A body area network for wearable health monitoring : conductive fabric garment utilizing DC-power-line carrier communication
Author(s)Wade, Eric R. (Eric Randolph), 1978-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
H. Harry Asada.
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Wearable computing applications are becoming increasingly present in our lives. Of the many wearable computing applications, wearable health monitoring may have the most potential to make a lasting positive impact. The ability to remotely monitor physiological signals such as respiration, motion, and temperature has benefits for populations such as elderly citizens, fitness professionals, and soldiers in the battlefield. To fully integrate wearable networks into a user's daily life, these systems must be minimally invasive and minimally intrusive. At the same time, such wearable networks require multiple sensors and electronic components to be mounted on the body. Unfortunately, typical off-the-shelf components of this nature are heavy, bulky, and don't integrate well with the human form. Thus, it is critical to figure out how best to minimize the physical and mental burden that these systems place on the user. To address these problems, we propose a new method of designing wearable health monitoring networks by combining electrically conductive fabrics and power-line communication technology. Electrically conductive fabrics are useful in that they feel and behave like normally worn clothing but also have the ability to transmit data and power.(cont.) To fully exploit the conductive fabric as a transmission medium, we also use power-line communication technology. Power-line communication allows for simultaneous power and data transmission over a shared medium. The use of these two technologies will allow us to significantly reduce the amount of metal cabling on the body and to reduce overall system bulk and weight. With this project, we design the DC-PLC system that will act as the physical layer of the architecture. Next, we construct a prototype body area network, and derive analytical models for predicting garment electrostatic and electro-dynamic properties using Maxwell's equations, and verify using empirical data and finite-element analysis. Finally, we will determine relevant rules and guidelines for the design and construction of such garments.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2007.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Includes bibliographical references (p. 112-116).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology