The Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology is significantly reshaping the healthcare sector. The global value of the RFID market in 2018 was calculated to be $2.58 billion, which will reach $12 billion by 2027.
Working of RFID
Leading healthcare providers have long used RFID-based wireless communication. By using this technology, they ensure that their patients are always on their watch. This technology helps look after newborn babies who are prone to get abducted or exchanged in hospitals.
Example of RFID Tags being Used in Various Situations
Use of RFID on Newborns
An example of a newborn is the small and lightweight RIFD tag attached to the baby’s ankle. Every RFID tag comes with a unique ID and transmits signals over a secure network to monitor the real-time location of the baby. If someone tries to move the baby beyond the RFID’s defined perimeter or tamper with the tag, an alarm will go off, alerting the hospital staff or security personnel, thereby saving the baby’s life.
Another example connected to the upper one is that the mothers of the newborns are also provided with an identical RFID tag that pairs them to their newborns.
Use of RFID on Patients with Cognitive Issues
A prime example of using an RFID tag is on patients with cognitive disabilities. Such patients tend to wander away and can be a significant cause of concern for their families and hospitals staff. With RFID tags, such people can easily be confined to the safe zone.
Applications of RIFD in the Healthcare Sector
RFID is used in various places in the healthcare sector, such as:
Medical equipment is expensive and precious, and there are many chances of it getting stolen or tampered with. With RFID, it has become easier to track this medical equipment by tracking its real-time location.
Hospitals can also locate specific equipment within their premises with the help of RIFD, as it prevents from searching the whole hospital. RFID tags are also helpful in inventory management, as they can tag single-use items (e.g. gloves and syringes) placed at a distant warehouse.
Placing RFID tags on surgical tools and linen clothes can ensure that they have been washed and sterilized correctly.
RFID tags are also being used to ensure the authenticity of life-saving medicines. As these medicines aren’t available readily, there are many chances of them being counterfeited. Using an encrypted RFID tag on the packaging or within the packaging allows hospitals to ensure the authenticity of these medications.
Ensuring Infant Safety
The first infant-tracking security system involving RFID tags were first deployed by TidalHealth hospital in 2018. The purpose of this was to ensure the new parents about the safety of their newborns.
The infant tracking system deployed by this hospital would track the infants around the birthing unit and the hospital. The RFID tags used in this system were connected to the hospital’s secure Wi-Fi network and would provide each baby’s location to the concerned security personnel.
Improved Efficiency in Patient Care
There are many challenges the large-capacity hospitals with limited staff face. For such hospitals, RFID tags have brought out several improvements, such as
- Progress in the turnaround times by 25 minutes
- These tags have also made blood sampling and operating room procedures much more accessible
- RFID tags make the administration of medicines easier
- RFID tags are helpful from registration to pre-op assessment till surgery and post-op surgery
- RFID tags can alert the hospital staff if a patient is going through an extensive waiting time.
RFID- systems can also be configured to send alerts to smartphones and provide the hospital staff with patient workflow information. These alerts thus help the hospital staff in making necessary arrangements before the patients’ arrival.
RFID and Temperature and Humidity Monitoring
Ensuring optimum temperature and humidity is crucial for the storage units that contain vaccines, food, and medications. In this regard, a combination of RFID and Wi-Fi has been used in several hospitals to track the humidity status and temperature inside the storage units.
Automated temperature tracking through RFID tags reduces time utilization and helps in meeting compliance requirements.
Working of RIFD Tags Ensure to Ensure Optimum Temperature and Humidity
RFID tags designed to track the temperature and humidity status transmit readings to cloud-based software. The hospital staff is notified through text or email alerts if the temperature goes above or below the normal.
Measuring Performance of Doctors and Nurses
RFID tags can also be used to determine the performance of doctors and nurses. For example, they can be used to determine
- The time a doctor takes while performing surgery
- The number of patients administered with medications by a nurse
- The overall responsiveness of doctors and nurses in emergency events.
The use of RFID tags is not limited to the examples mentioned above only. As the healthcare industry is getting more modern, RFID solutions are becoming more prevalent and will continue to increase in the upcoming years.
Need the Best RFID Experience?
The use of RFID in the healthcare sector and pharmaceutical companies are prevalent. But it is also necessary for these companies to get authentic technology. Therefore, Alysidia is working its way forward to provide these sectors with the best original RFID solutions. Incorporating these RFDI solutions within their infrastructure will give them streamlined processes and better compliance demons.