Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a wireless technology that transfers data from an electronic tag attached to an object through a reader using radio waves. RFID presents an approach to identify and manage tools and equipment. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a wireless technology that transfers data from an electronic tag attached to an object through a reader using radio waves. RFID presents an approach to identify and manage tools and equipment. The technology has been successfully applied in many areas including manufacturing, supply chain, agriculture, and transportation, but its major sector is healthcare.
- Medical errors have a huge impact on public health and it is the third-leading cause of death inthe US.
- Lack of information and access, patient tracking, long waits at hospitals, inventory management, medication errors, and management of parking are also some of the major industry concerns.
- RFID provides an array of solutions to these problems by automatically identifying and tracking RFID tags attached to objects.
RFID helps to mitigate drug counterfeiting, simplifies the clinical trial process, improves the accuracy of patient identification, eases inventory management, streamlines patient tracking, improves communications between caregivers and patients, and eradicates the risk of administering the wrong medications.
- RFID also plays an important role during surgical procedures as it helps surgeons and operation theatre staff to track all required devices in a matter of seconds.
- The number of hospitals integrating RFID with their healthcare information systems is increasing as RFID shows better efficiency, good process control, improved safety, better planning and control, patient comfort, and faster response to critical events.
RFID offers many advantages over existing technologies such as bar codes, which are ‘read-only’, while RFID tags are ‘read-write’. This means bar codes must be individually read whereas groups of RFID tags are read simultaneously. RFID tags also permit reading through materials such as boxes.
- Despite the many advantages that RFID offers, limitations include cost, not being designed to withstand extreme temperatures, continuous internet requirements, and high electricity demands.
- It is also difficult to apply RFID tags on metals and fluids.
- The life-span of RFID tags depends on batteries, which need to be replaced and adds to their cost.
Regulatory mandates must be made to ensure that RFID tagging is applied to all inventories in hospitals. This would identify and address barriers in managing the healthcare system. In future, smart phones are expected to replace RFID tag readers by using apps and middleware to read information on the tag.
What is RFID used for in hospitals?
– Equipped with RFID tags, all medical tools (disposable and/or reusable) and durable assets (beds, medical equipment) are monitored in the IoT tracking system to ensure their availability. The information on their location can be tracked by the medical staff using a mobile or web application with a facility map. Medication inventory management RFID-enabled medication inventory tracking enables hospitals to timely spot medication shortages and expiration, prevent theft, and ensure the intended use of medication (due to use instructions stored in the tracking system). RFID tracking helps medical staff to pinpoint the location of any patient in the hospital to ensure their safety and sustain the care process. Patient tracking is especially relevant in neonatal units, pediatric departments, mental health facilities, or for tracking geriatric patients. Medical specialists wear RFID-equipped bracelets or badges, and their locations and interactions are displayed for medical supervisors in IoT tracking software. This data helps the supervisors find the doctors or nurses in case of emergencies, identify bottlenecks in hospital workflows (e.g., lack of doctors in the ER), reduce overwork, etc. Hospital visitors tracking Hospitals can track visitors’ locations to ensure the safety of patients, prevent visitors from accessing surgery rooms or inventories, etc. Visitors are linked to patients and if the visitor is not located near the patient or in hospital common areas, an alert is sent to the hospital security. Prediction of patient flow and hospital admission rates Data accumulated in the RFID tracking system is analyzed to help hospitals predict patient flow, plan medical supply and equipment purchase, identify the hospital’s overall load, a load of its departments and individual doctors and nurses.
Based on the analytics insights, the hospital management can adjust staff workflows, patient treatment schedules, surgeries plans, etc. Storage of data about tracked people and assets The system stores RFID tag information (a patient’s name, condition; a doctor’s position, name, working hours; a name of the patient for their visitor; an asset’s name, manufacturer, expiration date, etc.).
Besides this information, the RFID tracking system stores real-time data on assets’ and people’s movements. Via the RFID tracking system, healthcare specialists can view the nearest medical equipment or medication they need and access data on the location of patients and their visitors to improve treatment quality (e.g., find a patient if they miss a diagnostic procedure), safety (e.g., in case of emergencies like fire), and security (e.g., for newborns).
