Surveying wearable human assistive technology for life and safety critical applications

Standards, challenges and opportunities
In this survey a new application paradigm life and safety for critical operations and missions using wearable Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) technology is introduced. This paradigm has a vast scope of applications, including disaster management, worker safety in harsh environments such as roadside and building workers, mobile health monitoring, ambient assisted living and many more. It is often the case that during the critical operations and the target conditions, the existing infrastructure is either absent, damaged or overcrowded. In this context, it is envisioned that WBANs will enable the quick deployment of ad-hoc/on-the-fly communication networks to help save many lives and ensuring people's safety. However, to understand the applications more deeply and their specific characteristics and requirements, this survey presents a comprehensive study on the applications scenarios, their context and specific requirements. It explores details of the key enabling standards, existing state-of-the-art research studies, and projects to understand their limitations before realizing aforementioned applications. Application-specific challenges and issues are discussed comprehensively from various perspectives and future research and development directions are highlighted as an inspiration for new innovative solutions. To conclude, this survey opens up a good opportunity for companies and research centers to investigate old but still new problems, in the realm of wearable technologies, which are increasingly evolving and getting more and more attention recently.

Source: Alam MM, Hamida EB. Sensors (Basel). 2014; 14(5): 9153-9209.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s140509153

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