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. For more information regarding current WMTS issues see the news articles below.
Managing the Intangible Asset of Radio Frequency Spectrum in Hospitals
Important clinical functions like patient monitoring are reliant upon an invisible resource that is often poorly understood. Over the past two decades, patient monitoring via medical telemetry has played a central role in the care of patients with cardiac risk factors. Yet, while wireless patient monitoring has helped to improve clinical outcomes, it has also thrust new and unfamiliar responsibilities upon hospital administrators. Though it may be intangible, the RF spectrum that makes patient monitoring work is an asset requiring the same level of diligence and maintenance as any physical part of a health care facility.
The Essential Role of Licensed Spectrum for Patient Monitoring
Patient monitoring via medical telemetry plays a profoundly important role in the care of patients with cardiac risk factors. Studies demonstrate that monitored patient populations have significantly better outcomes than those that are unmonitored. This is true even in severe cases of cardiac arrest, where patient monitoring more than doubles the chances of survival.1 Today, the growing sophistication of medical telemetry is enabling these systems to not only alert staff during a cardiac event, but also detect trends that can warn clinicians well in advance of trouble. Through increasingly sophisticated software analytics, patient monitoring is rapidly expanding its ability to save lives.
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 Jonathan Flannery, Senior Associate Director of Advocacy at email@example.com, or contact Comsearch (ASHE’s technical partner for frequency coordination services) at 1-800-318-1234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.