Assessment of Necessity of RFID in Patient Management and Healthcare Sectors

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by Chinmaya Vyas and Shashikant Patil

CV_photoHealth care in recent years has been an area of research since it is directly associated with people’s well-being and health. The various factors affecting this are:

  • The ever increasing aging population
  • The emergence of new types of diseases due to changing environmental conditions
  • Rising costs of healthcare and related services
  • The shortage of medical resources and health care providers

RFID is an automatic tracking and detection technology on a real time basis via radio frequency. The information is stored in tags and whenever the tag comes into the vicinity of the reader, the reader sends a signal to tag and the tag sends information stored in the memory to the reader. The technology has penetrated in many sectors and healthcare is no exception, where it is being harnessed up to its full potential. The major role of RFID technology is vigilance applications, searching equipment and biological samples and in tracking personnel and patients. Few more applications include attendance count and work hours count. The medical records can be kept in an organized manner due the RFID tags.

The major advantage of this technology is that it is low cost. Patient Management system is an important aspect since manual tracking is not the most efficient technique to monitor the patient as they provide with an ambiguous patient history. Hence in order to save from monetary and health loss RFID is used to manage the data of patient monitoring and tracking. Each patient is assigned a unique ID and then eventually the patient records are stored in the database and tagged by the unique ID. The main concentration is still on reducing errors in patient care, including adverse drug effects, allergies, patient-medication mismatches and medication dosage errors. The e-health care which is quite prevalent these days has a focus on enhancing three main aspects: efficiency, quality, and management. RFID has the potential to flourish in all the three aspects. RFID has been successfully tested and has produced excellent results in terms of patient monitoring, data management and improved organizational performance. RFID technology certainly has brought a revolution in the e-health industry and has several future developments lined up for further improvement in the health industry.

Chinmaya Vyas is currently pursuing a B. Tech in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from SVKM’S NMIMS, Mumbai, India. His research interest includes wireless communications, embedded system and robotics, antenna and radio frequency, sensors and control systems. He has published eight articles in Conferences and International Journals.