The Evolution of Bluetooth in Wireless Medical Devices

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Executive Summary

In 2003, only two years after Bluetooth wireless technology was officially released to the world, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a Bluetooth enabled medical device for the first time. It was a Serial Port Adapter for emergency room equipment, designed for applications like wireless printing of electrocardiograms or transmitting medical images over the air. Like the Serial Port Adapter, almost all of the early Bluetooth enabled medical devices used the Serial Port Profile (SPP), a type of Bluetooth communication designed to replace traditional serial cables. Bluetooth SPP works by opening a virtual serial port and transferring information one byte at a time, using whatever data format the device manufacturer decided to implement.

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