- For hospital supervisors, the data on medical staff location and movements is available.
- Tracking analytics and reporting The tracking system analyses collected data about hospital asset use duration, asset demand, movements of the medical staff, patients, and visitors around the hospital, and their interactions with each other.
The analyzed data helps identify trends in people’s behavior and asset use patterns and derive ways to improve staff schedules, bed allocation, security measures, workflow optimization, asset availability, etc. The trends are visualized on dashboards and reported to responsible personnel (e.g., head of a hospital department, supply chain manager).
Alerts on unusual behavior To monitor and improve hospital and patient safety, responsible employees get alerts on the identified suspicious behavior. For example, if there is an abrupt change in a patient’s movements (e.g., a patient is not moving on the stairs for 15 minutes), the IoT system makes the conclusion about an incident and sends an alert to a nurse.
If a staff member is working after hours, the app notifies their supervisor to warn about an increased possibility of medical errors. To avoid asset shortage and malfunction, the RFID tracking system stores the data on expiration dates of essential medication and disposable items, maintenance schedules for medical equipment, etc., and notifies responsible personnel on upcoming maintenance or expiration.
Patient-doctor interactions control RFID tracking software collects information on interactions between medical staff and patients to ensure that in-person monitoring and patient care are provided on time and with the right frequency (especially relevant for behavioral health facilities). Customer A US-based chain of behavioral health facilities for patients suffering from severe mental health issues.
Project details ScienceSoft’s team designed a solution that featured:
A tracking dashboard with an integrated patient and staff location view, recent staff and patient activity. Floor plans of the behavioral facility with marked control areas, location of RFID readers, and locations of staff members and patients. Notifications about patients/staff members entering unsolicited areas, etc.
Check out the solution Solution ScienceSoft recommends HIPAA-compliant development of RFID tracking software to ensure patient data safety. The safety of sensitive information in our projects is proven by ISO 27001 certificate, so the risks associated with revealing patient tracking information and patient databases are minimized.
Tracking can be interrupted if patients, medical specialists, visitors lose bracelets or badges with RFID tags. Check out the solution Solution To identify these cases, an IoT system may analyze the location of RFID tags and notify responsible hospital personnel on unusual behavior (e.g., a doctor’s tag is in a corridor for several hours).
Daily hospital operations (e.g., sterilization of surgical tools, continuous use of tracking bracelets) may affect RFID tags, and the RFID tags may influence the performance of hospital equipment. Check out the solution Solution In medical IoT projects, ScienceSoft’s experts evaluate all risks associated with the use of tracking software and hardware.
To avoid RFID tag destruction, malfunction, and loss, we recommend embedding tags into high-use devices (e.g., scalpels, retractors) rather than attaching them to the surface. We suggest that our customers use passive tags in the settings where radio waves may influence medical processes (e.g., a surgical ward).
Functionality scope of RFID tracking software (the cost of software combining asset, patient, and staff tracking will be higher than the cost of a patient tracking system). Feature complexity (e.g., implementation of advanced analytics increases the software cost). Using ready-made components (e.g., AWS IoT services) to build the RFID tracking system or going for 100% custom software development.
Cost factors associated with equipment
RFID tags (active and/or passive). Embedding RFID tags into the tools, devices, etc. Setup of RFID equipment (readers). RFID readers.
Cost of cloud services for the IoT system (e.g., for data analytics).
|On average, a hospital RFID software for medical equipment tracking costs around $200,000 – $250,000+ and the pricing for RFID tracking of patients and medical staff ranges from $150,000 to $250,000+,|
In IoT software development since 2011, ScienceSoft offers its advisory and development expertise to create reliable medical, patients, medical staff, and hospital visitors. What we do:
Elicit functional and non-functional requirements for RFID tracking software. Plan RFID tracking software functionality. Design a flexible high-level architecture and integrations of RFID tracking software and choose an efficient tech stack. Calculate the cost, ROI, and plan RFID tracking software delivery timelines. Provide regulatory compliance guidelines (e.g., for HIPAA, HITECH regulations).
