RFID Hospital


Also read the first blog post of the series: RFID and UWB is Dead in the Medical Industry.

The RFID Journal has come out also with the problems and makes reference to other reports and research carried out. The ‘JAMA’ (Journal of the American Medical Equipment) report claimed:

“RFID and UWB could shut down equipment patients rely on”.

The RFID Journal article tries to argue that these studies where one-sided, but reading in to the studies and reading into the RFID Journal report it is clear they are distorting the truth. Such lines such as:

‘The Purdue study showed no effect when ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) systems were kept at a reasonable distance from medical equipment. So placing readers in utility rooms, near elevators and above doors between hospital wings or departments to track assets is not a problem”

“Kept at a reasonable distance” says it all…

We are not arguing what they are saying is incorrect, but “Kept at a reasonable distance” says it all. Also the areas they suggest is not practical for getting accurate location. Our argument is RFID and UHF cannot go within 30cm of sensitive equipment and cannot be used in highly sensitive areas such as ICU departments. This and various other studies proves this fact.

Also keeping readers in such positions as

“readers in utility rooms, near elevators and above doors between hospital wings or departments”

clearly away from equipment further highlights the truth in the various reports. Keeping readers in this area again also proves it is not real-time, it is last know location, and you will not get the accuracy of location by placing readers in such locations. By having readers in these positions it is away from sensitive equipment, but also pumps etc, as RFID has been proven to interfere with some pumps. But you would know the ward or the wing the equipment is in, but not the exact location, hardly solves the problem, it in fact creates a new problem.

Another quote from the RFID Article

“The JAMA article alerted people to potential problems, while the Purdue report showed RFID can be used safely if not deployed too close to medical systems”

So again showing that RFID cannot be used close to medical equipment.

An Article by the Wall Street Journal shows again more insight and research on why RFID is bad for hospitals in an article titled:

“RFID Tags Can Mess Up Medical Devices”

and this again highlights all the issues raised earlier.

RFID is also used to monitor blood and drugs. A recent report by Frost Sullivan quotes

“RFID is starting to lose out as a preferred track and trace solution by pharma companies..as they are easily replicated”

This along side our own discussions with pharma companies again highlights the faults with RFID technology within this sector. It is to easily copied and manipulated, 30% of drugs that arrive at a hospital will be counterfeit this is a well-known figure, somewhere on the journey from factor to destination they have been switched and the RFID tags copied and place onto the counterfeit drugs.

The FDA even though approved RFID for the medical sector, state

“it is important to keep in mind its potential for interference with pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), and other electronic medical devices”.

The body that approved RFID are warning against some of the dangers.

Download RFID in healthcare whitepaper.

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