FCC Proposes Medical Usage Around 450MHz

March 23, 2009

Washington - Mar 20, 2009 - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed to allocate spectrum and adopt service and technical rules for the utilization of new implanted medical devices that would expand the use of functional electric stimulation to restore sensation, mobility and function to paralyzed limbs and organs. These implanted neuromuscular microstimulators would function as wireless broadband medical micro-power networks (MMNs) within a patient. By eliminating the wires now used to interconnect multiple implanted neuromuscular microstimulators and the external power source for the implants, MMNs would reduce the risk of infection and increase patient mobility and system reliability.

The Notice seeks comment on the feasibility of allowing up to 20MHz of spectrum in the 413-457MHz band to be used under the Medical Device Radiocommunication Service (Med Radio Service) in Part 95 of the Commission's rules, and seeks comment on the allocation of four specific segments for this purpose: 413-419MHz, 426-432MHz, 438-444MHz, and 451-457MHz. The Notice also seeks comment on the prospective service and technical rules that would govern MMN operations, such as transmitter power, emission bandwidth, duty cycle, contention protocols, and other operating specifications which generally comport with the framework of the existing Med Radio Service. The Notice proposes to limit MMN operations to use only by persons for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, and only to the extent provided under the direction of authorized health care professionals.

ET Docket No. 09-36.

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