As I have mentioned in my first blog about the recent announcement of the approved spectrum of the BAN by the FCC….this is a follow on. This posting will draw upon the benefits of using industry standards (solutions) and how proprietary solutions such as the recent BAN simply just are not needed. WMTS will be used as a case study.
We are aware of the rising costs of healthcare and somehow we need to try to contain costs by improving process and doing things differently.
If you carefully follow technology and the adoption of it…pretty much in 100% certainty it comes first from the consumer, then it goes to the enterprise. Witness the WiFi revolution. When the extension of 802.11 came out (i.e. 802.11b), WLAN adapters and access points were somewhat costly. However based upon the adoption of www.ieee.org, interoperability by the WiFi Alliance, and the silicon vendors…costs were driven down in a rapid fashion. Now instead of WLAN adapters being hundreds of dollars they are now embedded chips that are less than a few bucks or less.
Existing modeling tools such as from www.airmagnet.com, www.motorola.com, and www.ixiacom.com exist for the right deployment of enterprise WLANS. Companies like www.motorola.com and www.enterasys.com continue to push the envelope of enhancing value to the enterprise by driving down costs and improving the WLAN model.
Bluetooth has followed a similar path with vendor interoperability . www.bluetooth.com Today virtually every I-Phone and Android type of device today has WiFi and either Bluetooth and now Low Power Bluetooth. Interoperability and co-existence with WiFi has been proven in hundreds of millions of devices on a global basis.
See…also this is ANT. www.thisisant.com I have also attached the Q1 2012 newsletter from Nordic Semiconductor. (The author has worked with Nordic to help a start-up evaluate the best pathway for using ultra low power wireless technologies.) This newsletter does a very good job in outlining and describing all the standards based enterprise based low power PAN solutions.
The recent announcement of the new spectrum simply is not needed. (My opinion). It seems that this is again an attempt by some major medical device manufacture’s to carve out some uniqueness…when commoditization of patient monitoring has occurred. Some should question…why is this needed? Protected spectrum?….just look what happened to WMTS. This also will drive up costs…big time...then the big companies can dictate the price of their products.
This announcement is unlike the failure of WMTS (Wireless Medical Telemetry Service), when this attempted to replace traditional VHF and UHF telemetry. (See attachment, pages 1 and 2, Baker and Hoglund, et al).
Some things to point out regarding WMTS (proprietary WMTS…versus enterprise 802.11)
1. No site survey tools exist
2. No real time SNMP management or other method, leads to running a network in the dark compared with the high-level tools for BT and WiFi solutions. No management = high risk.
3. How many FDA 510k WMTS products have been approved in the past five years as compared to approved WLAN enabled medical devices?
4. Congress has just authorized/required the FCC to relocate incumbent (read medical and astronomy) users of the 608-614MHz (channel 37) band to different bands. That is the U.S. Congress has undermined the very foundation of WMTS. Here is the specific clause: “ a channel 37 incumbent user, in order to relocate to other suitable spectrum, provided that all such users can be relocated and that the total relocation costs of such users do not exceed $300,000,000. For the purpose of this section, the spectrum made available through relocation of channel 37 incumbent users shall be deemed as spectrum reclaimed through a reverse auction under section 6403 (a)”.
5. At 604-614MHzm using 25khz channel spacing limited to only 240 channels and this had to be throttled back due to interferers. As telemetry is going house wide...this seriously limits the usefulness of WMTS for widespread “whole hospital deployments. (Baker and Hoglund, pages 1 and 2).
6. Custom radios by each manufacturer. Custom radios do not benefit from the high volume of the consumer market.
7. High costs of custom antenna systems versus WLAN.WMTS has driven up costs for healthcare in an exponential fashion…when WLAN is proven.
No doubt the same pathway will be followed with BAN….when standards based low power and low cost enterprise based wireless solutions are available today. One should challenge proprietary solutions when the goal is to lower costs of healthcare!