RFID Technology in Building Smart Hospitals

RFID technology in building smart hospitals is the technology that has already been applied in many areas such as library management, smart cards for employee attendance system, drug tracking in pharmaceuticals industries etc. Here in this article we will discuss application of RFID in building smart hospitals.

What is RFID Technology ?

Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is a method for remotely storing and retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is a small object, such as an adhesive sticker, that can be attached to or incorporated into a product just like barcode tag.

RFID tags are composed of an antenna connected to an electronic chip. These chips transform the energy of radio-frequency queries from an RFID reader or transceiver to respond by sending back information they enclose . Finally, a computer hosting a specific RFID application or middleware pilots the reader and processes the data it sends.

RFID has great characteristics over barcode:

  1. It is possible to scan tags in motion.
  2. Since radio waves can pass through most solid objects, the tags don’t need to be in direct line of sight of the RFID reader.

    RFID System

RFID in Building Smart Hospitals :

FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration) reported potential benefits and risks of RFID technology used on applications for health care in may 2007 as follows:

  • Managing assets such as hospital equipment, blood samples and drugs.
  • Tracking and identification patients
  • Providing data for electronic medical records systems

RFID emissions emissions also have the potential potential to affect electronic electronic medical medical devices. Preliminary FDA testing has shown that some RFID emitters of particular frequency or energy potentially could affect pacemakers or defibrillators.

Siemens IT Solutions and Services, a division of Siemens, has teamed with a hospital in Munich, Germany, to test the use of active and passive RFID tags to track sponges, swabs and other items used during surgery, and to track the surgical process itself.  RFID technology technology can be used to ensure that these items utilized during surgery aren’t left behind inside patient’s body.

Surgical sponges tracked by means of passive 13.56 MHz RFID Tag.

Using the Safe Place Pediatric and Infant Security Solution of RF Technologies they avoid kidnappings in the pediatric and maternity rooms. All babies have and RFID Tag in their ankle or wrist so, if the baby is near a hospital door and they still have the transponder, the door will close immediately.

With RFID, the hospital personal can make a “link” between the newborn and his/her mother. In other words, information of the mother will be printed in the baby’s TAG to make a quick verification of the location of his/her parent.

RFID Baby Security


The Yu Li Hospital of Taiwan is using the RFID TAGs on their 2500 patients to control their movements and to keep them away from restricted areas. Also, one of the most extended extended applications applications is the programming of the medicine and it’s doses in the TAG to avoid bad interpretations of the clinic history of the patient.

RFID skin sensor patch

The most recent version of the patch has only a temperature sensor, and would need to be affixed affixed as an adhesive bandage for temperature measurement. But the group is considering other sensors as well, including one that works with electrocardiograph (ECG) sensors that measure the heart’s electrical pulses. Data would be transmitted transmitted automatically to the monitoring station.

References and Further Reading :

1). Building a Smart Hospital using RFID technologies by Patrik Fuhrer and Dominique Guinard.

2). Medical Medical Applications Applications based on RFID technology; http://gmun.unal.edu.co/cmun/

3). rfidjournal.com

4). http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content07/RFID-skin-patch.jpg


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