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FCC Waives Pre-Certification for Some Telehealth Tech

The FCC is waiving some prior equipment certifications so that medical tech from new suppliers can be sped to action in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

GE Healthcare requested the waiver so it could get supplies from new suppliers for use in healthcare facilities. That technology includes wearable patient monitors, diagnostic testing systems, and portable X-rays. 

Related: FCC Hands Out More Telehealth Funding 

The waiver was issued by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology.  

But without FCC pre-certification, GE Healthcare will have to test the devices before deploying them and must get the FCC certification within 18 months or it would have to get the devices back from the healthcare facilities after the waiver expires. 

“The FCC is committed to doing everything in its power to help healthcare facilities treat patients during the coronavirus pandemic,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement. “This waiver will enable GE Healthcare to get new medical equipment into the field that will benefit healthcare professionals during this difficult time.” 

Telehealth is one of the FCC's key priorities in COVID-19 mitigation, including handing out $200 million in a telehealth program funded by Congress.