Dr. Maximilian Schäfer

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)

The networked human – health monitoring in the Internet of BioNanoThings.


The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the greatest achievements of digitalization. The interconnection of various elements of society and industry has created a global ecosystem of data. The IoT enables an accurate picture of the current state and through Artificial Intelligence, patterns in data can be detected to enable predictions about future states. The proposed project adds a new dimension to digitization. Networking the human body with the Internet in the so-called Internet of BioNanoThings (IoBNT) enables monitoring of health status for early detection of diseases and their targeted treatment. Unlike existing IoT devices for external health monitoring, IoBNT devices form an “in-body” communication network designed to enable localized diagnosis and personalized treatment at the organ or even cell level. The “in-body” communication within the IoBNT is enabled by Molecular Communication (MK), a novel and innovative communication paradigm in which information is encoded in the properties of molecules. The realization of IoBNT not only promises groundbreaking advances in the field of personalized healthcare, it is also a solution approach to the new challenges that globalization has posed to our healthcare system. For example, by analyzing data from all participants in the IoBNT, it will be possible to predict impending local outbreaks of infectious diseases and then respond to them in a targeted manner. By developing new concepts for the body’s communication with the Internet and suitable algorithms for data evaluation and prediction, the project contributes to being able to diagnose diseases with greater accuracy and earlier in the future. Experimental verification of the results ensures that the developed techniques can be transferred into functioning applications. However, the development of new digital technologies must not be an end in itself, but should take place where they are socially needed and desired. The project is given an agile and interdisciplinary profile by including the requirements of important stakeholders (society, industry) and the potential societal impact of IoBNT in the technical development.