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Journal of Computer Networks and Communications
Volume 2015, Article ID 516838, 21 pages
Review Article

Patient Data Prioritization in the Cross-Layer Designs of Wireless Body Area Network

1Faculty of Computing, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
2Department of Computing and Technology, Abasyn University, Peshawar 25000, Pakistan

Received 9 July 2015; Revised 28 September 2015; Accepted 30 September 2015

Academic Editor: Eduardo da Silva

Copyright © 2015 Fasee Ullah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN), various biomedical sensors (BMSs) are deployed to monitor various vital signs of a patient for detecting the abnormality of the vital signs. These BMSs inform the medical staff in advance before the patient’s life goes into a threatening situation. In WBAN, routing layer has the same challenges as generally seen in WSN, but the unique requirements of WBANs need to be addressed by the novel routing mechanisms quite differently from the routing mechanism in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). The slots allocation to emergency and nonemergency patient’s data is one of the challenging issues in IEEE 802.15.4 and IEEE 802.15.6 MAC Superframe structures. In the similar way, IEEE 802.15.4 and IEEE 802.15.6 PHY layers have also unique constraints to modulate the various vital signs of patient data into continuous and discrete forms. Numerous research contributions have been made for addressing these issues of the aforementioned three layers in WBAN. Therefore, this paper presents a cross-layer design structure of WBAN with various issues and challenges. Moreover, it also presents a detail review of the existing cross-layer protocols in the WBAN domain by discussing their strengths and weaknesses.