The Federal Communications Commission on May 24 will vote on adoption of final rules to allocate wireless communication spectrum for operating Medical Body Area Networks, or MBANs. The FCC had issued proposed rules in mid-2009.

MBANs are wireless patient monitoring systems that use low-cost wearable sensors and allow clinicians to remotely monitor vital signs of patients, according to an FCC explanation. FCC Chair Julius Genachowski held a media event on May 17 to promote the rules.

For your consideration: YouTube video from media event, an HDM bulletin on new RTLS frontiers.

“Back in 1923, a doctor’s manual stated that the telephone had become as necessary to the physician as the stethoscope,” he said. “Today, health care is being transformed once again, this time by high-speed Internet access, or broadband--wired and wireless, fixed and mobile.”

Under the rules being considered, MBANs would operate in spectrum band 2360-2400 MHz. If the rules become policy, the United States would be the first nation to dedicate spectrum for MBANs in hospitals and physician offices. More information is available here.

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