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FCC Sets Date for Medical Devices on 70 cm

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KB2KAB, Jan 30, 2012.

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  1. KB2KAB

    KB2KAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    In November 2011, FCC Commissioners unanimously agreed to allocate spectrum and adopt service and technical rules for the utilization of new implanted medical devices that operate on 413-457 MHz (70 cm). These devices will be used on a secondary basis as part of the Medical Device Radiocommunication (MedRadio) Service in Part 95 of the FCC rules. In the Federal Register for Friday, January 27, the FCC announced that the effective date for these new rules is Monday, February 27. The new rules expand the existing MedRadio Service rules to permit the use of new wideband medical implant devices that employ neuromuscular microstimulation techniques to restore sensation, mobility, and other functions to paralyzed limbs and organs. These medical devices hold enormous promise to advance the state of medical care, lower health costs, and improve the quality of life for countless Americans. The rules will allow these new types of MedRadio devices to access 24 megahertz of spectrum in the 413–419 MHz, 426–432 MHz, 438–444 MHz, and 451–457 MHz bands on a secondary basis.


    In November 2011, FCC Commissioners unanimously agreed to allocate spectrum and adopt service and technical rules for the utilization of new implanted medical devices that operate on 413-457 MHz (70 cm). These devices will be used on a secondary basis as part of the Medical Device Radiocommunication (MedRadio) Service in Part 95 of the FCC rules. In the Federal Register for Friday, January 27, the FCC announced that the effective date for these new rules is Monday, February 27. The new rules expand the existing MedRadio Service rules to permit the use of new wideband medical implant devices that employ neuromuscular microstimulation techniques to restore sensation, mobility, and other functions to paralyzed limbs and organs. These medical devices hold enormous promise to advance the state of medical care, lower health costs, and improve the quality of life for countless Americans. The rules will allow these new types of MedRadio devices to access 24 megahertz of spectrum in the 413–419 MHz, 426–432 MHz, 438–444 MHz, and 451–457 MHz bands on a secondary basis.

    I hope that this does not take up any more space on the band.
     
  2. N1ART

    N1ART Guest

    Ok and what happens when a police or fireman transmits on his HT or mobile radio when you have one of these stupid devices?I hate to say this but this will turn into a MESS for hams,firemen,policemen,taxi companies and whatever else uses 400-512MHZ. Ever hear an amplified speaker when you have your cellphone next to it?
    It makes ticking noises!Right?Thats RF! When someones life depends on a device,and something interferes with the device,whats going to happen?This is the dumbest move ever!They had to use these frequencies?????Do they even know anything about RF?Did they test to see what happens?I want to see
    the results!Implant devices?Sick!You cant play GOD.Im not even that religious,and this makes me ill.
     
  3. N3LMS

    N3LMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Idiots and morons! So, they think this is a good idea?!?! The public needs to be educated on the issues and possible problems, and urged to refuse any and all devices operating in this range.
     
  4. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You guys are overreacting. The reason four 6 MHz bands have been allocated is so that a device can detect interference and switch to a clear band. If all four bands are occupied, the device shuts down.

    The maximum power for the controller is 1 milliwatt eirp. The duty cycle is 5 microseconds every 11 milliseconds. Even if a person has 20 implants, the duty cycle is around 3 percent. The devices use a spread spectrum signal that occupies the entire 6 MHz, so the power density per hertz is very low.

    Finally, one of the target audiences for these devices are U.S. service men and women who suffered spinal cord, brain, and other serious injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     
  5. W0IW

    W0IW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Poor choice of bands anyway you look at it. We all know the 400mhz spectrum is one of the heaviest utilized bands anywhere in the spectrum, with frs/gmrs/police fire /old cordless phones/remote door openers/weather station temp sensors etc etc etc.., and a million other devices and uses lumped all into this band,

    I just hope there is enough good research that shows interference wont bother these medical devices when some ILLEGAL GMRS/FRS cowboy uses an illegal UHF amp to make sure his deer hunting buddies read him all 10-4 next door good buddy... and messes up private parts medical readings SPREAD SPECTRUM OR NOT !!!...

    Oh the humanity...
     
  6. W1BR

    W1BR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What happens when the device "shuts down?" How is the user affected by the device being absent?

    Imagine the negative press if a veteran has one of these devices, and a nearby ham is accused of interfering with its
    operation! The press would be all the hams as being the bad guys. Our radio club went through this years ago when
    a local ham was accused of interfering with a neighbor's medical device, and although unsubstantiated, the press was
    very ugly!!!!

    Pete
     
  7. AB9TA

    AB9TA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I really wish people would actually read the FCC R&O first...

    1. UHF was chosen as it is the most efficient band for transmitting a signal through tissue. There will be no external antennas, the signal simply propagates through the body from one device to the other internally. This alone will provide some isolation between the devices and the outside world. Other spectrum was tried, nothing else was even close in performance.

    2. As pointed out above, the devices use a Spread Spectum signal, and as such the receivers are very resistant to single carriers, even at much higher power levels. It's doubful that someone could override the SS link even fairly close to the device, and that would mean someone is trying to knock it out on purpose.. In any case, the devices would jump band segments in a few milliseconds, so fast the wearer wouldn't even notice.

    3. And again, as pointed out above, our narrowband receivers will not be affected by these devices as SS signals have a very low power density, with a very low duty cycle, and millisecond transmitter on times..

    4. It is extremely unlikely that all four frequency bands could be occupied enough that the device would need to shut down - there will almost always be clear sub-bands and the device will jump from band to band in milliseconds to dodge interference.

    5. The manufacturer has done extensive interference testing, and will no doubt continue to do so.. They will only get better at refining the algorithms so it will become even more resistant to common RF carriers over time.. After all, nobody will use this unless they can be sure the device works in a normal RF environment.

    6. When pacemakers first came out there were similar concerns about stray RF causing heart attacks.. How many news articles has anyone seen where this actually happened?

    When it comes right down to it, if I have to accept restrictions on my hobby in the UHF band so someone can walk again -- I'm fine with that..

    73!
    Bill AB9TA
     
  8. KF7PCL

    KF7PCL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, its a secondary service so there should not be any additional restrictions.
    Still does not seem like the best place for it in a band with large amounts signals in it.
     
  9. N3LMS

    N3LMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    The issue is not how much power or what signaling method they use or how much bandwidth they have. The problem I see, is that these quality of life devices themselves can be prone to interference from other radio signals much stronger than they themselves emit. A nearby Radio transmitter from a Ham, an officer, a firemen, or whomever, could potentially cause harmful interference to the device causing it to malfunction. I'm not the least bit concerned regarding interference, if any, that these devices may cause. I think it's another misguided allocation of frequency use by another greedy gov't organization.
     
  10. NC5P

    NC5P Ham Member QRZ Page

    1mW inside the body? We'll never even hear it. Given all the keyfobs, door openers, etc. operating in the band this is a non-issue. We give other users heck for accusing us of interference (PLC scada nixing our LF band, Army limiting NM hams to 50W on 440, etc.) so we need to exercise common sense.
     
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