The manuscript "Beamforming Galvanic Coupling Signals for IoMT Implant-to-Relay Communication" has been accepted for publication in IEEE Sensors Journal (https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=7361) and it will be included in the Special Issue on Next-Generation Smart Body Sensor Networks (BSN): from Autonomic Body Sensors to Cognitive Body Sensor Network Ecosystems

The authors are:

Stella Banou,  Meenupriya Swaminathan, Guillem Reus Muns, Kaushik R. Chowdhury (Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA), Farzana Kulsoom , Pietro Savazzi , Anna Vizziello (TLC&RS lab),  Davy Duong (Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA)

Abstract—Implants are poised to revolutionize personalized healthcare by monitoring and actuating physiological functions. Such implants operate under challenging constraints of limited battery energy, heterogeneous tissue-dependent channel conditions and human-safety regulations. To address these issues, we propose a new cross-layer protocol for galvanic coupled implants wherein weak electrical currents are used in place of classical radio frequency (RF) links. As the first step, we devise a method that allows multiple implants to communicate individual sensed data to each other through code division multiple access (CDMA) combined with compressive sensing (CS) method to lower the transmission time and save energy, as well as delegates the computational burden of dispreading and decoding only to the on-body surface relays. Then, we devise a distributed beamforming approach that allows coordinated transmissions from the implants to the relays by considering the specific tissue path chosen and tissue heating-related safety constraints. We then proceed to implement distributed beamforming on a phantom of human tissue and prove an increase in received signal strength and decrease in BER due to constructive interference of the signals of each implant. Our contributions are two fold: First, we devise a collision-free protocol that prevents undue interference at neighboring implants, especially for multiple deployments. Second, this is the first application of near-field distributed beamforming in human tissue. Simulation results reveal significant improvement in the network lifetime for implants of up to 79% compared to the galvanic coupled links without beamforming. Additionally, implementation on phantom tissue proves improved communication metrics when beamforming is used.