Nowhere to Hide: RFID Comes to Health Care
This article was originally published in Start Up
Radio frequency identification (RFID)--the same technology that lets your car breeze through toll booths without stopping--is gaining momentum in health care. For the pharmaceutical industry, RFID represents a potentially powerful tool against drug counterfeiting. Hospitals view RFID as a means to tighter inventory control, more efficient work practices and improved patient safety.
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Exavera Technologies Inc.'s eShepherd platform marries RFID to Wi-Fi networks. When integrated with a hospital's information system, eShepherd tracks patients, staff and assets, and delivers that information automatically to the point of care. Over time, hospitals can use this amassed location and identification data to analyze and improve efficiency and workflow.
Unlike track and trace systems that focus on the drug supply chain leading up to the pharmacist's back door, Aegate Ltd. is concerned about what takes place at the end of the process-the point of dispensing to the patient. Its technology is designed to identify fraudulent products and to reduce dispensing errors on the part of pharmacists.
Radianse Inc. aims to improve hospital productivity with its RFID-based indoor positioning system. Formed by a team of health care IT veterans, Radianse combines active RFID with specialized location technology to track equipment, staff and patients in hospitals, then leverages that information to reduce hospital costs and increase patient safety.