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Beamforming in the Body: Energy-efficient and Collision-free Communication for Implants
IEEE INFOCOM 2017 (2017)
  • Meenupriya Swaminathan, Northeastern University
Implants are poised to revolutionize personalized healthcare by monitoring and actuating physiological functions. Such implants operate under challenging constraints of limited battery energy, heterogeneous tissue-dependent channel condi- tions and human-safety regulations. To address these issues, we propose a new cross-layer protocol for galvanic coupled implants wherein weak electrical currents are used in place of classical radio frequency (RF) links. As the first step, we devise a method that allows multiple implants to communicate individual sensed data to each other through CDMA code assignments, but delegates the computational burden of decoding only to the on-body surface relays. Then, we devise a distributed beamforming approach that allows coordinated transmissions from the implants to the relays by considering the specific tissue path chosen and tissue heating-related safety constraints. Our contributions are two fold: First, we devise a collision- free protocol that prevents undue interference at neighboring implants, especially for multiple deployments. Second, this is the first application of near-field distributed beamforming in human tissue. Results reveal significant improvement in the network lifetime for implants of up to 79% compared to the galvanic coupled links without beamforming. 
  • beamforming,
  • near field beamforming,
  • CDMA,
  • Intra-body networks,
  • body sensor networks,
  • implants communication,
  • wireless body networks,
  • galvanic coupling,
  • energy efficiency,
  • topology optimization,
  • relay position,
  • device position,
  • implant position,
  • wireless sensor networks,
  • body area network,
  • body sensor network,
  • safe body communication,
  • body devices topology
Publication Date
Spring May 2, 2017
Citation Information
Meenupriya Swaminathan. "Beamforming in the Body: Energy-efficient and Collision-free Communication for Implants" IEEE INFOCOM 2017 (2017)
Available at:
Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY International License.