Managing wearable smart devices

Unless you are confined to an ICU without a choice, no one likes to have a bunch of wires and cables trailing from their body to a machine. What people rather prefer is a user-friendly aiding system capable of remotely monitoring the health. Whether you are in a gymnasium or in an outdoor environment, practicing some sport or doing single exercises, remote monitoring of health parameters is a safe and efficient routine to practice. This is also true for monitoring the health of the elderly and people suffering from chronic diseases. IoT or the Internet of Things is able to bring effective solutions in this regard to improve a person’s level of fitness and health.

Wireless sensor networks or WSNs are very effective for building the IoT paradigm. This is the leading technology to acquire and manage data. For improving the user experience in the IoT, it should also be possible to connect to a WSN some other smart elements such as tablets, watches and smartphones. In fact, these could trigger the use of technology in this field. With smart devices now coming in wearable forms, it is easy to break down the first barrier for the technology-access – allowing the user simply to start wearing the technology as a daily-life garment.

Any WSN node has a differential value. Independent of the network management, data may be sensed with any external sensor connected to the WSN. For example, appropriate external sensors connected to the node can send feedback about the breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, etc., should the application require biometric or human physiological parameters.

Bluetooth, a wireless communication protocol, could be considered as an easy and fast solution. However, that scenario presents a new challenge, as there is no standardization in these types of sensors despite different type of devices or platforms being in existence. Therefore, it may be desirable to abstract the protocols and hardware features from high-level layers – an intermediate level of middleware can do this easily.

For integrating several wearable devices in the Internet of Things, a dual-protocol WSN/Bluetooth node is of immense help. In reality, two of these nodes are used. One connects to the wearable health-data monitoring device, while the other connects to the smartphone or the smartwatch. In this way, all data between the wearable device and the WSN node is managed in the same way as is done with information from other WSN nodes. As long as a new wearable device is Bluetooth compliant, its services can be discovered and used as well.

To model the services provided by the WSN, one can develop ontology, which again can be included within the service-oriented semantic middleware. This will enable the user to compose new services based on the existing single services. These semantically annotated services will be able to widen the platform for future applications.

It is also possible to integrate the enterprise service bus or ESB within WSN for IoT-based applications. That enables third party applications to be used for services of wearable devices to be made available with the ESB and published by the WSN nodes. These may include body temperature and heart rate monitors.