Wireless Body Area Networks: A Survey [NS2project]

WORLD population growth is facing three major challenges: demographic peak of baby boomers, increase of life expectancy leading to aging population and rise in health care costs. In Australia, life expectancy has increased significantly from 70.8 years in 1960 to 81.7 Wireless Body Area Networks: A Survey years in 2010 and in the United States from 69.8 years in 1960 to 78.2 years in 2010, an average increase of 13.5%1. Given the U.S. age pyramid2 shown in Fig. 1, the number of adults ranging from 60 to 80 years old in 2050 is expected to be double that of the year 2000 (from 33 million to 81 million Wireless Body Area Networks: A Survey people) due to retirement of baby boomers3. It is expected that this increase will overload health care systems, significantly affecting the quality of life. Wireless Body Area Networks: A Survey Further, current trends in total health care expenditure are expected to reach 20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022, which is a big threat to the US economy. Moreover, the overall health care expenditures in the U.S. has significantly increased from 250 billion in 1980 to 1.85 trillion in 2004, even though 45 million Americans were uninsured4. These statistics necessitate a dramatic shift in current health care systems towards more affordable and scalable solutions. On the other hand, Wireless Body Area Networks: A Survey millions of people die from cancer, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s, asthma, obesity, diabetes and many more chronic or fatal diseases every year. The common problem with all current fatal diseases is that many people experience the symptoms and have disease diagnosed when it is too late. Research has shown that most diseases can be prevented if they are detected in their early stages. Wireless Body Area Networks: A Survey Therefore, future health care systems should provide proactive wellness management and concentrate on early detection and prevention of diseases. One key solution to more affordable and proactive health care systems is through wearable monitoring systems capable of early detection of abnormal conditions resulting in major improvements in the quality of life. Wireless Body Area Networks: A Survey In this case, even monitoring vital signals such as the heart rate allows patients to engage in their normal activities instead of staying at home or close to a specialized medical service .