications Overview
  • 4.10. Market
    • 4.10.1. Segments-ZigBee Market
    • 4.10.2. Forecast
    • 4.10.3. Industry
      • Amber (RF Systems)
      • Atmel (Chipsets)
      • CEL (modules)
      • Chipcon - TI (Chipsets)
      • Cirronet-RFM (Modules)
      • Digi (Radio, Medical Application)
      • Ember (Chipsets)
      • GreenPeak (WSN)
      • Helicomm (Modules)
      • Freescale (Chipsets, Health Care Applications)
      • Oki (Chipsets)
      • Renesas (Platforms)
      • Silicon Laboratories (Chipsets, Modules, Medical)
      • Synapse (Module, Protocols)
      • Telegesis (Integrator)
      • TI (Chipsets)

5.0. Low Power Consumption IEEE 802.11

  • 5.1. General
  • 5.2. Atmel
  • 5.3. Gainspan
  • 5.4. G2 Microsystems (Acquired by Roving Networks)
  • 5.5. Redpine Signals
  • 5.6. RF Monolithics
  • 5.7. ZeroG (Microchip)

6.0. Competition

  • 6.1. Selection
  • 6.2. Toumaz
  • 6.3. Ant+
  • 6.4. Z-Wave
    • 6.4.2. Z-Wave Alliance
    • 6.4.3. Benefits
    • 6.4.4. Details
      • 6.4.4.1. General
      • 6.4.4.2. Characteristics
    • 6.4.5. Selected Vendors
      • Aeon Labs
      • Mi Casa Verde
      • Sigma Designs
      • There
    • 6.4.6. Pricing
    • 6.4.7. Market Estimate: Z-wave Products for Smart Houses
      • 6.4.7.1. Model
      • 6.4.7.2. Results
  • 6.5. BodyLAN
    • 6.5.1. FitLinxx

7.0. Conclusions

LIST OF FIGURES:

  • Figure 1: Sensor
  • Figure 2: WBAN Characteristics
  • Figure 3: IEEE 802.15.6 Process
  • Figure 4: WBAN Spectrum
  • Figure 5: 802.15.6 - PHY and MAC
  • Figure 6: Areas of Applicability
  • Figure 7: Proposed Channel Plan (15 802.15.4j channels)
  • Figure 8: ISO/IEEE 11073 Protocol Family
  • Figure 9: TAM: Wireless Patient Monitoring Devices - Europe ($M)
  • Figure 10: TAM: U.S. WBAN Sales-In-home Fitness (Age Group 20-45 years) $M
  • Figure 11: TAM: U.S. WBAN Sales-In-home Fitness (Age Group 45 and up) $M
  • Figure 12: TAM: U.S. WBAN Sales-Hospitals- $M
  • Figure 13: TAM - U.S. First Responders WBAN Sales ($M)
  • Figure 14: TAM: U.S. WICT Spending in Health Care
  • Figure 15: Bluetooth Protocol Stack
  • Figure 16: Piconets Illustration
  • Figure 17: BT ULP Layers
  • Figure 18: BT HDP Building Blocks
  • Figure 19: TAM: BT Modules Shipped (Bil. Units)
  • Figure 20: TAM: BT Modules Shipped ($B)
  • Figure 21: BT Market Geographical Segmentation
  • Figure 22: TAM: BT- HDP Modules Shipped (Bil. Units)
  • Figure 23: TAM: BT-HDP Modules Shipped ($B)
  • Figure 24: ZigBee Channels
  • Figure 25: ZigBee Protocol Stack
  • Figure 26: Applications
  • Figure 27: TAM: Worldwide ZigBee Modules Shipped ($B)
  • Figure 28: TAM: Worldwide ZigBee Modules Shipped (Bil. Units)
  • Figure 29: ZigBee Market Segmentation (2011)
  • Figure 30: ZigBee Market Segmentation (2016)
  • Figure 31: TAM: Worldwide ZigBee PHHC Equipment sales ($B)
  • Figure 32: TAM Estimate: U.S. Small SH Z-Wave IC ($US Mil)
  • Figure 33: TAM Estimate: U.S. Large SH Z-Wave IC ($US Mil)

LIST OF TABLES:

  • Table 1: ZigBee and 802.15.6 Radios
  • Table 2: Classification
  • Table 3: Allowable Power Density
  • Table 4: NB PHY Characteristics
  • Table 5: Transports
  • Table 6: WBAN Medical Applications
  • Table 7: Bluetooth Profiles
  • Table 8: ZigBee Parameters
  • Table 9: Z-wave Products Retail Pricing
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