The USA has become the first country in the world to dedicate spectrum bandwith for the use of body sensors that will monitor a patient’s vital signs.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously approved the proposal, which will involve the spectrum working specifically with medical body area network sensor devices.
The devices are wireless systems that use wearable sensors to monitor information such as a patient’s pulse, temperature and blood pressure.
Under the FCC’s plan, the spectrum will provide hospitals in the US with a dedicated band for the operation of the monitoring devices.
Using the bandwidth, the sensors would wirelessly form a network, collecting the results and transmitting the data to a hospital’s central computer systems, providing clinicians with real-time information.
The frequencies allocated feature just below wi-fi on the spectrum map and FCC officials say the amount of radiation involved is so low that they would pose no health risks.
The network will provide clinicians with the flexibility to monitor patients at home via a sensor that transmits to a home-based unit, which would transfer information to hospitals over broadband or cellular networks.
Companies such as Philips Healthcare and GE Healthcare have been pushing for the spectrum grant and are planning to design medical monitoring devices that will operate over medical body area networks.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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