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RFID in the Medical Industry

One of the newly employed technologies used by the healthcare system, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is gaining popularity at fast rates. As it allows the easy tracking of patients and equipment, using this technology in the operations of the hospital is quite helpful in ensuring that the hospital runs smoothly.

Here are some of the pros of using RFID devices in the healthcare setting:

  • As hospitals deal with life and death situations, any mistake can be fatal. There is no room for errors as they deal with delicate situations. This is why patients’ information and their records are very crucial. Their treatment and medication administered to them will be based on their condition as stated in their records. With the use of RFID devices, all attending physicians and nurses will have the entire patient history at just one glance. By doing so, they will be able to finish their work more efficiently and make decisions more effectively. That way there will be lesser chances of making mistakes.
  • With the use of RFID devices, the hospital can track inventory of the medicines. As a lot of hospitals encounter problems with counterfeit drugs, having an RFID system eliminates this as inventory can be encoded and labeled accordingly, upon arrival from the supplies. Apart from this, the system can help keep track of inventory level. That way the hospital will always have ready stock of crucial medication. Moreover it can help keep track of drugs that have already expired.
  • With the help of the RFID devices, waiting time for patients will be cut in half. As the system allows you to track the patients, they can be attended to immediately, which is important especially if they have some urgent concern.

But like any other technology, there will always be some cons to consider. Here are some cons to using RFID devices in the healthcare setting: Continue Reading →

How Does RFID work?

With the constant advances in technology, there are always new ways and systems that are being introduced to help make our lives better and easier. One of the newer types of technology being introduced would be that of the radio frequency identification (RFID).

A system that enables the transfer of information with the use of radio waves, RFID technology is commonly being used to transfer the information of people or things with the help of RFID microchips embedded in bar codes, retinal scans and the like.

With the technology behind RFID, one is able to access information of people or items even without the physical presence of the item or the person. In order to access the information placed inside the RFID tag, you need a reader which is a device that has antennas that also let off radio waves and receive the radio waves also emitted from the bar code or its equivalent.

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How RFID Devices are Used in the Hotel Industry

Photo by Andrew Magill and reproduced under Creative Commons

Working in a hotel can be truly daunting as there are so many tasks that need to be done by all the staff from all its different departments.  That is why there is a great need for this industry to help make their work easier and more convenient.

Good thing is that there is an answer to this pressing concern, which is the radio-frequency identification, better known as RFID technology.  The presence of RFID can indeed really make a lot of difference in the hotel industry because this technology can count thousands of items in as fast as one minute. To make it more unbelievable, it is also close to giving a perfect accuracy of about 99%.

The RFID technology can be really useful in managing inventories and is very cost efficient as it can be really helpful in managing the inventory of linens as well as other guest room items.  It can also help in managing the staff’s uniforms.

This technology can do a lot more work aside from managing inventories because it can also improve standard key cards.  The latest key card system is already utilizing RFID technology, which allows you to just wave your card over the room’s door handle.  Aside from having a high tech key card, RFID can also let the guests pay food and beverage and can also give them access to areas like the pool, gym or spa as the card contains a chip. Continue Reading →

RFID for Water Heaters and Other Appliances – A Dream Come True

A new report from ABI Research stats that smart appliance shipments will exceed 24 million by the year 2017, and manufacturers like Samsung and LG Electronics have started on the path to smart appliances by already releasing some of their creations into the market. At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NXP showed the advantages of a smart washing machine equipped with an RFID tag. NXP loaded the RFID interface onto the appliance’s system management board to detect clothes to help improve maintenance. in their video, NXP told the audience that clothes equipped with RFID in their product care labels would help the washing machine detect which products were placed on the unit and would suggest proper washing cycles based on the loaded garment’s clothing care instructions. This would eliminate the possibility of letting wet clothes sit in the unit for too long or letting them undergo a second wash.

Potential benefits of RFID on appliances like water heaters could improve warranty management and tracking service performed on the unit. It would enable these appliances to send out reports to manufacturers on which parts are about to fail. For water heaters, RFID tags would help send a report to the manufacturer or closest contractor possible if there will be a leaky pipe or a valve. Service companies are also eager to get their hands on data coming from the appliance manufacturers , but it’s not clear yet on how manufacturers would want to share the data and how much of it will be shared to the service companies with RFID.

