Medical Industry using IPv6 BioSensors

Medical Industry using IPv6 BioSensors
by Kaushik Das


IPv6 is the successor protocol to the currently used Internet Protocol version 4 or the IPv4 that suffers from an acute shortage of the available address space for allocation to the exponentially increasing network devices both in the wired and the wireless domain.

A biosensor may be defined as a device that helps in the monitoring of a biological change. Biosensors provide important information that is used in a variety of ways. In this way, biosensors act as critical information gathering tools in the increasingly used biological information systems. In the earlier days, Information systems were used in isolation from the communication technologies. However, a successful marriage between the information systems and the communication technologies has given birth to a new term called the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Internet is a prime example of the same.

MAn increasing use of the information systems in the medical domain has led to a corresponding rise in the demand for network solutions so that the critical medical information can be shared in a seamless manner over a number of different platforms. Penetration of the medical domain by the information technology tools has resulted in an increasing usage of biosensors to monitor the critical vital signs in real time. Such information systems have varied uses. For example, medical biosensors allow the healthcare professionals to keep a continuous check on the vital parameters of a patient within a geographical area that may span from a hospital room to an entire city or even the entire globe. This requires a robust network infrastructure that may allow the sensory information to reach the destination on a continuous basis in real time thereby alerting the healthcare professionals against any medical exigency. It allows the healthcare professionals to take proactive measures rather than following a reactionary approach in extending critical healthcare facilities.

The new applications include remote diagnostics and telemedicine that allow the healthcare professionals to monitor their patients round the clock, run diagnostic check on them and allow consultation through the use of various interactive communication technologies. IPv6 biosensors are being increasingly used in the medical industry to cater to a number of information needs. Biosensors allow doctors to remotely keep the vital signs of a patient under check. It also helps them monitor any noticeable changes on a 24×7 basis and take preemptive measures.

The various data processing tools undertake multidimensional analysis of the huge amounts of data that is collected using the IPv6 biosensors. The healthcare professionals commonly use the data visualization techniques to spot any underlying medical condition that may require intervention by the experts. Some of the obvious advantages offered by the IPv6 biosensors used in the medical industry are:

Improved performance over the wireless networks - IPv6 is developed keeping in mind the increased transition from the wired to the wireless networks and the increasing addition of nodes requiring unique network addresses. This makes IPv6 better suited to network devices over a wireless network such as the biosensors.
Increased address space - The increased address space offered by IPv6 allows the biosensors to have a unique IP address that is a prerequisite for them be connected directly to the Internet for applications such as remote diagnostics and telemedicine.
Optimized for high-speed data transfers - IPv6 protocol is tested to support communications over high-speed multi-gigabit per second (Gbps) data networks. Most of the critical medical applications will use the high-speed data networks for communication purposes. The erstwhile IPv4 protocol was not optimized for such high-speed data transfers.
Enhanced wireless security features - Security is a critical issue in wireless networks. It becomes all the more important when the network is being utilized by medical applications. IPv6 offers enhanced security features that make it appropriate to be used for medical biosensor wireless communications networks.
Optimized for always-on real-time networks - IPv6 protocol is optimized for high-speed always-on real-time wireless networks such as WiFi 802.11 and WiMAX. This gels very well with the network requirements of the biosensors used in the medical industry. As a result, IPv6 biosensors are best suited to provide all the real-time information requirements in the medical industry.

We can conclude that IPv6 biosensors will play a critical role in offering monitoring and diagnostic facilities to the common man in an increasingly networked world.


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