Ubiquitous Computing and Communication Journal
2position and rotation, and the force directed on foot.Alarm signals can be sent to patient’s Wrist Unit if hip or leg positions or rotations are false. The CentralUnit can be attached wirelessly to a mobile phonewith Bluetooth. Furthermore, the mobile phone canbe used to transfer log, alarm and history informationover Internet to enable remote patient monitoring anddiagnostic services. Therefore, HipGuard system canprovide useful real-time information for patientrehabilitation process. The system architecture andoperation is presented thoroughly in . This paperespecially concentrates on WBAN issues.There have been several studies that haveconcentrated on WBANs. MobiHealth implemented a Bluetooth based sensor network forhealth monitoring and [5, 6] have used UWB (Ultra-Wideband) to build ultra-low-power and lowcomplexity sensors. Lately, IEEE 802.15.4 basedapproaches have been the most popular research fieldin this area [7, 8, 9]. Instead of wireless approach,flexible electrically conductive fabrics could be usedto implement BAN. Reference  presents awearable monitoring system based on DC power linecommunication . Because sensors would notrequire local batteries, the solution would belightweight and small. Furthermore, Intra BodyCommunication (IBC) system  could be used forsensor networking to obtain low signal attenuation inlow frequencies (<1 GHz).In this work, wireless ANT technology is used tointerconnect HipGuard system sensors. The focus isespecially on ANT’s energy efficiency, lowcommunication latency, network size and reliability.The rest of the paper is organized as follows. Section2 discusses how BAN sensors can be connected.Section 3 briefly introduces ANT wireless sensornetworking technology. Section 4 thoroughlydiscusses how ANT operates in this kind application.Finally, section 5 concludes the paper.
INTERCONNECTING BODY AREANETWORK SENSORS
Sensors can be interconnected to Central Uniteither with or without wires. Both of theseapproaches have their pros and cons. Regardless of chosen method, reliable and low latency data transferis needed to produce useful and accurate data for hipand leg position and rotation calculations.Wireless approach enables system transferabilityand flexibility. Sensors can be attached, for example,with straps. Sensors can also be easily replaced if needed. There are challenges related tocommunication reliability because human bodystrongly attenuate RF signal and other radio systemscan cause interference. Also, wireless sensors shouldbe very low-power and chargeable. Batteries shouldendure without a recharge at least a week.In wired systems data and power is transferredwith wires, therefore only the Central Unit needsrecharging. There are challenges related to durabilityof wires and connectors embedded to clothing undersevere stress, for example in machine wash. Wiredsystems have poor transferability. Replacement of broken sensors and wires can also be challenging.In this work, wireless approach is chosenbecause of system transferability and flexibility. Therest of the paper focuses on wireless networking.
ANT WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKINGTECHNOLOGY
In this study ANT wireless sensor networkingtechnology is utilized. ANT is an ultra-low powershort range low data rate technology that uses GFSK(Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying) modulation andTDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) basedcommunication. Fixed packet sizes (overhead anddata) and predefined slots are used forcommunication reducing the amount of collisions. Atthe same time, Zigbee sensor networking technologyuses different packet sizes. ANT suits especially forrepetitive measurements where low latency isrequired. Table 1 highlights ANT features. 
ANT technology in a nutshell.
ANT sensor networking technology features
Operating frequency 2,4-2,524GHz: 125 1MHz channels
Communication range up to 10 meters
Operating principle TDMA
True data throughput up to 20 kbps
Code space 16kB
Network topology star, tree or mesh networks
Network devices up to 2^32
Data packet size 17B (8B payload)
Packet types Broadcast, Burst, Acknowledged
Transmission power 0,01 - 1mW (-20dBm to 0dBm)
Receiver sensitivity -80dBm
As presented in Table 1, ANT protocol has threedifferent message types:
message requiresacknowledgements which are not usable in real-timecommunication where only fresh new data isessential.
is the simplest ANT message (8bytes payload) which is sent on dedicated slot oneach time frame.
is a message that consists of two or more sequential ANT messages (at least 16bytes). Fig. 2 presents ANT packet structure.
: ANT packet structure.