FCC Wants to Ramp Up Health Care Technology Creation and Deployment

The Federal Communications Commission has revised and, purportedly, streamlined its rules to modernize the Experimental Radio Service (ERS).

The rules adopted update the ERS to a more flexible framework to keep pace with the speed of modern technological change.

To accomplish this transition, we are creating three new types of ERS licenses – the program license, the medical testing license, and the compliance testing license – to benefit the development of new technologies, expedite their introduction to the marketplace, and unleash the full power of innovators to keep the United States at the forefront of the communications industry.

Not surprisingly, the medical program experimental radio license is proposed as that which would be available to hospitals and other health care institutions for the purpose of speeding up the process by which medical equipment is approved under equipment authorization procedures.

A major component of this effort is to eliminate the need to obtain multiple experimental licenses, and encourage the creation of so-called “test-beds for medical device innovation.”

The license, however, would be limited to experiments for therapeutic and diagnostic medical equipment.

“The Order we just approved reforms the experimental licensing program here at the FCC, and creates the possibility for a testbed for wireless medical devices,” says FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Our Office of Engineering and Technology, led by Julius Knapp, will begin the process of reaching out to our federal agency partners as well as the private sector with the goal of creating testbeds that are  specifically designed to advance the development and deployment of wireless technology for health care applications.”

To read the FCC Chairman’s full statement on Expanding Broadband Access and Spectrum Availability for Healthcare, click here.

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