Development of RFID tracking software What we do:
Detail an RFID tracking software concept based on your high-level ideas or detailed requirements. Plan RFID tracking software functionality. Design scalable IoMT-based software architecture and integrations. Choose a tech stack and hardware (e.g., RFID tags, readers). Develop and test RFID tracking software upon the agreed schedule. Help comply with relevant regulations (HIPAA, HITECH, etc.). Plan the locations of RFID tracking devices or set up the tracking equipment. Support and maintain software (if required).
About ScienceSoft Headquartered in McKinney, Texas, US, ScienceSoft is an IT consulting and software development company certified according to ISO 13485 and ISO 27001 standards. With 17 years of experience in healthcare IT, we design and deliver medical software according to the requirements of the FDA and the Council of the European Union and offer robust IoT solutions : RFID Technology: An Overview for Hospitals
What is RFID and how it works?
What is RFID (radio frequency identification)? – RFID (radio frequency identification) is a form of wireless communication that incorporates the use of electromagnetic or electrostatic coupling in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to uniquely identify an object, animal or person.
What is an example RFID used for?
4. Distribution – RFID can also help companies improve delivery process efficiency. For example, manufacturing employees can attach RFID tags to boxes before shipping the boxes to a warehouse. Warehouse employees can then use RFID readers to scan the tags and learn what’s in the boxes, enabling them to put away the items efficiently.
Why is RFID needed?
10 ways RFID can help your business – RFID is a highly versatile technology with applications throughout business – from controlling manufacturing processes to maintenance and inspection of equipment, managing assets and tracking goods through to distribution. RFID systems offer benefits for businesses of all sizes, allowing them to rapidly improve efficiency and reduce cost by automating processes and improving utilisation of assets and quality.
What is RFID in simple terms?
Description – Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) refers to a wireless system comprised of two components: tags and readers. The reader is a device that has one or more antennas that emit radio waves and receive signals back from the RFID tag. Tags, which use radio waves to communicate their identity and other information to nearby readers, can be passive or active.
- Passive RFID tags are powered by the reader and do not have a battery.
- Active RFID tags are powered by batteries.
- RFID tags can store a range of information from one serial number to several pages of data.
- Readers can be mobile so that they can be carried by hand, or they can be mounted on a post or overhead.
Reader systems can also be built into the architecture of a cabinet, room, or building.
What are the basics of RFID?
Suggested Reading – If you aren’t familiar with the following concepts, check out these tutorials before continuing. They will help with the basic understanding of RFID.
It may be tempting to believe that RFID functions thanks to the reader module containing a very small hamster with x-ray eyes, but in actuality, the system is a bit simpler than that.
- How RFID doesn’t work
RFID uses radio waves produced by a reader to detect the presence of (then read the data stored on) an RFID tag, Tags are embedded in small items like cards,, or,
- Image courtesy of
- These readers also use radio waves in some systems to write new information to the tags.
There are two types of RFID systems: passive or active. The tag power system defines which type of system it is.
How does RFID read data?
What Is the Basic Architecture of RFID Tags? – RFID tags employ a chip and antenna to broadcast information or respond when prompted to do so by an RFID reader. The chip stores the information, while the antenna responds to requests or repeatedly sends out the tag’s information for any reader within its vicinity to receive.
What is an example of RFID in daily life?
Many kiosks use RFID to either manage resources or interact with users. DVD rental kiosks use RFID DVD tags to make sure customers receive their selected movie rental. Other examples of RFID kiosks include interactive media displays where an embedded RFID reader interrogates badges or cards.
What is the difference between barcode and RFID?
Differences Between RFID and Barcodes – However, there are many differences between RFID and barcodes.
Barcodes can only be scanned one at a time, unlike RFID which multiple tags can be scanned at once using a single scanner. Barcodes require the scanner to have a direct line-of-sight with the code where are RFID is a near-field technology, which allows the scanner to read the tags within a range and without a direct line-of-sight. Barcodes are typically printed on adhesive labels or on paper resulting in the barcode being prone to wear and damage which can impact the readability. However, RFID tags are usually embedded within plastic labels or within the object its self, resulting in a more robust product which can withstand more damage than barcodes. Barcodes are limited by the type and volume of data that can be stored, while RFID allows for up to 2,000 bytes of data to be stored within a single tag.
