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Wireless Medical Telemetry Service

URGENT EFFORT TO PROTECT WMTS DEVICES FROM HARMFUL INTERFERENCE

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently considering rules that would allow unlicensed devices to operate on the same frequencies as wireless patient monitoring devices such as heart monitors and fetal monitors. This action could affect all hospitals using wireless patient monitoring devices. ASHE is asking hospitals to urge the FCC to prioritize patient care over other interests. ASHE Senior Executive Director Dale Woodin, CHFM, FASHE, explains the issue in the video below. Information is also available through other ASHE resources:

Your help is needed to protect wireless patient monitoring!

Actions needed:

  1. Fill out the form letter (click green button below to download) and mail to the FCC as soon as possible (the decision could come at the end of May so please act quickly).
  2. E-mail a copy of your letter to ASHE Senior Executive Director Dale Woodin, CHFM, FASHE, at dwoodin@aha.org.

Download Form Letter

Download the Form Letter Instructions


Hospital Registration

In response to growing concern about interference from new digital television transmitters and low-power television transmitters as well as greater use of private land mobile radio equipment, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has done the following:

ASHE has selected Comsearch as a technical partner in providing frequency coordination services in the WMTS bands. Comsearch will provide a broad range of services to ASHE and its members, including development of a WMTS device database and device registration capabilities.

Find out about ASHE's WMTS registration process and other important information by clicking on links below. Learn how it can help you protect your patients.

Previous ASHE/AHA Update on FCC Issues regarding WMTS

In the United States, wireless medical telemetry can be found in the following spectrum blocks:

  • Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS)
  • TV, private land mobile radio service (PLMRS), paging and the personal radio service
  • Industrial, scientific and medical (ISM)

So, why WMTS?  The considerations for use of each band are listed below.

WMTS (608-614 MHz, 1395-1400 MHz, 1427-1432 MHz)

  • This is the only designated frequency spectrum for medical telemetry systems.
  • You are protected from interference due to other wireless devices.
  • There are comparatively fewer interference sources.
  • Both the FCC and FDA encourage use of WMTS.
  • Use of new FCC-approved equipment permitted (the FCC will not approve new equipment for use in the TV & PLMRS bands).
  • Frequencies are coordinated to ensure interference-free operation.

TV and PLMRS (174-216 MHz, 450-608 MHz, 614-668 MHz)

  • There is no interference protection. Hospitals must accept interference or shut down if causing interference.
  • There are hundreds of thousands of existing PLMRS devices, such as mobile radios or walkie-talkies used by policemen, firemen, taxicabs, and delivery trucks.
  • Tens of thousands more PLMRS devices are expected in the future.
  • High-power operations already permitted in portions of the PLMRS spectrum with more high power operations permitted in the future
  • Interference from mobile operations is unpredictable.
  • New digital TV stations commence operation daily.
  • The FCC will not approve equipment after October 2002.
  • Frequencies are not coordinated.

ISM (2400-2483 MHz)

  • There is no interference protection. Hospitals must accept interference
  • There are millions of existing operations, including wireless LANS and microwave ovens.
  • There is the potential of increased interference with the increasing popularity of wireless networking technologies.
  • Frequencies are not coordinated.


Comsearch

Download Form Letter">

Download the Form Letter Instructions

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering of the American Hospital Association
155 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 400. Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312-422-3800 | Fax: 312-422-4571
ashe@aha.org