Wednesday morning started for me with an interesting tutorial on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and it’s potential for healthcare, led by Colin Jervis, Director, Kinetic Consulting Ltd

Colin started with a bit of context setting, particularly his suggestion that adverse events and medication errors may be our 4th biggest killer! He linked this to a common issues for clinicians, that when they are under pressure the patients needs come first and recording is left till later – previously described as the intensive care information paradox.

He gave a brief overview of passive (no battery) and active (with their own battery) RFID tags and the readers etc required for their use and touched on the different wavelengths (Low, High, UHP & microwave). He used a range of examples, primarily from the retail sector, before going on to look at their potential use in the more comploex and difficult clinical environment. He passed round example wristbands from companies such as Zebra which can have RFID tags inserted along with the barcodes etc and then listed 5 ways in which RFID could transform healthcare:

  • Identification
  • Tracking
  • Alerting
  • Recording Interventions
  • Sensing

A wide range of questions and potential appliations were raised by the audience including tracking blood products, surgical instruments and equipment and issues where the medical equipment may cause problems with “tuning in” tag readers to cope with background interference.

He pointed participants to the stand of Safe Surgery Systems Ltd for further information & I visited them later to find out a bit more and get materials I could use in education.

More details are available on Colin’s Blog Future Health IT

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