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8th International Conference on Body Area Networks

September 30–October 2, 2013 | Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Keynote Speakers

Paolo Bonato
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University

Title:"Body Sensor Networks and Their Role in Transforming Healthcare" (Oct 2, 2:00-3:00)

Abstract: The staggering costs of acute care are pushing the healthcare system to a tipping point. More than ever before, we are coming to realize that we cannot afford to provide everybody with access to unlimited healthcare services. An emerging, alternative model is focused on “keeping people healthy”, namely on primary and secondary prevention. This business model can only work if the healthcare system manages to capitalize on a decrease in acute care costs as a result of aggressive primary and secondary prevention programs. To achieve this goal, healthcare networks have to merge with health insurance companies into single-payer systems. This ongoing revolution in the healthcare system is demanding the rapid development of enabling technologies to “keep people outside of the hospital”. Hence, we have witnessed a fast-growing interest for mobile health technologies. This talk will discuss current efforts in the field of mobile technology that aim to address the growing demand in the healthcare sector for systems designed to achieve health monitoring of individuals in the home and community settings. Case scenarios based on ongoing studies on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and patients with Parkinson’s disease will be presented. The discussion of the case scenarios will emphasize the technical challenges associated with the development of mobile health systems, the potential roadblocks in the path toward adoption of these technologies in the clinic, and the potential economic and societal impact of mobile health systems.

Bio: Paolo Bonato, Ph.D., serves as Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston MA. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, Boston MA, a member of the Affiliated Faculty of the Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge MA, an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston MA, and an Associate Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Boston MA. Dr. Bonato is Founding and Current Editor-in-Chief of Journal on NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, an Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, and of the IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine. Dr. Bonato served as an Elected Member of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) AdCom (2007-2010) and he was recently elected IEEE EMBS Vice-President for Publications (2013-2014). He also served as Chair of the IEEE EMBS Technical Committee on Wearable Biomedical Sensors and Systems in 2008, a committee of which he has been a member since its inception in 2006. He received the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy in 1989 and the Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering from Universita` di Roma “La Sapienza” in 1995. His research interest is focused on rehabilitation technology with special emphasis on mobile health technology and rehabilitation robotics. To learn more about Dr. Bonato’s work, visit

Ki H. Chon
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA

Title: "Towards development of an underwater dive monitor for early detection of decompression sickness." (Sept 30, 1:30-2:30)

Abstract: While there have been many new developments for monitoring vital signs in dry conditions, the realization of such a monitoring system for underwater applications remains an unmet goal. This presentation will detail recent advances in the development of hydrophobic electrodes for monitoring electrocardiograms of SCUBA divers. The presentation will then highlight the use of electrocardiogram data and a novel signal processing algorithm that can be used for early detection of decompression sickness. Results demonstrating possible early detection of decompression sickness using data from both swine and human SCUBA diving subjects will be presented. The presentation will also highlight many challenges and obstacles that must be overcome during development of a dive monitor for the US Navy and recreational SCUBA divers.

Bio: Ki H. Chon received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut, Storrs; the M.S. degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Iowa, Iowa City; and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering and the Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He spent three years as an NIH Post-Doctoral fellow at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology, one year as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, and four years as an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the City College of the City University of New York. Most recently he was Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at SUNY Stony Brook. He is currently a Professor and Chair of Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA. His current research interests include medical instrumentation, biomedical signal processing, and identification and modeling of physiological systems. He was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering from 2007-2013. He has chaired many international conferences including his role as the Program Co-Chair for the IEEE EMBS conference in NYC in 2006.

Geneviève Dion
Assistant Professor, Drexel University, USA

Title: "Garment Device: Challenges to Fabrication of Wearable Technology" (Oct 1, 8:00-9:00)

Abstract: Smart garments also known as wearable technology are designed with textiles engineered to perform specific functions. Progress in intelligent yarns and fibers present viable opportunities to design garment devices embedded with technology. This paper discusses the importance of a multidisciplinary team to advance research on smart textiles, and the use of digital fabrication as a viable method of production. Using Shima Seiki CAD systems and machinery, virtual knit designs are developed with modeling software, then realized into actual products by means of computer driven knitting machines. Akin to 3D printing, computer aided knitting a is form of digital fabrication for prototypes but can also be utilized to produce final products an scale manufacturing.

Bio: Genevieve Dion is an award winning designer with an extensive background in bespoke clothing and industrial design. Her collections have been sold at Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys in New York and Holt Renfrew in Canada. Her work on permanently pleated silk is in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert museum in London (2003) and the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco (2010).

