This special issue presents innovative solutions and recent advances in the domain of mHealth systems and pervasive applications. The main focus lies on the different communication and networking aspects of an IoT-based mHealth ecosystem, spanning from the efficient data collection and processing to the data delivery to the medical personnel.
The growing number of smart wireless devices and the rapid advances in information and communication technologies are bringing a revolution in the domain of medical care, promising a novel paradigm for ubiquitous, connected and flexible healthcare delivery with reduced costs and enhanced quality, referred to by the term mobile health (mHealth). In the new era of connectivity, marked by the deployment of 5G wireless networks, the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) concept will be a catalysing force in creating a smart and interconnected mHealth ecosystem, forming a bridge between patients and healthcare providers and empowering people to play an active role in the management of their own health.
The synergy of different technologies is the key to the successful development of mHealth systems and pervasive healthcare applications. At the patient’s side, wireless body area networks (WBANs) are deployed, with multiple challenges at the Physical (PHY) and Medium Access Control (MAC) layers due to stringent constraints that include, among others, ultra-low power consumption, low latency and guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS). Furthermore, the development of advanced processing techniques (e.g., compressed sensing and network coding) for enhanced energy efficiency and reliability, along with the integration of WBANs into Machine-to-Machine communication networks to ensure end-to-end connectivity, raise new challenges and open interesting research lines. Finally, the transformation of the healthcare delivery paradigm is further leveraged by the use of disruptive technologies, such as cloud-based solutions for processing and storage both centrally and towards the edge of the network (fog computing), Software Defined Networking (SDN)-based architectures and big data analytics.
In this context, this special issue aims to collect original papers with innovative solutions in the domain of mHealth, as well as comprehensive overviews in this field, highlighting the different communication and networking aspects of an IoT-based ecosystem, proposing innovative technologies and architectures and identifying the design challenges to ensure efficient end-to-end healthcare solutions.
Edited by: Elli Kartsakli, Marco di Renzo, Angelos Antonopoulos, Hsi-Pin Ma, Nelson Fonseca