Technical Committee (TC) Smart Body Area Network (SmartBAN) Activity Report 2020

Chair: John Farserotu, CSEM

Responsible for standardization to support the development and implementation of Smart Body Area Network (BAN) technologies (Wireless BAN, Personal BAN, Personal Networks, etc.) in health, wellness, leisure, sport and other domains.

As the use of wearables and connected body sensor devices grows rapidly in the Internet of Things (IoT), Wireless Body Area Networks (BAN) facilitate the sharing of data in environments such as smart homes, living environments, automotive and aerospace. In specific areas of digital healthcare and medical monitoring, wireless connectivity between the data collection or control centre and the medical devices or sensing nodes requires a standardized communication interface and protocols. Key challenges include interoperability, power consumption, latency, security, robust operation and the ability to interact with embedded intelligence in smart environments.

In response to these and other requirements, our Smart BAN committee (TC SmartBAN) addresses the need for global standards to support the successful market roll-out of BAN technology. Working in co-operation with ETSI’s Smart Machine-to-Machine communications committee (TC SmartM2M), the primary goals of TC SmartBAN are the development and maintenance of ETSI standards and other deliverables to support the development and implementation of Smart BAN technologies (Wireless BAN, Personal BAN, Personal Networks, etc) in health, wellness, leisure, sport and other relevant domains.

TC SmartBAN's scope includes communication media, and associated physical layer, network layer, security, QoS and lawful intercept, as well as provision for the standardization of generic applications and services.

The committee serves as a focal point for the coordination of ETSI's activities in the Health ICT domain. It also represents ETSI external positions on Health ICT related issues including telemedicine.

In 2020 SmartBAN officers and committee members contributed to the paper ‘ETSI SmartBAN Architecture: The Global Vision for Smart Body Area Networks’ published in the IEEE Access journal. The paper presents a condensed review of European standardization work in ETSI. It also outlines a SmartBAN semantic reference model and ontology, and introduces a SmartBAN IoT reference architecture plus a description of SmartBAN MAC, physical and network layers.

During the year we published a Technical Report [TR 103 711] examining application of the reference SmartBAN MAC for various use cases, and their QoS requirements in terms of data rates, latency and other parameters.

Work meanwhile progressed on other deliverables including a system level description; a report on trust, privacy and security aspects; and a comparison between SmartBAN and other short-range standards.

During the year TC SmartBAN members participated in a number of virtual events, including EAI BODYNETS 2020. The committee also continued to liaise with other external bodies including AIOTI, IEC and H2020 ACTIVAGE.

 LOOK OUT FOR IN 2021 – TC SmartBAN WORK IN PROGRESS:

  • Technical Specification (TS) on SmartBAN system level description and requirements, including clarification of relationship between MAC and PHY layers, connection/set-up procedures and support combination for maintaining interoperability
  • TS on relay functionality for SmartBAN MAC - enabling ‘two-hop’ communication within a SmartBAN
  • TS on hub-to-hub communication for SmartBAN MAC - enabling communication between hubs of neighbouring SmartBANs
  • Revision to TS 103 378 on associate service model/ontology/enablers extensions
  • Revision to TS 103 326 on Enhanced Ultra-Low Power Physical Layer – enhancing PHY specification with more robust synchronization for generic IoT
  • Technical Report (TR) on implant communications – evaluation of ultra-low power, ultra-wide band technology (UWB) for swallowable, pill-type camera wireless medical devices operating in the 3,1 - 10,6 GHz band
  • TR on security, privacy and trust – addressing use cases and requirements analysis
  • TR on comparative analysis between SmartBAN and other short-range standards
  • Revision to TR 103 395 on measurements and modelling of SmartBAN Radio Frequency (RF) environment