WIRELESS TELEMEDICINE SERVICES OVER INTEGRATED IEEE 802.11/WLAN AND IEEE 802.16/WIMAX NETWORKS
YAN ZHANG AND NIRWAN ANSARI, NEW JERSEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY HIROSHI TSUNODA, TOHOKU INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
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The authors investigate theapplication of integrated IEEE 802.16/WiMAX and IEEE 802.11/ WLAN broadband wireless access technologies along with the related protocol issues for telemedicine services.
Wireless telemedicine, also referred to as mobile health, which capitalizes on advances of wireless technologies to deliver health care and exchange medical knowledge anywhere and any time, overcomes most of geographical, temporal,and even organizational barriers to facilitate remote diagnosis and monitoring, and transfer of medical data and records. In this article we investigate the application of integrated IEEE 802.16/WiMAX and IEEE 802.11/WLAN broadband wireless access technologies along with the related protocol issues for telemedicine services. We first review IEEE 802.11/WLAN and IEEE 802.16/WiMAX technologies, andmake a comparison between IEEE 802.11/WLAN and IEEE 802.16/WiMAX. Then some open research issues in the integrated IEEE 802.16/WiMAX and IEEE 802.11/WLAN networks are discussed, especially regarding QoS support, radio resource management, scheduling and connection admission control schemes, as well as handover and mobility management. Finally, applications and deployment scenarios of integratedIEEE 802.16/WiMAX and IEEE 802.11/WLAN for telemedicine services are further deliberated.
By deploying telecommunications technologies to deliver health care and share medical knowledge over a distance, telemedicine aims at providing expert-based medical care to any place and at any time health care is needed. When the first telemedicine services were provided, telemedicineapplications were implemented over wired communications technologies such as plain old telephone network (POTN) and integrated services digital network (ISDN). However, recent developments in telemedicine resulting from wireless advances are promoting wireless telemedicine, also referred to as m-health or mobile health. Normally, wireless telemedicine systems consist of wearable/implantable medicaldevices and wireless communications networks.
Wireless communications overcomes most geographical, temporal, and organizational barriers to the transfer of medical data and records. In order to provide ubiquitous availability of multimedia services and applications, wireless and mobile technologies are evolving towards integration of heterogeneous access networks such as wireless personal areanetworks (WPANs), wireless local area networks (WLANs), wireless metropolitan area networks (WMANs) as well as third-generation (3G) and beyond 3G cellular networks. A hybrid network based on IEEE 802.11/WLANs and IEEE 802.16/WiMAX is a strong contender since both technologies are designed to provide ubiquitous low cost, highspeed data rates, quality of service (QoS) provisioning, and broadbandwireless Internet access. IEEE 802.11/WLAN is the standard to provide moderate- to high-speed data communications in a short range generally within a building. The IEEE 802.16/WiMAX is the standard to provide broadband wireless services requiring high-rate transmission and strict QoS requirements in both indoor and outdoor environments. Furthermore, IEEE 802.16/WiMAX network is a promising solution toprovide backhaul support for IEEE 802.11/WLAN hotspots. WiMAX has recently been implemented for telemedicine functionalities . The integrated network of IEEE 802.11/WLAN and IEEE 802.16/WiMAX can bring a synergetic improvement to the telemedicine services on coverage, data rates, and QoS provisioning to mobile users. There have been some ongoing projects related to mobile healthcare services...