What are the benefits of RFID in healthcare?
Summary points – What was already known on this topic?
There are critical successes in improving health services for patients through tracking (staff, patients, and properties), inventory management, and validation (medication, documents, treatment, and specimen). There are barriers to adopt the RFID that can classify into; lack of information, insufficient budget available, and the complexity of technology and systems.
What this study added to our knowledge?
This technology can facilitate to access individuals (Medical staff and patients) and shorten wait time of care processes. The RFID technology has tangible benefits such as reduced cost and time, reduced human resources, theft prevention, improve productivity. In addition, in the healthcare industry, there are also intangible benefits include increasing accuracy tasks, refining business processes and reduce human errors, which will ultimately improve safety and patient satisfaction. Use of the RFID in health care industry alone will be faced with numerous challenges.
What are the benefits of RFID in security?
11) Competitive advantages in the marketplace: – An RFID access control system can provide your company with not only unparalleled security but also a competitive advantage in the market. You can safeguard critical data, assets, and confidential materials while also providing convenience to your employees.
This combination of security and efficiency can help you stand out from your industry’s competition, allowing you to attract and retain top talent as well as customers. Additionally, if you are a system integrator or a security product distributor, RFID-enabled access control systems can provide you with a valuable offering to offer potential clients.
Access control systems that use RFID technology can be a powerful solution for businesses of all sizes due to their flexibility, scalability, and customization options, making you a sought-after partner in the access control market.
Where is RFID required?
Starting December 1, 2020, all expressways will be using a cashless payment system. Meaning, ALL vehicle owners and operators, public and private, need to get an RFID account for their vehicles if they wish to use these tollways. Aside from convenience, the transition to a cashless payment system is expected to also reduce the risk of transferring viruses and other contagious diseases.
Here are more details about the RFID application process. Note: This article will focus more on personal-use vehicles. The requirements and process might be different for businesses and public transportation vehicles. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, which works through exchanging data between the RFID reader and the sticker tags using electromagnetic fields.
When you get your vehicle’s RFID account, a sticker tag will be installed on your car — either on the left portion of your windshield or on the left headlamp. You will also receive your RFID account physical card. The sticker tag will trigger the RFID reader when you enter the electromagnetic field radius at the toll gates.
- In case the device failed to read your sticker tag, do not panic.
- Just give your RFID card to the attendant.
- Ensure that you always have your card with you or you can just keep it in a safe place inside your car.
- There are two types of RFID in Luzon — the Autosweep and the EasyTrip,
- Autosweep and EasyTrip are not one and the same.
They are not interchangeable. To give you a clearer picture, we’ve listed the area coverage of each RFID.
How do hackers use RFID?
Hackers can also use an antenna to record the communications between real RFID tags and RFID readers. This ‘eavesdropping’ gathers data on how and where RFID tags are used, which the hacker can use to plan and launch bigger attacks later on.
How does RFID work in a wallet?
How does an RFID-blocking wallet work? – An RFID wallet keeps your contactless payment cards and IDs safe inside an electromagnetic shield. Signals from RFID readers can’t get through to the tags inside the wallet, so they can’t read the information on those tags.
You’ve probably seen that old black-and-white video of a man sitting at a typewriter inside of a metal cage. While he types, bolts of electricity constantly strike the cage, but the man is completely unharmed and continues his typing. That’s the gist of what an RFID wallet does for its contents. ID Stronghold wallets offer even more security.
Each card slot has its own RFID shield or layer of protection, so your cards are secure even when your wallet is open. When you’re taking out cash or removing your driver’s license, you can be sure that everything still in the wallet is safe.
How is RFID used today?
#7 Wallets – RFID chips aren’t inside your wallet, but they are inside the items in your wallet. Your credit cards are embedded with RFID chips that are needed for contactless payments. While convenient, it does put you at risk of RFID skimming. Fortunately, the simple solution is to buy an RFID-blocking wallet.
What is the difference between NFC and RFID?
What is the difference between NFC vs RFID? In short: RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, a contactless one-way communication method at varying distances. NFC, Near Field Communication, allows for two-way communication and requires action by the user.