Her research focuses on identifying production methods that advance the field of wearable technology intended for a variety of high performance textiles applications. In 2012 following the signing of a groundbreaking $1 million partnership agreement with Shima Seiki USA, Dion founded the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Laboratory, a state of the art knitting facility dedicated to the design and prototyping of smart and technical textiles. The Haute Tech Lab is located in Drexel's ExCITe Center and supported by University’s Colleges of Media Arts and Design, Engineering, Nursing and Health Professions, Medicine, Information Science and Technology and the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems. In her Laboratory Dion collaborates with a multidisciplinary team of faculty and students researching the development of knitted electronic components into garments, versatile production methods and mass customization of smart textiles and wearable technology.

Ryuji Kohno
Professor, Yokohama National University, Japan
Finnish Distinguished Professor, University of Oulu, Japan
CEO, CWC-Nippon, Corp. Ltd.


Title: "Business Breakthrough and New Research Fields by Regulatory Science for Body Area Networks." (Oct 1, 2:00-3:00)

Abstract: What we need to promote a real business and clinical application of Body Area Network (BAN) is "regulatory science," in which risk for medical use of BAN could be numerically evaluated as well as benefit of BAN by a scientific manner. and regulation for BAN could be made with public understanding and then government could protect both its user and manufacture by the regulation. In the talk, major problem for BAN business and its breakthrough technologies will be introduced while regulatory scientific approach for BAN can be discussed. Amendment of IEEE802.15.6 BAN standard will be also introduced together with ETSI smart BAN prohect.

Tadashi Nakano
Osaka University, Japan

Title: "Molecular Communication and Networking." (Oct 1, 9:00-10:00)

Abstract: Molecular communication is a molecule-based communication paradigm for biological nanomachines. Unlike the current telecommunication, molecular communication utilizes biological molecules as carriers of information. Since biological nanomachines are compatible with biological systems, applications in biomedical areas are highly anticipated. In this talk, I will first present a brief overview of the area of molecular communication, covering experiment-based feasibility studies, information theoretic studies, and framework designs of molecular communication. I will then present our recent activities on the design and development of a practical molecular communication system.

Bio: Tadashi Nakano is an Associate Adjunct Professor of the Institute of Academic Initiatives, Osaka University and a Guest Associate Professor of Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Osaka University. His research interests are in the areas of network applications and distributed computing systems with strong emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches. His current research is focused on the Biological-ICT (Information and Communications Technology) including design, implementation and evaluation of biologically inspired systems and synthetic biological systems.

Kamran Sayrafian
National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA


Title: "Using Virtual Reality to Study RF Propagation, Interference & Kinetic Energy Harvesting in Body Area Networks." (Sept 30, 8:30-9:30)

Abstract: Due to the need for human subject involvement, in-depth study of RF propagation and interference issues for most applications in body area networks could be quite challenging. A properly designed virtual reality system can overcome this challenge by replacing the physical human body with a virtual copy. Such a system can eliminate the complexity associated to study parameters of interest for each customized application of BAN; and provide preliminary knowledge & valuable information about the physical and cyber parameters under investigation. It can also be used to narrow down or identify the best scenarios for limited physical experimentation and measurements. At the Information Technology Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), we have been developing such virtual environment that serves as a scientific platform, allowing various propagation, interference and kinetic energy harvesting issues in body area networks to be investigated. Examples of several studies enabled by this platform are briefly discussed in this talk.

Bio: Kamran Sayrafian is leading a strategic program focused on pervasive health-IT at the Information Technology Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is also an adjunct faculty of the University of Maryland since 2003. Prior to this, he was the cofounder of Zagros Networks, Inc. a fabless semiconductor company based in Rockville, Maryland where he served as President and senior member of the architecture team. His current research interests include medical body area networks, mobile sensor networks and RF-based indoor positioning. He has published over 100 conference and journal papers, and book chapters in these areas. He was the recipient of the IEEE PIMRC 2009 & SENSORCOMM 2011 best paper awards. He has been an invited Editor for the special issue of a number of technical journals focusing on the pervasive healthcare technologies and sensor networks. He has also been the TPC chair and organizer of several IEEE ComSoc Conferences and workshops focused on application of wireless communication in healthcare. Dr. Sayrafian was a contributing member and the co-editor of the channel modeling document of the IEEE802.15.6 international standardization on body area networks. He is also a member of the COST Action IC1004 “Cooperative Radio Communications for Green Smart Environments; and, his research results have been included in the final report of the COST Action 2100 (Pervasive Mobile and Ambient Wireless Communications), which was published by Springer in January 2012. Dr. Sayrafian is the co-inventor/inventor of four U.S. patents and a Senior Member of IEEE.