It was also noted in the ABI that RFID-enabled appliances will synchronize or be integrated into smart meters or home energy management systems, but it will still take a couple of years before this will be implemented because they will wait for premium price tags to erode and allow for dynamic pricing structures to be implemented and made available. to date, there are only a handful of RFID appliances found in the USA.

Yellow Brick or Rocky Road?

Would having an RFID- tagged water heater or any appliance force us to pay more than usual? Giovanni Codegoni, sales manager at Italy’s Lab ID, believes that RFID may not be of help in our homes, but he is not so willing to disclose on how much RFID can offer when they are embedded on our appliances.

He does believe that cost will not be a problem to acquiring RFID-tagged appliances. In fact, he claims that we won’t be paying more for an RFID-tagged oven than its non RFID-tagged counterpart.

Second, implementing the function of being able to monitor performance on every appliance will be a challenge for both manufacturers and RFID developers as it calls for unique chips to be placed on different models of appliances.

But this doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing them today. You can find these smart appliances equipped with RFID tags in some specialty appliance centres, but you may end up spending more money for now.

Companies Pursue RFID Applications in Medical Alert Systems

Medical alert systems were invented in the 1970s to help seniors and individuals with disabilities live independently in the comfort of their own home. They consist of a help button and a base station. In case of an emergency, the subscriber can press the help button and get connected to a monitoring agent who procures appropriate help within minutes. While the basic principle has remained same over the years, advances in technology have helped providers of personal emergency alert systems to adopt new features and offer additional services to the subscriber.

Medical dispensers

Many medical alert systems, like Philips Lifeline, offer medication dispensers. You can place 28 days’ worth of medication in these programmable devices. They will prevent medication errors by dispensing the exact amount of drug at the appropriate time. Many systems also inform monitoring agents if the senior does not take the medication. The agent may call the individual to make sure he is safe. He may also inform the subscriber’s family members about the situation.

RFID Technology

RFID, or radio frequency ID, is a relatively new technology with many small cap technology companies pursuing many different applications in hopes of becoming the next company to go from a penny stock to a large cap company the size of Microsoft. RFID consists of tiny chips that emit radio frequency waves and help detect changes in motion or activity. Companies hope to embed them in chairs, beds and other everyday objects of seniors and keep track of their safety and health constantly. Medical alert system providers are also looking to incorporate RFID chips into their systems and get regular data about the activity of the disabled individual. They will monitor changes and act accordingly. RFID chips can also provide continuous data to the family members of the subscriber and help them stay in touch.

RFID chips are being used extensively in various commercial settings including supermarkets, industries and casinos to keep track of inventory and product lines. Personal emergency alert system providers hope to benefit from this technology and help seniors live independently with dignity. Once they incorporate this technology, seniors will feel safer. Disabled individuals and their loved ones will have peace of mind knowing help is always within immediate reach.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

Medical alert systems with GPS technology use global positioning satellites to detect the exact location of the elderly subscriber during an emergency and send help to him within minutes. They are commonly found in systems that use mobile technology instead of the traditional phone lines. Seniors can carry these systems with them while travelling and running errands and procure help even when they are away from their home.

Fall detection systems

Falls are the most important cause of injury and hospitalization in the elderly. Fall detection system uses pre-programmed sensors that have the ability to differentiate between falls and everyday activities. The system will immediately alert the monitoring center and an agent will contact emergency personnel within seconds. The senior will receive help even if he is unable to talk or get to the phone. Fall monitoring systems have gained immense popularity in recent times. However, they are prone to false positive reports. Scientists across the globe are, therefore, working hard to create systems that are accurate and reliable.

What is After RFID?

Most of us know what RFID stands for, but for those of us that don’t, here’s what it means: Radio Frequency Identification. It’s a very convenient way of letting one electronic device talk to another one without actually being in physical contact with each other.

My First RFID Car

Some years back I got exposed to RFID. Exposed is a big word though. I bought my first bigger family car. It was a seven seater Renault Scenic, with pretty much all the extras. Plus it had an RFID key or key card.

