Andreas Molisch of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, along with visiting researcher Arjan Meijerink, organized an international workshop on body area networks for medical applications on November 5, 2010. Seven talks were given, with keynotes by researchers from the US, the UK, and the Netherlands. The initiative for the workshop reflects USC's emphasis on collaboraiton between the engineering and medical schools (evidenced in the recent "Health Technology Engineering" intiative), as well as the strength of the wireless communications, bioengineering, and medical research programs. Demonstrating the goal to strengthen the dialogue between the medical and engineering community about this important topic, both wireless engineers and medical doctors presented their research and view of future interactions. More than 30 people attended this event.
Body Area Networks are wireless networks whose various nodes are located on the body of one user, and are communicating with each other. While traditional applications such as Bluetooth connections between a headset and a cellphone are widespread, new uses are emerging for medical applications. Sensors that track vital information such as heartbeat or blood sugar level can communicate with "hub" devices such as smartphones that either process data themselves, or relate them (via cellular connections) to a doctor's office. Such remote medical sensing has the potential to dramatically improve the availability of vital patient information to medical professionals, and improve monitoring and treatment especially of chronic diseases.
Andreas Molisch is an internationally noted researcher in wireless technologies who joined USC as a professor and a member of the Communications Sciences Institute (CSI) in January 2009. He received his M.S., Ph.D. (with highest honors) and habilitation degrees from the Technical University in Vienna, Austria, in 1990, 1994 and 1999, respectively. He also taught as an assistant and then associate professor there, before moving on to AT&T (Bell) Research Labs. Molisch was also professor and head of the Radio Systems Group in the Department of Electrical and Information Technology at Lund University, Sweden, and was Chief Wireless Standards Architect and Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs in Cambridge, MA.
His current research interests include measurement and modeling of wireless mobile radio channels; multiple-antenna systems; ultrawideband communications; cooperative communications; multiple-input-multiple-output systems; and sensor networks. He is the author, co-author or editor of four books, twelve book chapters, more than 130 journal papers, and more than 200 conference contributions, as well as more than 70 patents and 60 standards contributions. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and has won many awards and honors.