The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced it will allocate a 40 MHz band of spectrum, from 2360 to 2400 MHz, for medical body area networks (MBANs) – low-power, wideband networks used by body-worn sensors to transmit patient data to a control device.
MBANs provide a cost effective way to monitor every patient in a healthcare institution, providing clinicians with accurate real-time data, allowing them to intervene earlier and potentially save lives.
According to a study by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a monitored hospital patient has a 48% chance of surviving a cardiac arrest—this number plummets as low as 6% without monitoring. This underscores the importance of having dedicated spectrum allocated for this type of patient monitoring.
While this is one step in the right direction to further the adoption of MBANs, health systems will need to proactively update their local systems to allow physicians and patients to take advantage of these emerging technologies.