CATA’s point man on this is Michael Kedar, a wireless telecom verteran who now heads Toronto-based MobileExchange Spectrum Inc., which leases spectrum in the 24 GHz range.
Kedar, a members of CATA’s national leadership council, has been campaigning for some time for the federal government to include m-health in its long-delayed digital strategy and 700 MHz spectrum use policy.
In an interview Friday he said that it doesn’t make sense that ambulance and paramedic staff will be on the proposed public safety network, but not doctors and clinicians who they communicate with. In fact, he said, access could also include patients with real-time wireless medical monitors.
Health professionals should have access to a secure network, he said, and not have to send patient information over commercial cellphone networks where they don’t have priority.
If Ottawa allocates 20 MHz of spectrum for the network – and so far it has only suggested setting aside 10 MHz in the so-called D block -- there would lots of room for m-health uses, he said.
Kedar also argues there’s a financial reason to add m-health: Local police and fire departments don’t have the money to build a wireless public safety network. But if the provinces – which largely pay for healthcare – can be convinced there could be cost savings in m-health, they could be persuaded to help fund the network.
In a statement Industry Canada said it is still considering potential applications and uses for the public safety network. A decision will be released in a policy later this year.