The handy part was that I only had to carry the RFID card in my pocket. When I came close to my car, it unlocked, and when I wanted to start the car I only had to press the “Start” button.

Since then more and more (usually bigger and more expensive cars) got fitted with this RFID feature.

On Your Phone

In the near future, this RFID will also come to your phone, and the use could revolutionize our money system.

RFID can easily be used, in combination with a pin code, to make payments in shops for example. The idea is simple; when you’re in a shop, ready to make your payment, you take out your phone, switch on the RFID and enter your pin code. Payment done.

But it could go further than that. If you leave your RFID on when you’re walking in a busy shopping street, you could receive tailor made ads that are based you your predefined choices or earlier purchases you have made.

Say you have bought a printer a couple of weeks ago. When you’re in the same shop some weeks later, your phone will notify you, and suggest that you pick up some ink cartridges. Smart idea, and convenient as well.

Beyond RFID

RFID can be used to identify you when you’re close enough to a so-called identifier. This can also be used to locate stuff that you have lost. A company that has fully understood the potential of this, and has taken this concept to the next level is “Tile“.

A Tile is literally what it is: a small 1 square inch, plastic device that you put in your wallet. Whenever you’ve lost your wallet you simply pick up your smart phone and check where your wallet is. Of course, if your wallet is stolen you might not get it back, but most of us “lose” our wallets in our own house or car.

Recently there has been a lot of commotion caused by a US startup that was looking for $25.000. Instead it received $500.000 in funding within a couple of days. What were they going to make?

A tracking device that would work without batteries. It would get its energy by picking up RF radiation that floats in the air. There is a lot of skepticism, because on one end the company does not reply to requests from sponsors, and on the other hand most scientists believe that it is physically and scientifically impossible to pick up enough energy from the air to power a device like this.

In any case RFID is here to stay and will surely develop further.

Improved efficiency Through RFID Automation

Radio Frequency Identification is the new revolutionary technology taking over the whole world by storm. Radio frequency automation is a software system that facilitates identification and tracking utilities to its users. The software is able to read and detect objects embedded or implanted with RFID tags and automatically generate an appropriate report.

This solution is very flexible and full proof in terms of security. This technology is steadily eradicating the long overused bar codes. These are mainly used in shopping centers, bookstores and supermarkets. They are very secure and drastically reduce the rampant occurrences of burglary and shoplifting. This technology is used by a large number of companies, from fortune 500 companies to tiny affiliate sites selling niche and specialized products.

This system can be used to control point of sale terminals in various enterprises and at the same time enforce security of products. As a whole this technology is changing how a potential customer interacts with your products or service. RFID is largely preferred over the manual bar code point of sale terminals that are being slowly and gradually eradicated in many places as well.

With this kind of system or solution, there are endless benefits or advantages to using it. The most important is the cutting back of labor or work force expenses incurred by a business or enterprise. The software eradicates the need for employees whose only job is to conduct security checks or work at the front end of a store as a cashier.

After successful implementation of this program, a business saves a lot of money in terms of the numerous hefty wages that are paid to workers. Some may view this solution as a factor that encourages unemployment of people but it does create jobs also. There are specific professionals that are employed to maintain the software and keep the system running smoothly. Many companies also have dedicated development teams that try to find new and interesting ways to use this new technology.

This process of automation is crucial in the provision of fast and rapid services in stores all over the world. It comes in really handy in the cases where enterprises are very busy and customers or clients end up forming long lines waiting to be served. Also programmers and software developers are needed in the running of this system. Gone are the days when people have to make long queues in stores or markets waiting to be served.

Small businesses use this technology in very unique ways. For example, a manufacturer of vaporizers based out of Los Angeles has these RFID stickers stuck throughout public areas within the City and the bar code links directly to their site. This system basically replaces the need for any man power that is used in controlling a point of sale terminal. The cashiers and the staff or personnel that conduct security checks get automatically replaced on commencing of the system. This acts as a major off load to a strained budget of a small scale enterprise.

Radio Frequency Identification goes a long way in increasing exposure, service efficiency and reducing labor cost for an entrepreneur. I expect this will change the way we do business in a few years. Services will not be rendered without the aid of this software solution.