Research challenges in wireless networks of biomedical sensors

L. Schwiebert, S. K.S. Gupta, J. Weinmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

419 Scopus citations


Implanted biomedical devices have the potential to revolutionize medicine. Smart sensors, which are created by combining sensing materials with integrated circuitry, are being considered for several biomedical applications such as a glucose level monitor or a retina prosthesis. These devices require the capability to communicate with an external computer system (base station) via a wireless interface. The limited power and computational capabilities of smart sensor based biological implants present research challenges in several aspects of wireless networking due to the need for having a bio-compatible, fault-tolerant, energy-efficient, and scalable design. Further, embedding these sensors in humans add additional requirements. For example, the wireless networking solutions should be ultra-safe and reliable, work trouble-free in different geographical locations (although implants are typically not expected to move; they shouldn't restrict the movements of their human host), and require minimal maintenance. This necessitates application-specific solutions which are vastly different from traditional solutions. In this paper, we describe the potential of biomedical smart sensors. We then explain the challenges for wireless networking of human-embedded smart sensor arrays and our preliminary approach for wireless networking of a retina prosthesis. Our aim is to motivate vigorous research in this area by illustrating the need for more application-specific and novel approaches toward developing wireless networking solutions for human-implanted smart sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781581134223
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking - Rome, Italy
Duration: Jul 16 2001Jul 21 2001

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, MOBICOM


Conference7th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking


  • Artificial retina
  • Biomedical application
  • Cancer monitor
  • Embedded system
  • Human implanted device
  • Organ monitor
  • Smart sensor
  • Wireless communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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