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7th International Conference on Body Area Networks

September 24–26, 2012 | Oslo, Norway

Keynote Speakers

The SPC is proud to announce the confirmed Keynote speakers at Bodynets 2012:

Prof. Victor Leung, University of British Columbia, Canada

Prof. Paul Lukowicz, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Germany

Prof. David Atienza, EPFL, Switzerland

Julian Penders, IMEC, Nederlands

Dr. Huan-Bang Li, National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT), Japan

Keynote Abstracts

Prof. Victor C.M. Leung, University of British Columbia, Canada Victor Leung

Robust Access for Wireless Body Area Sensor Networks


Recent advances in very-low-power wireless communications have stimulated great interest in the development and application of wireless technology in biomedical applications, including wireless body area sensor networks (WBASNs). A WBASN consists of multiple sensor nodes capable of sampling, processing, and communicating one or more vital signs (e.g., heart rate, brain activity, blood pressure, oxygen saturation) and/or environmental parameters (location, temperature, humidity, light) over extended periods via wireless transmissions over short distances. Low cost implementation and ubiquitous deployment calls for the use of license-exempt ISM bands, in which co-existence of other license-exempt devices, particular WiFi radios, negatively impacts on the robustness of WBASNs. We shall present some proposals to increase the robustness of wireless access in WBASNs by identifying and taking advantages of spectrum holes that are unused by co-existing devices. Simulation and experimental results are presented to show the effective of our proposals in increasing the robustness of channel access in WBASNs.


Victor C. M. Leung is a Professor and the holder of the TELUS Mobility Research Chair in Advanced Telecommunications Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interests are in the areas of wireless networks and mobile systems. He has co-authored more than 600 technical papers and book chapters in international journals, conference proceedings, and edited books in these areas. Several of his papers have been selected for best paper awards.

Dr. Leung is a registered professional engineer in the Province of British Columbia, Canada. He is a Fellow of IEEE, the Engineering Institute of Canada, and the Canadian Academy of Engineering. He is a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Communications Society. He has served on the editorial boards of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications – Wireless Communications Series, the IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications and the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, and is serving on the editorial boards of the IEEE Transactions on Computers, the IEEE Wireless Communications Letters, the Journal of Communications and Networks, Computer Communications, as well as several other journals. He has guest-edited several journal special issues, and served on the technical program committees and contributed to the organization of numerous international conferences. Dr. Leung is a winner of the IEEE Vancouver Section Centennial Award and the 2011 UBC Killam Research Prize.

Prof. David Atienza, EPFL, Switzerland David Atienza

Towards the Design of Smart Ultra-Low-Power Systems for Wireless Body Sensor Networks
Recent advances in microelectronics have gone a long way towards the miniaturization and power efficiency of processing elements, radio transceivers and sensing elements of a large array of physiological phenomena. It has thus become plausible to realize the low cost, low power, miniaturized, yet, smart sensor nodes needed to enable wearable personal health monitoring systems. These sensor nodes are be able to achieve an integrated monitoring capability by sensing various physiological quantities, process and communicate sensor data with on-body or remote base stations by organize in a wireless body-area sensor network (WBSN). However, the inherent resource-constrained nature of these systems, coupled with the harsh operating conditions and stringent autonomy requirements, pose important design challenges to make them provide automated analysis for complex biological signals. Although several sensor platforms have been recently proposed to address some of these challenges, much remains to be done in terms of functionality, power efficiency computation and miniaturization.
This keynote addresses system-level design of next-generation smart WBSN platforms for personal health monitoring systems, and discusses the main design challenges of this type of emerging body monitoring systems. In particular, it highlights the unsustainable energy cost incurred by the relatively straightforward wireless streaming of raw sensor data. To achieve the extended autonomy required by long-term ambulatory monitoring, this talk advocates enabling more embedded intelligence onboard these sensors through a complete system-level design approach that exploits the biosignals features to develop adaptive and ultra-low-power multi-core processing architectures and data fusion signal processing schemes for automated biosignals analysis on WBSN. To illustrate the effectiveness of this approach, this talk focuses on electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring applications. After analyzing the requirements of this type of applications in terms of wireless communications and local signal processing, recent advances in real-time efficient mapping of ECG signal processing algorithms on state-of-the-art sensor nodes are discussed. The necessary algorithms to be mapped have very different complexity and range from simple heart rate estimation to advanced compression and feature extraction. It is then shown that, even though they can be complex from the computation viewpoint, including such advanced on-board embedded intelligence actually translates into a reduction in the node's energy consumption. Hence, significant extensions of the battery lifetime of WBSN nodes can be achieved, which enables to develop portable personal ECG arrhythmia detection systems that can operate autonomously for long periods of time. Finally, the talk concludes by exploring the potential of using the new compressed sensing paradigm to minimize the energy consumed in acquiring and processing biological signals in order to develop real-time compressed sensing-based personal ECG monitoring systems.

