The Federal Communications System has adopted rules to allocate spectrum, or wireless frequencies, for Medical Body Area Networks.

MBANs are wireless patient monitoring systems that use low-cost, disposable and wearable sensors and allow clinicians to remotely monitor vital signs of patients, freeing patients from being tethered to a hospital bed or a patient monitor, reducing discomfort and risk of infection, and enabling them to move to other parts of a facility while still being monitored.

MBANs also can be used in physician practices, long-term care or nursing homes, and in patient homes. The United States now is the first nation to dedicate spectrum for MBANs in hospitals and physician offices. They will operate in spectrum band 2360-2400 MHz, with devices working in the 2390-2400 band not requiring registration and coordination, and available for use in any location, including homes.

For your consideration: YouTube video from a May 18 FCC event on MBANs

The FCC believes MBANs will greatly increase the percentage of patients being actively monitored.  “According to a study by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a monitored patient has a 48 percent chance of surviving a cardiac arrest--this number plummets as low as 6 percent without monitoring,” the agency noted in a statement on its decision.

The rule is available here.

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