Method for increasing the energy efficiency of wirelessly networked ambulatory health monitoring devices

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Convergence Information Technology, 2010, 5 (1), pp. 7 - 14
Issue Date:
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In-home healthcare applications that use wearable devices ordinarily have strict power constraints due to the small size of the battery in the device. The power constraints are a key driver of research to develop new methods for improving the energy efficiency of ambulatory health monitoring devices. The radio-communication components typically consume a large proportion of the available energy in systems such as these. Given that radio transmissions use far more power than on-board processing, it is proposed that energy can be conserved by performing fall detection at the node. The proposed algorithm is intended to be performed at the node and provide a suitable balance between power consumption and detection accuracy. The research and prototype system described in this article focuses on wearable fall detection devices to be used elderly people who are living in non-hospital settings, and discusses considerations arising from the development of a prototype system. The outcomes of the system design and development process are discussed, and conclusions are drawn concerning the potential of the method to improve the energy efficiency of fall detection systems.
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