The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Wireless Medical Telemetry System (WMTS) in response to growing concerns about interference from digital television transmitters and other equipment. The FCC dedicated bands of frequencies to promote the interference-free use of medical telemetry systems important for patient monitoring. The FCC mandated that all WMTS transmitters be registered, and appointed ASHE as the frequency coordinator to handle registration. ASHE and its technical partner Comsearch provide frequency coordination services and device registration. In addition to serving as frequency coordinator, ASHE also closely monitors FCC actions that have the potential to affect WMTS. For more information about FCC proposals and changes, visit the WMTS Reference Room.
Critical WMTS Updates
FCC Grants Limited, Conditional Waiver to Support Wireless Medical Telemetry Services
In coordinated efforts between the American Society for Health Care Engineering of the American Hospital Association, TerreStar, GE Healthcare, and Philips Healthcare, The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau on April 30, 2020 adopted a conditional waiver to allow TerreStar to begin offering wireless medical telemetry services (WMTS) in the 1.4 GHz band. This action will help ensure that traditional health care facilities have more spectrum capacity to meet a surge of additional monitoring demands that may occur in emergencies. It also will enable the development and use of monitoring services in non-traditional settings outside hospitals. The waiver includes strict conditions requiring TerreStar to use its licensed spectrum for wireless medical telemetry services.
A webinar held in September 2015 gives the latest information on an important FCC decision that will allow unlicensed devices to operate on the same channel as the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS) used by hospitals and other health care facilities. Watch the webinar to understand the issue, and be sure your facility’s wireless telemetry equipment is registered.
Mandated Hospital Registration
WMTS is the only frequency spectrum designated exclusively for medial telemetry systems. The FCC requires that all WMTS transmitters be registered with ASHE, the frequency coordinator for WTMS.
For questions on registering WMTS devices, contact Benjamin Leutze, Senior Advocacy Specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Comsearch (ASHE’s technical partner for frequency coordination services) at 1-800-318-1234 or email@example.com.
For detailed information about WMTS frequencies, why health care facilities should register, and instructions on using the WMTS Frequency Coordination Database, download the WMTS User Guide.