FCC Designates MBAN Coordinator, Clears Way For MBAN Operation

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has designated the Enterprise Wireless Alliance as the frequency coordinator for Medical Body Area Network (MBAN) devices, clearing the way for their installation and operation. Eligible health care facilities may now begin to register MBAN devices. MBAN devices operating or capable of operating in the 2360-2390 MHz band must be registered with and approved by the coordinator before being put into operation.

The FCC assigned spectrum and developed operating parameters for MBAN devices in 2012. MBAN technology provides a platform for the wireless networking of multiple body-worn sensors used for measuring and recording physiological parameters and other patient information or for performing diagnostic or therapeutic functions. MBAN wireless devices can, for example, be used to monitor a patient's health, including blood glucose and pressure monitoring, transmitting electrocardiogram readings and even neonatal monitoring, all while freeing patients from cables that tie them to their hospital beds.

The coordinator ensures that MBAN devices will not interfere with other types of wireless services authorized to operate on the same frequencies. MBAN devices operating in the 2360-2390 MHz band may only be used indoors in health facilities such as hospitals and health care clinics that offer care beyond 24 hours. MBAN devices solely using the 2390-2400 MHz band may be used anywhere.

The information required for registration includes:

  • The specific frequencies or frequency range(s) to be used
  • The effective isotropic power
  • The number and location of control transmitters in use at the health care facility
  • The legal name of the health care facility
  • The points of contact for the health care facility

Keywords: Electrocardiography, Monitoring, Physiologic

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