The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules to support the deployment of new wireless medical technology that promises to provide hospitalized patients with better healthcare and greater freedom.
In a Report and Order issued in May 2012, the Commission has authorized the use of so-called medical body area networks (MBANs). MBANs are low-powered networks that transmit a range of patient data from multiple body-worn sensors to a control device. MBANs can be used to monitor patient vital health signs in real time, thereby providing advanced notice of potential problems. And, because they are wireless, MBANs make it easier to move patients to different areas of a healthcare facility for specialized treatment.
The Commission has allocated 40 MHz of spectrum in the 2360-2400 MHz band for MBAN use on a secondary basis. To facilitate the rapid development of new MBAN devices and applications, the Commission has also modified the provisions of its rules governing medical device radio communications so that users will not have to apply for individual operating licenses.