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FCC, FDA Hosting Public Workshop on mHealth

By Ryan Mcaskill

Today, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are hosting a day long gathering to talk about wireless mobile health technology. This is an important public event as the two organizations have been leading the way efforts to regulate the industry.

“As the rapid pace of innovation blurs traditional boundaries between consumer health technology, medical devices, and communications, the agencies seek to better understand how wireless test beds can be used and configured to meet the challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities this convergence presents,” the FCC website reads.

The workshop is titled “Promoting Medical Technology Innovation - The Role of Wireless Test Beds," and features four panel discussions on various topics and a spotlight session. These include:

  • Defining the need for and scope of wireless medical device test beds
  • Overview of current public and private wireless medical device test beds programs and initiatives
  • Identifying and prioritizing key features, functions and gaps in wireless medical device test beds
  • Driving innovation and safe coexistence of wireless medical devices
  • Spotlight Session: The future of healthcare and medical device innovation.

The sessions will be moderated by and feature discussants from across the industry. This includes executives from the FCC and FDA, Kaiser Permanente, Philips Healthcare, Geisinger Health System, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology,  Deloitte, octoScope Inc, Ruckus Wireless, Qualcomm Inc, Cisco Systems and Mayo Foundation for Education and Research.

“Health care facilities commonly confront questions about the safe coexistence of the wide variety of wireless devices in use in clinical settings,” an FCC press release reads. “In addition, consumers are increasingly embracing wireless health and care management tools at home and the emergence of the ‘hospital in the home’ concept opens new avenues of medical technology innovation that must take into account the need for reliable and safe coexistence. Wireless test beds provide an opportunity to predict how a device will perform in the real world, before clinicians and consumers have to rely on them to work as intended in spectrum-crowded environments.”

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