UMass Dartmouth Professor receives four National Science Foundation grants totaling $900K for wireless monitoring of premature infants and other eHealth initiatives

Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Honggang Wang's work to enhance secure wireless communication of patient data and reduce health care costs

UMass Dartmouth Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Honggang Wang has received four National Science Foundation (NSF) grants to improve understanding of emerging wireless networks, increase reliability of wireless multimedia applications, enhance delivery of accurate and secure medical information, and design of a wearable body sensor system for premature infants. In total, Dr. Wang has received $900,227 in awards for his research.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight infants is born prematurely. Additionally, more infants die from preterm-related problems than any other single cause. These high risk infants require specialized monitoring not only in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but also in their home environments. Dr. Wang's Project aims to design a wearable biosensor system with wireless network for remote detection and anticipation of life threatening events in infants, such as apnea (pause in breathing), bradycardia (slowness of heart), and hypoxia (oxygen de-saturation). The proposed research goes beyond current health monitoring systems by incorporating body sensor networks (BSN) and advanced signal processing, tailored specifically to an individual infant's physiology.

Essential to Dr. Wang's research is advancing the understanding of emerging wireless networking. His work has the potential to advance the wireless network field by meeting the future data capacity demand and goals of quality of service, significantly impacting complex network application in the a number of areas including transportation, disaster recovery, and healthcare. In one particular project, Professor Wang focuses his research specifically on Quality of Experience (QoE) in working to develop an Cognitive RadiO Multimedia NEtwork Testbed (COMET) instrument to address critical issues related to energy, bandwidth, computing, and reliability for wireless multimedia applications.

Also in the area of healthcare, one of Dr. Wang's grants will support his research efforts in developing a cyber-security system for mobile health (mHealth). This is a joint project among UMass Dartmouth, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and University of Arkansas Little Rock. Non-intrusive, ambulatory health monitoring of patient vital signs over wireless networks is an economical solution to rising costs of healthcare. However, lack of security in the transfer of health and medical information remains prevalent. The goal of this particular project will be to develop a lightweight wireless authentication system to ensure real-time delivery of accurate and secure medical information.

Breakdown of NSF awards:

SCH: EXP: Collaborative Research: Design of a wearable biosensor system with wireless network for the remote detection of life threatening events in neonates ($360,202)

CCSS: Collaborative Research: Developing A Physical-Channel Based Lightweight Authentication System for Wireless Body Area Networks ($155,912.00)

NeTS: EAGER: A Cross-layer End-to-End Performance Modeling Approach for Large-Scale Random Wireless Networks with Node Cooperative Behavior ($109,619)

MRI: Acquisition of COMET, A Cognitive RadiO Multimedia NEtwork Testbed for Multimedia Communication Research and Education ($274,494)

About the Professor:

Honggang Wang received his B.E. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering from Southwest Jiaotong University, China, in 1996 and 2001, respectively. He worked for Bell Labs Lucent Technologies China from 2001 to 2004 as a Member of Technical Staff I. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering at University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2009. His research interests include networking, wireless sensor networks, multimedia communication, network and information security, software engineering and programming, embedded sensory system, biomedical computing, and pattern recognition. He has published more than 30 papers in his research areas and won the Best Paper Award of 2008 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC).

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