David Atienza is Professor of EE and Director of the Embedded Systems Laboratory (ESL) at EPFL, Switzerland, and Adjunct Professor at the Computer Architecture and Automation Department of Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Spain. He received his MSc and PhD degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from UCM, Spain, and Inter-University Micro-Electronics Center (IMEC), Belgium, in 2001 and 2005, respectively. His research interests focus on system-level design methodologies for low-power embedded systems and high performance Systems-on-Chip (SoC), including new design methods and ultra-low-power architectures for wireless body sensor networks, thermal-aware design for 2D and 3D Multi-Processor SoCs, dynamic memory management and memory hierarchy optimizations, as well as novel architectures for logic and Network-on-Chip (NoC) interconnects. In these fields, he is co-author of more than 180 publications in prestigious journals and international conferences, several book chapters and three U.S.patents. He is the recipient of the 2012 ACM SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty Award, and he has also received a Best Paper Award at the IEEE/IFIP VLSI-SoC 2009 Conference, and three Best Paper Award Nominations at the WEHA-HPCS 2010, ICCAD 2006 and DAC 2004 conferences. He is an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on CAD (in the area of System-Level Design) and Elsevier Integration: The VLSI Journal. He is also an elected member of the Executive Committee of the IEEE Council of Electronic Design Automation (CEDA) since 2008 and member of the Board of Governors of IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) since 2010.

Julien Penders, Program Manager Body Area Networks, imec / Holst Centre, Nederlands

Body Sensor Networks for the future of medicine: will you still need your doctor?

Abstract: Recent public health successes and aging populations place new long-term demands on healthcare systems. People are now living with one or more chronic conditions for decades. Chronic diseases are predicted to be the leading cause of disability, and will become the most expensive problem affecting all countries. Many of these chronic diseases can be prevented, but this requires a paradigm shift to integrated and preventive healthcare. The focus of future healthcare systems should be on maintaining people healthy, raising each individual's awareness on his own health and inducing efficient behavioral changes. The patient of the future is a healthy patient. Wearable, miniaturized, sensors will play an important role in revolutionizing healthcare. By achieving truly pervasive monitoring, they will empower each individual with their health, providing them feedback on their lifestyle and inducing behavioral changes. Wearable sensors are instrumental in managing chronic conditions, providing real-time diagnostics and patient-centric therapies. In this talk we will review recent technology breakthroughs in body sensor networks, and show how early validation in pre-clinical studies is driving game-changing circuit and system innovation. Electronic patches and band-aids are now available that allow 24/7 monitoring of ECG and other physiological signals for weeks, and soon for months. This is a game-changing opportunity for epileptic patients, who are given a mean to better manage their seizures. This is changing the life of Atrial Fibrillation patients, who can be diagnosed earlier and be given a more optimal treatment. Brain activity monitors are now integrated in headgears and headphones, allowing their use in the home environment without special skin preparation. These provide unprecedented opportunities to measure the electrical activity of the brain in daily-life situations. This is changing the life of paraplegic patients who are given the possibility to communicate again using brain computer interfaces. Soon this may also enable the measurement of our emotions, and how we feel about our environment. Combined with other wearable physiological sensors, they provide feedback on one's emotional and stress level. With every new generation of technology and application innovation, wearable body sensor networks become less obtrusive, higher performing, and more autonomous. Each of us may soon wear dozens of these devices. Gradually, the world will see the deployment of millions of miniaturized body sensors, watching over the health of individuals, and making smart decisions regarding diagnostics and therapeutics. These technologies will strengthen the role and impact of each individual along the path to a longer, healthier and happier life. The doctors of the future will evolve to managers of health, assisted by millions of virtual assistants: wearable sensors watching over one’s health, 24/7.

