FCC sets aside frequencies for medical devices

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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the technology has "tremendous potential to untether patients from tubes and wires, and improve the quality of healthcare and ensure better outcomes for patients."

He cited a study that found an unmonitored patient has just a six percent chance of surviving a cardiac arrest, but monitored patients have a 48 percent chance of surviving. He also claimed the medical devices could reduce healthcare costs by as much as $12,000 per patient by reducing the risk of infections.

All five commissioners voted for the proposal. In statements, Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai, who were appearing in their first meeting as commissioners, both predicted that the order will save lives and reduce healthcare costs.

The spectrum that the FCC set aside for the devices is now being used by commercial test pilots. The rule will allow different users to share the spectrum band.