Internet of things enables unprecedented possibilities in pervasive monitoring of physical activities and personal health. In terms of available approaches and solutions, as well as in terms of possible impacts on their life, the younger adults and adolescents represent a challenging target group. On one hand they are intertwined with modern technologies and connected gadgets, but are on the other hand exposed to severe health risks due to sedentary and inactive lifestyles, inappropriate nutrition, and frequent neglect of healthy life-style norms. Modern sensor systems, along with the corresponding IoT architectures, can provide efficient sensing of physical health parameters. Such solutions can store, analyze and evaluate these parameters and derive meaningful indications to gradually change life habits in positive directions. IoT architectures that enable approaches mentioned above are composed of sensor part, local or personal are communication technologies, communication gateways for wide-area interconnection, and (big) data platforms for storage, analysis, evaluation and visualization. In IoT architectures the security and privacy issues are addressed in vertical subsystems that cross and interlink all the horizontal layers of the architecture. This is the fundament for end-to-end security, which is much need, but often not yet addressed properly in the current IoT solutions. The IoT systems are namely distinguished by vast quantities of sensor devices involved, with limited autonomy, computation and storage, and lack of dedicated security solutions. Assuring appropriate management of trust is therefore fundamental for successful development and deployment of participatory sensing of physical health via IoT. Recently some very promising approaches to address the increased amount of sensors and platforms in health care systems were proposed and they are based on application of decentralized blockchain-based technologies. The blockchain is a distributed database that has been introduced e.g. by the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It stores records in a public ledger; records are periodically grouped into blocks, time-stamped and confirmed by a proof-of-work mechanism, thus achieving tamper-proof storage; the proof-of-work mechanism at the same time solves the problem of reaching consensus in a distributed system. In addition to cryptocurrencies as the first application, this underlying mechanism can be extended to any kind of contract, paving the road to smart contracts. The blockchain based technologies and the Ethereum specifically have many possible applications in the world of Internet of Things (IoT). One such application is secure and trustless peer-to-peer messaging for exchange of data; the IoT device can securely communicate directly with the peer device without the need for a central broker. Next, the smart contracts can be used to manage the device ownership, hierarchy and pairing. And finally, all communication and instructions in the network are fully auditable, which is an essential property for mission-critical applications and highly regulated industries such as medicine, e-health, and similar. The first objective of the cooperation (lead: Normal Univesrity, China) is to focus on health monitoring of primary and secondary school students in Beijing City by investigating the technology combination of Internet of things, wearable sensors, cloud computing and big data analysis, which includes: 1) the development of a new kind of wearable smart wristbands, which integrates some latest high-performance sensing chips for real-time collection of a variety of physiological and physical indicators in a movement of students, including heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, acceleration, etc. 2) Physiological and physical data collected from smart wristbands will be collected and further analyzed and prepared for multidimensional visualization. The research and work in the above described objective will be considered as an advanced research project for the construction of a large-scale cloud platform, which focuses on comprehensive evaluation of physical health and recommendation of personalized online exercise prescription. The second objective of this cooperation (lead: Univesity of Ljubljana, Slovenia) is to evaluate the possible role of block-chain based trust in personalized health monitoring systems, to define the architecture and to create a prototype for an IoT based system for participatory sensing of physical health of adolescents and younger adults based on block-chain based trust management. The system will be validated in laboratory and near-real-life environment, which will in alter stages enable the involvment of the other interdisciplinary experts such as antropologists and doctors.
Cooperation with Professor Rongfang Bie, Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs
Duration: 1.1.2017 – 31.12.2018
Project code: BI-CN/17-18-016