Biography: Julien Penders is Program Manager at the Holst Centre / IMEC, where he leads the activities on Body Area Networks. He is responsible for the development of integrated wearable health monitoring systems, development of embedded algorithms, and the evaluation of integrated prototypes in field studies. He has (co-) authored over 50 papers in the field of body area networks and autonomous wireless sensor networks, and is the author of two book chapters on the topic. He serves on the Technical Committee on Information Technology for Health (IEEE), on the Technical Program Committee for the Wireless Health conference and is associate editor for the IEEE EMBS conference. Julien was a 2004/2005 fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation. He holds a M.Sc. degree in Systems Engineering from University of Liege, Belgium (2004), and a M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, MA (2006).

Prof. Paul Lukowicz, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Germany

Opprtunistic, Self Organized on Body Sensing


Today on body sensing applications strongly rely on specific sensor combinations being attached to specific body locations in a specific way. While such an assumption makes sense from the point of view of analysis algorithms it is not well suited to leverage the the increased proliferation on sensor enabled mobile devices. IN general people may have different types of devices at different times and carry them in different body location. Thus a mobile phone may be carried in a pocket in a backpack or on a belt holsters.

At time the usr may have only a mobile phone, at other time he may carry e.g. a sensor enabled running shoe or a pulse measurement device. In the talk various techniques to deal with such dynamic sensor configurations in on body sensor based activity recognition will be discussed.

Biography: Paul Lukowicz is a scientific director at DFKI (German research center for artificial Intelligence) Kaiserslautern leading the Embedded Intelligence group and a professor of computer science at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. He has a MSc in Computer Science, an MSc. in Physics and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. His research interests include ubiquitous sensing, context awareness, wearable computing, pervasive healthcare, and self-organized systems

Dr. Huan-Bang Li, National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT), Japan

Body Area Network and Its Standardization with IEEE 802.15.6

Abstract IEEE802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee approved and published a new standard of IEEE Std 802.15.6TM -2012 in February 2012. This standard defines the specifications of physical layer (PHY) as well as media access control layer (MAC) for BAN. This keynote presents a comprehensive introduction to BAN including background information, characteristics of technology, process of developing the standard, etc. Insight to the specifications defined by IEEE Std 802.15.6TM -2012 will be given. As an stand-alone standard, IEEE Std 802.15.6TM -2012 provides a unique solution that is much more beneficial to medical and healthcare applications, although BAN can also be employed to support various applications. IEEE Std 802.15.6TM -2012 defines three PHY specifications; a narrow band PHY (NB-PHY), an ultra-wideband PHY (UWB-PHY), and a human body communication PHY (HBC-PHY). Among these three PHYs, UWB PHY has the advantages such as low power consumption and less radiation impact on human body. A single unified MAC for the three PHYs are defined. Examples of prototype BAN will be shown to demonstrate the possibility and usage of BAN.

Biography Huan-Bang Li received the Dr. of Eng. degree from Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan in 1994. Since then, He has been working with the Communications Research Laboratory (reshuffled to National Institute of Information and communications Technology (NICT) from 2004), Japan. His research interests include mobile satellite communication, coded modulation, ultra-wideband (UWB), body area network (BAN), etc. He is now a senior researcher of NICT. From 1999 to 2000, he was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, CA, USA. He was a Visiting Associate Professor from 2002 to 2009, and has been a Visiting Professor since 2010, at the University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, Japan. He served as the vice chairman of IEEE 802 TG15.6 from 2007 to 2012. He is currently the Vice Chair, Council of Technical Committee Representatives, and a board member of the IEICE Communications Society. He authored a book “Block-coded modulations using Viterbi decoding” (in Japanese) in 1999, and co-authored a book “Wireless Body Area Network” in 2010.