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Volume 19 / Issue 9

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-019-09-1219


Evaluation of Bluetooth Low Energy Capabilities for Tele-mobile Monitoring in Home-care

Antonio J. Jara (University of Murcia, Spain)

David Fernandez (University of Murcia, Spain)

Pablo Lopez (University of Murcia, Spain)

Miguel A. Zamora (University of Murcia, Spain)

Antonio F. Skarmeta (University of Murcia, Spain)

Leandro Marin (University of Murcia, Spain)

Abstract: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is extending Bluetooth technology to devices with lower communication requirements and higher constraints in terms of memory capabilities and power autonomy. Thereby, BLE makes feasible the wireless transmission of information from smart objects such as wearable clinical devices, ambient sensors and actuators. These smart objects are starting to be internet-enabled devices, reaching the so denominated Internet of Things (IoT). Our research work is focused on analyze the capabilities of these technologies for continuous data transmission and integration of clinical sensors in home-care and Ambient Assisted Living environments. For this purpose, this work analyses exhaustively the capabilities from BLE and compare this with the capabilities from Bluetooth 2.1. In addition, it has been considered the communications requirements from different clinical devices such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) and a capnograph. It is concluded that the performance from BLE is lower than Bluetooth Classic (Bluetooth 2.1) for continuous communications, since BLE is based on attributes (datapoints) transfer instead of offering a communication session where can be transmitted as much packets as required, without any size constraint. Therefore, it is necessary to perform data compression/aggregation when the amount of data to send is too large to be stored in a BLE attribute. This work also presents how to apply pre-processing techniques that greatly reduces the transmission overload (performs signal compression) in order to allow the continuous transmission of the ECG and capnograph signal through BLE making so feasible the integration of continuous clinical devices via BLE.

Keywords: Internet of Things, bluetooth low energy, clinical technology, continuous data transmission, electrocardiogram, mobile communications, mobile monitoring, performance, performance assessment, tele-monitoring

Categories: C.2, C.3, J.3, L.7, L.7.0