M2M Communications and Their Role in AAL


Sokullu R. İ. , Balcı A.

Ambient Assisted Living and Enhanced Living Environments Principles, Technologies and Control, C. Dobre,C. Mavromoustakis,N. Garcia,R. Goleva,G. Mastorakis, Editör, Butterworth-Heinemann , New-York, ss.500-542, 2016

  • Basım Tarihi: 2016
  • Yayınevi: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • Basıldığı Şehir: New-York
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.500-542
  • Editörler: C. Dobre,C. Mavromoustakis,N. Garcia,R. Goleva,G. Mastorakis, Editör

Özet

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications is defined in [1] and refers to the technology that enables the communication between different devices (e.g. smartphones, IP cameras, personal health devices, and computers) and allows them to perform a variety of actions without or with only limited human intervention. Because of the extremely large number of devices involved as well as the different communication pattern, the implementation of M2M poses many new challenges related to data transmission, protocol design, system integration, power and spectrum efficiency which make it a very hot research topic. Cellular network operators are considering the infrastructure to implement M2M communications over LTE and generate new applications in many fields like e-Health, Traffic Management, Intelligent Buildings etc. [2 – 17] One of the front echelon application areas is undoubtedly e-health including also assisted living for the elderly.

M2M can be viewed as the family of sensors, actuators, middleware, software and applications that help improve efficiency and quality of everyday life for elderly people by tying together a myriad of sensors and actuators with required players in the health sector – medical institutions, databases, doctors, caregivers, families and friends – thus creating a totally augmented assisted living environment. [18 – 35] M2M provides lots of opportunities to bring the implementation of assisted living environments to a totally new, unprecedented level both regarding the number of the connected devices and the services that will be provided. [36 – 38]

In this chapter we will examine the M2M technology, its potential to create a backbone for AAL systems and focus on the possible architectures and existing solutions in this area. Since wireless sensor networks have become a reality, a number of systems have been suggested to provide e-health services especially remotely monitoring vital signs and condition of sick or elderly people and reporting it over an existing network (LAN, wireless, cellular). However, those systems represent only a faint glimpse into the future of integrated solutions that can be built utilizing M2M. [25] M2M communications and the possibility they bring to bridge different technologies (wireless and cellular networks, WBAN, WPANs etc) with a range of contextual applications like for example social networks is unprecedented both in scale and in context.

The chapter will be organized as follows: we will first define M2M, its characteristics, application possibilities and existing standards. Then we will elaborate on how M2M can serve the AAL paradigm. This is a hot research area and numerous authors examine the different possibilities to integrate patient data into a meaningful structured e-health system which will be both scalable, proactive and easy to use, unrestricted by the ability, knowledge or physical condition of the elderly person. Some very interesting architectural and implementation solutions have been suggested and will be covered in this chapter. Such e-health solutions result from the integration of components that comply with rising standards at the various levels of the ICT infrastructure: Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications for interconnecting devices and services, Health Level 7 (HL7) [39] for communicating with health platforms and openEHR [40, 41] for data semantics, storing and making data available. In order to address the needs of the more general public we will examine and summarize these platforms and standards balancing in-depth technical information with the large scope of related issues involved. Finally we will conclude by discussing potential problems related to power efficiency, resource allocation etc. and outline some major research issues in the development of a unified approach to incorporating M2M technology in the AAL platforms.

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications is defined in [1] and refers to the technology that enables the communication between different devices (e.g. smartphones, IP cameras, personal health devices, and computers) and allows them to perform a variety of actions without or with only limited human intervention. Because of the extremely large number of devices involved as well as the different communication pattern, the implementation of M2M poses many new challenges related to data transmission, protocol design, system integration, power and spectrum efficiency which make it a very hot research topic. Cellular network operators are considering the infrastructure to implement M2M communications over LTE and generate new applications in many fields like e-Health, Traffic Management, Intelligent Buildings etc. [2 – 17] One of the front echelon application areas is undoubtedly e-health including also assisted living for the elderly.

M2M can be viewed as the family of sensors, actuators, middleware, software and applications that help improve efficiency and quality of everyday life for elderly people by tying together a myriad of sensors and actuators with required players in the health sector – medical institutions, databases, doctors, caregivers, families and friends – thus creating a totally augmented assisted living environment. [18 – 35] M2M provides lots of opportunities to bring the implementation of assisted living environments to a totally new, unprecedented level both regarding the number of the connected devices and the services that will be provided. [36 – 38]

In this chapter we will examine the M2M technology, its potential to create a backbone for AAL systems and focus on the possible architectures and existing solutions in this area. Since wireless sensor networks have become a reality, a number of systems have been suggested to provide e-health services especially remotely monitoring vital signs and condition of sick or elderly people and reporting it over an existing network (LAN, wireless, cellular). However, those systems represent only a faint glimpse into the future of integrated solutions that can be built utilizing M2M. [25] M2M communications and the possibility they bring to bridge different technologies (wireless and cellular networks, WBAN, WPANs etc) with a range of contextual applications like for example social networks is unprecedented both in scale and in context.

The chapter will be organized as follows: we will first define M2M, its characteristics, application possibilities and existing standards. Then we will elaborate on how M2M can serve the AAL paradigm. This is a hot research area and numerous authors examine the different possibilities to integrate patient data into a meaningful structured e-health system which will be both scalable, proactive and easy to use, unrestricted by the ability, knowledge or physical condition of the elderly person. Some very interesting architectural and implementation solutions have been suggested and will be covered in this chapter. Such e-health solutions result from the integration of components that comply with rising standards at the various levels of the ICT infrastructure: Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications for interconnecting devices and services, Health Level 7 (HL7) [39] for communicating with health platforms and openEHR [40, 41] for data semantics, storing and making data available. In order to address the needs of the more general public we will examine and summarize these platforms and standards balancing in-depth technical information with the large scope of related issues involved. Finally we will conclude by discussing potential problems related to power efficiency, resource allocation etc. and outline some major research issues in the development of a unified approach to incorporating M2M technology in the AAL platforms.