Indexed on: 09 Nov '10Published on: 09 Nov '10Published in: Journal of Medical Systems
A Wireless Body Area Sensor Network (WBASN) is composed of a set of sensor nodes, placed on, near or within a human body. WBASNs opt to continuously monitor the health conditions of individuals under medical risk, e.g., elders and chronically ill people, without keeping them in a hospital or restraining their motion. A WBASN needs to stay connected to local or wide area networks using wireless technologies in order to send sensor readings to a medical center. The WBASN nodes are implanted within the human body and would thus have limited energy supply. Since the mission of the WBASN is very critical, increasing the lifetime of nodes is essential in order to maintain both practicality and effectiveness. This paper presents a new Gateway Selection Algorithm (GSA) that factors in the use of energy harvesting technologies and dynamically picks the most suitable WBASN node that serves as a gateway to other wireless networks. The goal of GSA is to balance the load among the nodes by adaptively changing the gateway node in WBASN depending on the energy reserve of nodes. Computer modeling and simulations of the proposed GSA are carried out using OPNET. The simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed GSA approach.