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The Use of Bluetooth Low Energy for Continuous Monitoring of Body Sensor Networks


Wireless communications enable remote monitoring and controlling of Body Sensor Networks (BSN), thus playing a key role in the development of numerous medical and fitness applications and providing various advantages in terms of cost and user’s convenience. However, several issues have been brought to the surface regarding the sensor’s size and lifetime.

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a booming wireless technology that targets low-power, low-complexity and low-throughput applications and thus an excellent candidate for BSN connectivity. Additionally, BLE-powered smartphones can act as user controllers and internet gateways for BSN devices, at no extra cost of network deployment.

This thesis conducts a study on the use of BLE technology in continuous monitoring of BSNs in terms of the required throughput, power consumption and latency. We compare the performance of different versions of the Bluetooth core specification using a theoretical model and an experimental setup based on nRF52840 chip by Nordic Semiconductor. We focus on Electrocardiography (EKG) and give the current consumption and battery lifetime estimation of an EKG gateway and an EKG node for different BLE versions and configurations.

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