The FCC lent its support to the advancement of medical technology with the release of a Report and Order last Friday that establishes a new Medical Device Radiocommunication (MedRadio) Service under Part 95 of the agency’s rules. Addressing a 2005 rulemaking petition filed by Medtronic, Inc., the new MedRadio rules incorporate the agency’s existing Medical Implant Communications (MIC) Service rules in the 402-405 MHz bands and add two megahertz of spectrum in the 401-402 and 405-406 MHz bands for body-worn and implanted medical devices. In a further rulemaking notice issued with last Friday’s order, the FCC is also considering allocation of an additional 24 MHz of spectrum in the 413-457 MHz band for “new implanted medical devices that would greatly expand the use of functional electric stimulation to restore sensation, mobility and function to paralyzed limbs and organs.” Unlike the MIC rules— which covered only implantable devices and required the use of listen-before-talk (LBT) monitoring—the new MedRadio rules would accommodate devices that utilize other monitoring technologies and would also permit the use of body-worn devices. As such, the FCC maintained that the new MedRadio rules “are designed to provide a greater degree of flexibility than is permitted by the existing [MIC] rules while also assuring spectrum user compatibility among different device types.” Noting that the devices covered by the MedRadio order are used, among other things, “to control heart rhythms to prevent heart attacks, mitigate the tremors of neurological patients, and control the delivery of insulin to patients with diabetes,” acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps observed: “few uses of our spectrum could be more important than supporting new medical technologies that can extend and improve lives.”