Feeds

Wireless can be good for your health

Ofcom stares into healthcare crystal ball

Boost IT visibility and business value

The report also makes no mention of the bands currently used by hospitals and medical research sites around the country, 434 and 458MHz. In these bands the medical industry is a secondary user, so deployments have to be carefully surveyed before anything is put into place, and users have to be alert for new interference sources.

Implants do get some dedicated spectrum, from 402 to 405MHz, which is harmonised across Europe and the USA. There have been questions about congestion within that band but Ofcom reckons that's just a perception problem, though they'll keep it under review.

A couple of bands are also reserved, across Europe, for social alarms - panic buttons and the like. These are very narrow bands near 170MHz and 870MHz, but the expected usage model - infrequent traffic with little content - means overloading isn't expected in the next 20 years, unless lots of oldsters suddenly need help at the same time.

RFID is also expected to make great changes in healthcare, with medicine bottles and medical supplies all being tagged, and tracked, within the next two decades. Hospitals will know the whereabouts of every pill box and bandage in the building, for a start. Intelligent boxes in the home will also alert patients when they should be taking a pill, along with wirelessly contacting the authorities if they fail to do so (whereupon they will no doubt be able to check the medical insurance situation before deciding what to do about it).

But none of that requires new spectrum - just effective use of what's already allocated, and the money to make it happen. Luckily the baby-boomers have made fortunes from their properties, and invested wisely in pensions, so should be able to afford to be looked after in their dotage by man or machine. The rest of us will just have to rely on luck.

Ofcom is planning to spend the next 12 months researching how the entertainment industry might be using wireless technologies between now and 2028. We'll be watching those developments with interest. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.