The FCC finalized rules covering Medical Body Area Networks (MBAN) used for wireless networking of multiple body sensors for performing diagnostic or therapeutic functions, primarily in health care facilities.
MBAN devices promise to enhance patient safety, care and comfort by reducing the need to physically connect sensors to essential monitoring equipment by cables and wires.
An MBAN is a low power network of sensors worn on the body controlled by a hub device that is located either on the body or in close proximity to it. MBAN devices operate in the 2360-2400 MHz band on a secondary basis, and must not cause harmful interference to and must accept interference from operating in the band, which is just below the WiFi band (2.4 ghz to 2.485 GHz).
The 2360-2390 MHz band is allocated for the Mobile Service on a primary basis and is used for aeronautical mobile telemetry (AMT). The 2390-2400 MHz band is allocated for both the Amateur Service and the Mobile Service on a primary basis.
It has a conductive thread of sensors knitted into it that read biological and physiological information on the wearer. The technology, powered by Canadian company OMsignal, uses an accelerometer and gyroscope to collect data on the wearer’s movement, direction, vitals and even stress level when a ball comes flying across the court.
This data is then transmitted via Bluetooth to the cloud, where it is stored and analyzed, producing information on the user’s heartbeat, respiration, stress level, energy output and other activity-related stats, viewable from a mobile app.
“As flexible electronics merge into textile-based constructions, and eventually become intrinsic to the fiber itself, people will come to implicitly expect their clothes to be connected”, says Stéphane Marceau, co-founder of OMsignal. “Bio-tracking technology woven into fabric and sewn into seams will become the same baseline expectation as buttons are on a pair of jeans.”
Android Wear and Android Wear Apps now support the new wearables which include a variety of watches by Samsung Gear Live, the LG “G” Watch and Motorola’s Moto 360, as well as dedicated fitness devices, likely to appear next week at the IFA show in Berlin.
ABI Research forecasts shipments of Bluetooth enabled sports and fitness devices will grow ten-fold from 2011 to 2016, totaling 278 million and representing over 60 percent of the total available market.
In it’s new report, IC Insights says Bluetooth unit shipments will grow 29% per year over the 2010-2015 time period.
Juniper Research predicts by the year 2014, there will be a total of 2.7 million annual mobile health monitoring events globally, generating some $1.9 billion at the end of 2014.
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