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This paper proposes wireless sensor networks composed of nodes using low-power 802.15.4 radios as an enabling technology for patient monitoring in general hospital wards. A key challenge for such applications is to reliably deliver sensor data from mobile patients. The authors propose a monitoring system with two types of nodes: patient nodes equipped with wireless pulse oximeters and relays nodes used to route data to a base station. A reliability analysis of data collection from mobile users shows that mobility leads to packet losses exceeding 30%. The majority of packet losses occur between the mobile subjects and the first-hop relays.
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