Benjamin Schlatka
MC10 Inc., USA

Title: Reshaping Electronics for the Human Body. (Oct 2, 8:00-9:00)

Abstract: While Moore's Law has delivered smaller, cheaper and faster electronics, these conventional systems exist exclusively in planar layouts on the flat surfaces of rigid, brittle semiconductor wafers. These 2D configurations are not fundamentally compatible for use in soft form factors such as on or in the human body. MC10 is reshaping electronics into conformal products that bend, stretch and flex to move with the body, without sacrificing performance. Stretchable electronics can be integrated into three-dimensional applications, into dynamic and moving systems, and into space-constrained areas - applications that just aren't possible with dominant forms of electronics.

Bio: MC10 is reshaping electronics into conformal products that bend, stretch and flex to move with the body, without sacrificing performance. Stretchable electronics can be integrated into three-dimensional applications, into dynamic and moving systems, and into space-constrained areas - applications that just aren't possible with dominant forms of electronics. Learn more about MC10 at

Featured Speakers

Ilangko Balasingham
Oslo University Hospital
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Title:"Nano-to-Neuron Interfaces and Communications."(Oct 2, 10:00-10:45)

Abstract: The advent of graphene nanoribbons and carbon nanotubes are facilitating research in nanomachines. Such machines can have wireless communication in nanoscale using concepts adopted from biology for medical applications and THz for free space applications. Synthetic molecular motors and molecular diffusion have been recently proposed for communication between nanomachines, along with innovative nanonetworking protocols. Energy harvesting (piezoelectric nanogenerators, vibrations transduction, etc.) and chemical techniques (ATP synthesis and enzymatic bio-fuel cells) are viable methods to store energy at nanoscale. A wireless nanotransmitter prototype, powered by nanogenerators, has been recently unveiled, where the transmitted signal is detected by an external radio device, confirming that efficient nanodevices are nearly feasible.
One of the application domains is in medicine, where design of bio-inspired intelligent nanodevices or nanomachines connected in a network for passive sensing or active tasks operating in a biological environment is an active area of research. One application example can be the neurological diseases, e.g., Alzheimer’s, which are associated to reduced neuron communication or to interruption of the pulse propagation across the nervous system. The neuron communication includes both molecular and electrical communications. A classical communication system has been considered for a single physical neuron-to-neuron channel. In this talk we will introduce a new communication paradigm for nanomachine-to-neuron, taking into consideration externally induced electromagnetic fields and their interaction with brain network. We will show the feasibility of a nanomachine-to-neuron interface to design a nanoscale stimulator device called synaptic nanomachine (SnM), compatible with the neuronal communication paradigm.

Bio: Ilangko Balasingham received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway in 1993 and 1998, respectively, both in signal processing. He performed his Master’s degree thesis at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California Santa Barbara, USA. From 1998 to 2002, he worked as a Research Scientist developing image and video streaming solutions for mobile handheld devices at Fast Search & Transfer ASA, Oslo, Norway, which is now part of Microsoft Inc. Since 2002 he has been with the Intervention Center, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway as a Senior Research Scientist, where he heads the Wireless Sensor Network Research Group. He was appointed as a Professor in Signal Processing in Medical Applications at NTNU in 2006. His research interests include super robust short range communications for both in-body and on-body sensors, body area sensor network, microwave short range sensing of vital signs, short range localization and tracking mobile sensors, and nano-neural communication networks. He has authored or co-authored 149 papers and has been active in organizing special sessions and workshops on wireless medical technology at the major conferences and symposiums. He was the General Chair of the 2012 Body Area Networks (BODYNETS) conference and serves as Area Editor of Elsevier Nano Communication Networks. He is a Senior IEEE member.

