Assurance of energy efficiency and data security for ECG transmission in BASNs

Tao Ma, Pradhumna Lal Shrestha, Michael Hempel, Dongming Peng, Hamid Sharif, Hsiao Hwa Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


With the technological advancement in body area sensor networks (BASNs), low cost high quality electrocardiographic (ECG) diagnosis systems have become important equipment for healthcare service providers. However, energy consumption and data security with ECG systems in BASNs are still two major challenges to tackle. In this study, we investigate the properties of compressed ECG data for energy saving as an effort to devise a selective encryption mechanism and a two-rate unequal error protection (UEP) scheme. The proposed selective encryption mechanism provides a simple and yet effective security solution for an ECG sensor-based communication platform, where only one percent of data is encrypted without compromising ECG data security. This part of the encrypted data is essential to ECG data quality due to its unequally important contribution to distortion reduction. The two-rate UEP scheme achieves a significant additional energy saving due to its unequal investment of communication energy to the outcomes of the selective encryption, and thus, it maintains a high ECG data transmission quality. Our results show the improvements in communication energy saving of about 40%, and demonstrate a higher transmission quality and security measured in terms of wavelet-based weighted percent root-mean-squared difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041-1048
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Body area sensor network (BASN)
  • electrocardiographic (ECG)
  • energy saving
  • security
  • selective encryption
  • two-rate unequal error protection (UEP)
  • wavelet-based weighted percent root-mean-squared difference (WWPRD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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