The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted today to replace broadband spectrum with wireless medical devices i.e. medical body area networks (MBANs). Its built in sensors can wirelessly monitor and read patient’s vital signs such as temperature, respiratory function, blood glucose. All these observations will be transferred automatically to nearby device for further process. Experts praised this move because, cables restrict patient to its bed and he/she is unable to move. Now elimination of cables would increases the patient’s mobility and also assist doctors to work more freely.
From the suggestions of GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare, FCC took this decision. George Washington University Hospital has been working on MBANs with the collaboration of these two institutes. They have successfully managed to replace wired internet system with wireless systems. GE and Philips officials praised the FCC’s ruling.
Soon after this decision, the FCC has allocated 40 MHz of spectrum for MBAN devices. This gives a spectrum band for short-range medical technologies to assist reliable low-power operation. FCC’s rule supports National Broadband plan which is committed to make advancement in “national purposes” which also includes healthcare.
Chief marketing officer of Philips Healthcare, Anthony Jones, believes that research and development in healthcare industries will flourish with the access to special purpose spectrum. Moreover he added that with the wireless technology, it allows doctors to diagnose more effectively at lower costs. Mike harsh, vice president and chief technology officer of GE healthcare also supported the Anthony Jones point. He added that with a little advancement in technology i.e. replacement of cable with wireless sensors will influence the clinical measurement technologies and latest chip design.
Following are the significant benefits that MBAN offer to hospitals:
· Early intervention. Doctors can identify the disease before patient’s condition biome critical. Hence it provides assistance in later diagnosis process.
· Ease of patient transport. With wireless system, there would be no problem for the movement of patients; because, wireless connection will be available throughout the hospital and doctors can operate patient anywhere in the hospital.
· Infection control. With wireless technology, MBANs could easily reduce the risk of infection.
· Flexibility. Clinical staff will be able to promptly add or remove sensors according to the requirement of the treatment.
Richard Katz, director of the Division of Cardiology at George Washington University Hospital. “These wireless technologies can improve patient safety by giving doctors the ability to monitor clinical measurements, irrespective of this, where the patient is located.” He further added that “MBANs is the next evolution in observing a patient’s health status,”
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