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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 678309, 12 pages
Research Article

An Adaptive Framework for Real-Time ECG Transmission in Mobile Environments

Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Hanyang University, Ansan 426-791, Republic of Korea

Received 26 February 2014; Accepted 14 June 2014; Published 3 July 2014

Academic Editor: Ilias Maglogiannis

Copyright © 2014 Kyungtae Kang. 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.


Wireless electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring involves the measurement of ECG signals and their timely transmission over wireless networks to remote healthcare professionals. However, fluctuations in wireless channel conditions pose quality-of-service challenges for real-time ECG monitoring services in a mobile environment. We present an adaptive framework for layered coding and transmission of ECG data that can cope with a time-varying wireless channel. The ECG is segmented into layers with differing importance with respect to the quality of the reconstructed signal. According to this observation, we have devised a simple and efficient real-time scheduling algorithm based on the earliest deadline first (EDF) policy, which decides the order of transmitting or retransmitting packets that contain ECG data at any given time for the delivery of scalable ECG data over a lossy channel. The algorithm takes into account the differing priorities of packets in each layer, which prevents the perceived quality of the reconstructed ECG signal from degrading abruptly as channel conditions worsen, while using the available bandwidth efficiently. Extensive simulations demonstrate this improvement in perceived quality.