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medical body area network (MBAN)

An MBAN (pronounced M-ban) is a medical body area network (BAN) composed of low-power wearable or implanted wireless medical devices. 

Wearable devices are typically low-cost, disposable sensors that stick to the body and free the patient from being being physically tethered to monitoring devices. Embedded devices may be sensors that are swallowed for short-term monitoring or placed in the body during surgery to monitor physical parameters during and after the healing process.

The sensors transmit patient data wirelessly to a control device located either on the patient’s body or in close proximity to it. The control device, which functions as a message broker, forwards data from the sensors to a workstation in real time over a wireless local area network (WLAN).  

In 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set aside 40 MHz of protected spectrum in the 2360-2400 MHz band specifically for wireless medical devices. The dedicated spectrum for medical data has made medical data transmission both more reliable and faster and prevented interference from Wi-Fi devices.  

MBAN devices using the protected spectrum operate under a license-by-rule basis; devices must have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval before they can be used in hospitals, but individuals do not need to apply for transmitter licenses.

See also: Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

 

This was last updated in January 2016

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