Thursday, December 22, 2011

FCC Allows Implantable Medical Devices at 413-457 MHz

The FCC commissioners voted unanimously on November 30 to permit the use of implantable wireless medical devices that operate in spectrum between 413 and 457 MHz. This includes the entire 70-centimeter amateur band (420-450 MHz). These low-power devices, like amateur radio, will have a secondary allocation on the band (federal government radar is primary).
According to the ARRL Letter, Medical Micropower Networks will use multiple transmitters implanted in the body that will use electric currents to activate and monitor nerves and muscles in hopes of restoring mobility and function to people who have lost the use of limbs or organs. While there is little risk of interference to amateur radio from these ultra-low-power networks, there is concern that amateur transmitters may cause interference to these devices. The FCC is expected to issue a Report & Order specifying the new rules for these devices in the near future.