back to article White space fillers are hospital system killers

Hospitals in the USA fear plans to fill white space - unused TV frequencies - will have a knock-on effect on the systems they use to monitor patients wandering around their buildings. So they are lobbying the Federal Communications Channel to reserve some more frequency for them. In the US, medical telemetry systems are …


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  1. vincent himpe

    medical telemetry over bluetooth

    are they out of their bleep-ing mind ?

    the first clown that comes along with a pda with bluetooth will cause havoc. besides bluetooth is one of the most unreliable links and it barely goes 10 meters... ( even with the high power device that claim '100' meter... one wall and it's game-over...)

  2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    What about TV?!

    I still don't buy the BS that whitespace devices won't interfere with TV. Their calculations assume that the WiFi device and TV have comparable antennas. That's completely ridiculous, especially in high density housing and homes containing stucco or brick walls.

    The FCC really has its head up its ass if they trust companies like Microsoft and Google to do what's right. Where's the National Association of Broadcasters? Where are the people who hate Comcast?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Using the same bands at bluetooth is not the same as using the bluetooth protocol (2.4Ghz is also used by 802.11b/g/n - although n can use the 5Ghz bands that a does - as well as Zigbee, as noted in the article, along with many common cordless phones).

  4. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Minor Correction

    Channel 37 is reserved for radio astronomy and, as a result, is free of broadcast TV in many areas. Medical telemetry is permitted to use 'white space' in the UHF bands as a secondary user. Meaning: If the telemetry interferes with broadcasts or is interfered with by broadcasts, it (the telemetry) must move.

    Channel 37 is selected for medical telemetry because it is a safe bet that there won't be any TV broadcasts there. Other unused UHF channels could be used for telemetry, but that would mean having to work around future new TV stations.

  5. yeah, right.

    TV? Who cares?

    TV is dead. Long live cable. Let's clear the spectrum completely and use it for useful things, like massive 64k players a side wireless multiplayer Halo deathmatches.


    I guess that's why there aren't any standards in the industry yet. Too many big players who have created their kit and want to be able to use their kit as the "standard" without any modification. If they could agree on a fucking frequency without all the damn politics this wouldn't be a bloody problem would it? But no, instead we have a bunch of political arseholes in large companies arguing about nonsense instead of just agreeing on a single frequency for medical devices.

  6. Charles Osborne

    Who you gonna' believe...

    the Math or the Marketing?

    (Steve Ballmer eats spectrum analyzers for lunch.)

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Kevin

    Kevin, you may be correct, but you miss the real question, which is: Does anyone care? TV already has a huge chunk of the spectrum, most of which is available, and the channels that are in use spew crap 24/7. With any luck the whole damn thing will go down.

  8. Nano nano

    'Black' space surely ...

    since the band is 'empty' of radiation at that frequency ?

    'White' implies spectrum is occupied (cf. white noise - all frequencies)

  9. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Nano nano

    Although I like your reasoning, I suspect they mean white space as in the unused space on a printed / typed page.

  10. Nano nano

    Media types


    That's what you get when you have too many 'media studies types' talking about things they don't understand ... someone should put them straight when using terminology about spectra !!

  11. Richard Sloan


    Your system has detected new hardware "Pacemaker2023.2". You must restart your computer to finish installing new hardware...

  12. Robert Smits

    Sharing Critical Frequencies does not work!

    The real problem is combining over-the-air use of frequencies with stuff that's supposed to stay within the cable system. It shouldn't be news to anyone that rf does not stay inside the cable system - it leaks out and interferes with all kinds of over-the-air transmissions, including police, fire, ambulance, aviation safety and now medical services.

    They all need to be on separate, discrete frequencies, and if that means taking away some opportunity to watch Judge Judy on forty different channels, so be it. People that tell you low powered in-house systems can co-exist with over-the air systems are just lying to you. Ever tried to watch cable channel 18 near a 150 MHz region paging system?

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