The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Report and Order that will result in TV Channel 37 being available for use by unlicensed devices. To protect your Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS) devices, it is essential to be registered with ASHE.
All hospitals using WMTS devices must be registered with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering. Hospitals that fail to register devices are at risk for harmful interference to the operation of their wireless medical telemetry equipment.
The FCC requires registration before an organization operates a WMTS system in the TV Channel 37 band (and in the upper bands of 1395-1400 MHz and 1427-1432 MHz). If a WMTS system is not registered, the FCC considers it to be unlicensed and not entitled to protection from interference caused by other transmitters.
In June, the FCC issued the Report and Order that will result in TV Channel 37 being made available for use by new unlicensed devices. This action may cause harmful interference to unregistered WMTS devices operating on TV Channel 37 (608–614 MHz). The FCC feels that technical parameters can be developed to protect registered WMTS users from this interference, but this protection will be available only to registered WMTS systems.
ASHE is the designated WMTS coordinator and maintains a dataset of WMTS users for the FCC. ASHE will also assist with development of technical parameters to maximize protection for registered WMTS users.
If your hospital operates WMTS devices, make sure your facilities are registered with ASHE by taking the following steps:
- Share this advisory with your clinical and biomedical engineering professionals, critical care physicians, nursing staff, and risk managers.
- Check www.ashe.org/resources/WMTS/registeredhospitals.html to confirm that your hospital is registered.
- If your hospital is not registered, register your WMTS equipment now.
- If your hospital is registered, verify that the equipment and locations listed in the database are accurate and complete.
- For more information, visit www.ashe.org/resources/WMTS.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) and ASHE will continue to work closely with the FCC and FDA to ensure that interference does not compromise patient care and safety.
If you have questions, please contact ASHE Engineering & Compliance Director John Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-422-3805.