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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2016, Article ID 2978073, 16 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/2978073
Research Article

An Open and Modular Hardware Node for Wireless Sensor and Body Area Networks

1Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
2Università degli Studi eCampus, Via Isimbardi 10, 22060 Novedrate, Italy

Received 14 August 2015; Revised 24 November 2015; Accepted 1 December 2015

Academic Editor: Christos Tsamis

Copyright © 2016 L. Ciabattoni 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.

Abstract

Health monitoring is nowadays one of the hottest markets due to the increasing interest in prevention and treatment of physical problems. In this context the development of wearable, wireless, open-source, and nonintrusive sensing solutions is still an open problem. Indeed, most of the existing commercial architectures are closed and provide little flexibility. In this paper, an open hardware architecture for designing a modular wireless sensor node for health monitoring is proposed. By separating the connection and sensing functions in two separate boards, compliant with the IEEE1451 standard, we add plug and play capabilities to analog transducers, while granting at the same time a high level of customization. As an additional contribution of the work, we developed a cosimulation tool which simplifies the physical connection with the hardware devices and provides support for complex systems. Finally, a wireless body area network for fall detection and health monitoring, based on wireless node prototypes realized according to the proposed architecture, is presented as an application scenario.