GE Healthcare and Philips Healthcare praised a recent FCC decision to allocate spectrum for wireless networks made of body-worn medical sensors, saying it will allow them to create technology that will reduce the spaghetti of wires connected to patients. But some experts worry that a lack of rules governing interoperability in the bands could hold back progress.
MBANs are made up of low-power body-worn sensors that wirelessly transmit data from patients to telemetry systems, which then send the information to back-end systems, such as electronic health records. Proponents say the networks could help cut healthcare costs and improve patient care by increasing the potential for patient monitoring, easing transport, and reducing the risk of infection. Applications could include wireless monitoring of blood pressure, temperature, and respiration rate.
But some experts question why spectrum was set aside for MBANs to begin with, and others say they will face the same problems already experienced by the Wireless Medical Telemetry System.