January 20, 2016

FCC's OET Requests Comment on Sensifree's Request for Waiver to Market a Body-Worn Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Heart Rate Monitor

Digital Health Download

The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) has provided until February 12, 2016, for comments (and February 29, 2016, for replies) on Sensifree, Inc.'s (Sensifree) request for waiver of the Commission's rules to obtain an FCC equipment authorization for a "body-worn ultra-wideband ("UWB") heart rate monitoring device." Without the equipment authorization, it is unlawful for Sensifree to "manufacture, import, sell, offer for sale, or ship" the device in or to the United States.

According to Sensifree's filing, its heart rate sensor can electromagnetically detect changes in the user's artery diameter caused by the repetitive cycle in blood pressure inside the artery. The FCC's Public Notice notes that the "device's transmitter frequency-hops over a range of frequencies depending on where it is placed on the body" and that "a wrist-worn device would operate between 5 and 10 GHz; an arm-worn device would operate between 3.1 and 7 GHz; and a chest-worn device would operate between 3.1 and 4.1 GHz."

Sensifree's monitor does not quite meet the FCC's definition of a UWB transmitter in 47 C.F.R. §15.503(d) because the instantaneous bandwidth of each individual frequency hop is less than the minimum 500 megahertz required by the FCC's rule. Sensifree, nevertheless, seeks a waiver of this rule to obtain permission to market and sell its device in the United States.

Parties interested in commenting on this waiver request can file online through the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System.

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