Medical devices and wearable consumer products have fundamental anatomically-driven size constraints that necessitate small form factors. Since most patients and consumers desire long battery life, and battery volume is limited by anatomy, one of the only ways to increase lifetime is to reduce the power of the underlying circuits. The power consumption of wireless communication circuits is often large, and while power can be minimized by restricting the communication distance to just a few meters from sensor nodes to a personal base station as part of a body-area network (BAN), it can still dominate the overall energy budget of a wearable device. Current human body communication (HBC) systems communicate using capacitive electrodes that are placed on the body and generate electric fields that then have fringing currents that travel through conductive biological tissues (in one embodiment – galvanic coupling) or fringing fields that interact with the surrounding environment (in another embodiment – capacitive coupling). Both techniques have slightly better path loss than conventional far-field RF techniques, but suffer from electrode impedance variation, environmental variation, or both, making the design of ultra-low power HBC systems difficult. Establishing methods that improve path gain and thus reduced power consumption will aid the functionality of industry devices greatly.