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

Title:"Ultra Wideband Technology for Healthcare and Welfare." (Oct 2, 9:15-10:00)

Abstract: Ultra wide-band (UWB), which occupies an ultra wide frequency spectrum with extremely low power spectrum density (PSD), can be used to provide high data-rate communications. Moreover, impulse radio UWB (IR-UWB), which uses extremely short pulses on the order of nanoseconds, can provide very precise time resolution, thus, expends its application to ranging and radar. UWB is adopted as one of the PHY specifications by international standard IEEE 802.15.6, which is a standard developed for body area network (BAN). By combining with body-attached sensors, real-time monitor of vital signals becomes available. In this talk, we concentrate on UWB applications for healthcare and welfare. A number of prototype systems developed by the authors based on UWB will be presented. These systems include BAN for real-time vital signal collection as well as BAN for assisting people with visual disabilities. A preliminary discussion and evaluation on UWB radar for detection of human respiration and heartbeat will also be presented.

Bio: 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 was the Vice Chair, Council of Technical Committee Representatives, and a board member of the IEICE Communications Society, in 2011 and 2012. He is currently the Vice Chair IEEE 802 TG15.8. 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.

Kaveh Pahlavan
Professor of ECE and CS, director
Center for Wireless Information Network Studies
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Title:"Body-SLAM: Simultaneous Localization and Mapping of Inside the Human Body."
(Oct 2, 1:30-2:00)

Abstract: Wireless video capsule endoscopes (WVCE) have been in the clinical arena for 13 years and over a few millions of them have been used on patients with gastrointestinal (GI) problems.  Each WVCE trial takes approximately eight hours, after intake until removal, and uses wireless signals to transmits approximately 55,000 images of the entire GI-tract to be stored in a body mounted base station.  Today, this large database of images is processed by physicians to diagnose variety of abnormalities using images of bleedings and tumors in particular in the small intestine and physicians have no clue on the location of these bleedings or tumors.    Finding the location and path of movement of the WVCE in particular in the small intestine is an extremely challenging problem.  Research on using RF signal transmitted from the WVCE for localization is an ongoing challenging research.  In this presentation we provide an overview of how images sent from the inside of the GI tract and the signal that is carrying them to the surface of the body can be used for simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) of inside the Body: the Body-SLAM.  We discuss challenges and we address needs for research in this area. 

Bio: Kaveh Pahlavan is a Professor of ECE, a Professor of CS, and Director of the Center for Wireless Information Network Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA.  He is also the chief technical advisor of the Skyhook Wireless, Boston, MA.  His current area of research is radio channel modeling and algorithm design for wireless access and localization in Body Area Networks (BAN).   He has contributed to numerous seminal technical and visionary publications and patents in voice-band modem design, wireless local area networks, indoor geolocation and Wi-Fi localization. He has written several pioneering books in wireless networking. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal on Wireless Information Networks and a member of the advisory board of the IEEE Wireless Magazine.  He has chaired a number pioneering international conferences and events in wireless networking. He has been a Westin Hadden Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at WPI, a fellow of the IEEE, a fellow of the Nokia, a Fulbright-Nokia scholarship and recipient of the Board of Trustees Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship at WPI.  He has served as a corporate consultant to a number of companies worldwide.   Details of his contributions to this field are available at

Moe Win
Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Title: Network Localization and Navigation. (Oct 2, 2:00-2:30)

Abstract: The availability of positional information is of extreme importance in numerous commercial, health-care, public safety, and military applications. The coming years will see the emergence of location-aware networks with sub-meter localization accuracy, minimal infrastructure, and robustness in harsh (GPS challenged) environments. To reach this goal we advocate network localization and navigation, a new paradigm that exploits a combination of wideband transmission and spatiotemporal cooperation. In particular, our work has addressed this problem from three perspectives: theoretical framework, cooperative algorithms, and network experimentation. We will give a brief technical overview of our research results in this exciting field.

Bio: Moe Win is a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to joining MIT, he was at AT&T Research Laboratories for five years and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for seven years. His research encompasses fundamental theories, algorithm design, and experimentation for a broad range of real-world problems. His current research topics include network localization and navigation, network interference exploitation, intrinsic wireless network secrecy, adaptive diversity techniques, and ultra-wide bandwidth systems. Professor Win is a Fellow of the AAAS, the IEEE, and the IET, and was an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. He is an elected Member-at-Large on the IEEE Communications Society Board of Governors (20112013). He was the Chair (20042006) and Secretary (20022004) for the Radio Communications Committee of the IEEE Communications Society. He was honored with two IEEE Technical Field Awards: the IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award and the IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award (jointly with Professor R. A. Scholtz). He received the International Prize for Communications Cristoforo Colombo, the Copernicus Fellowship, the Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellowship, the Fulbright Fellowship, the Laurea Honoris Causa from the University of Ferrara, and the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.