FCC backs move al­lo­cat­ing wire­less spec­trum for MBANS

Modern Healthcare - - LATEST NEWS -

The Fed­eral Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion voted unan­i­mously to al­lo­cate wire­less spec­trum for med­i­cal body area net­works, a new type of wire­less med­i­cal de­vice that would re­duce the num­ber of wires teth­er­ing a pa­tient to a hospi­tal bed and in­crease the role of pa­tient mon­i­tor­ing at home. FCC Chair­man Julius Ge­na­chowski said in a news con­fer­ence a week ear­lier that the agency was likely to ap­prove the al­lo­ca­tion of the spec­trum for med­i­cal body area net­works, or MBANS (May 21, p. 6). MBANS em­ploy wire­less sen­sors that are placed on a pa­tient’s body and cap­ture clin­i­cal in­for­ma­tion, which is wire­lessly trans­mit­ted to a nearby “hub” de­vice and then for­warded on to a pa­tient mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem. Al­lo­cat­ing pro­tected spec­trum for these types of de­vices is ex­pected to limit in­ter­fer­ence from other sources, such as a Wi-fi net­work, and al­low hos­pi­tals and other health­care providers to in­crease the num­ber of pa­tients who are mon­i­tored in a hospi­tal, ease pa­tient trans­port, bet­ter con­trol in­fec­tions and en­cour­age pa­tient mo­bil­ity. GE Health­care first pe­ti­tioned the FCC to al­lo­cate spec­trum for MBANS in 2007. Philips Health­care, Texas In­stru­ments and the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety for Health­care En­gi­neer­ing later joined GE Health­care’s ef­fort to have the FCC set aside spec­trum. Philips Health­care is also de­vel­op­ing MBAN tech­nol­ogy. “This is an im­por­tant in­flec­tion point, as it en­ables ad­vances in minia­tur­ized wire­less sen­sors lever­ag­ing the lat­est chip de­sign and clin­i­cal mea­sure­ment tech­nolo­gies,” Michael Harsh, GE Health­care’s vice pres­i­dent and chief tech­nol­ogy of­fi­cer, said in a news re­lease af­ter the FCC voted to ap­prove the or­der.

GE HEALTH­CARE

MBANS use sen­sors placed on a pa­tient’s body to cap­ture clin­i­cal data, which is wire­lessly trans­mit­ted to a hub.

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