RFID in Healthcare: Shedding a Light on Its Benefits and Barriers

The healthcare sector is one of the early adopters of RFID technology to improve medical care & multi-sided hospital operations. Numerous healthcare & medical centers are deploying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems which facilitate real-time data collection of a patient’s medical records, employee attendance, equipment, inventory management, & other critical tasks.   As RFID tech continues […]

Updated 15 March 2024

Chandrapal Singh
Chandrapal Singh

Director at Appventurez

The healthcare sector is one of the early adopters of RFID technology to improve medical care & multi-sided hospital operations. Numerous healthcare & medical centers are deploying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems which facilitate real-time data collection of a patient’s medical records, employee attendance, equipment, inventory management, & other critical tasks.  

As RFID tech continues to evolve on the landscape of ground-breaking innovations, the healthcare sector is ahead to make the most of it. Whether it’s about improving the quality of treatment or tracking the health status of a patient. We’ve already talked a lot about the mobile app healthcare advantage in a couple of previous blogs & now we’re progressing to elaborate on the benefits of RFID in healthcare. 

As soon as the healthcare segments began shaping up their accustomed procedures on the verge of smart automation, the mHealth industry took a route to undergo a drastic deviation towards implementing technologies such as IoT, Wearable, AI, iBeacon, cloud, etc. In past years, more & more reputed healthcare service providers appeared to recognize the role of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in enhancing the quality of Medicare they provide. 

Being on the line of top tech trends in healthcare, the power of RFID healthcare solutions is indisputably favored to keep track of one’s medical condition as well as resources used in both general & emergency cases. From newborns to teenagers, middle-aged, & elderly patients, healthcare entities utilize RFID-driven software to deliver safe & effective treatment to every individual needing better Medicare. 

Upon realizing the benefits of RFID in healthcare, both public & private healthcare organizations are willing to hire healthcare app developers to leverage this ever-evolving technology in their technical systems. After all, a single RFID tag can dissolve never-ending formalities that are usually done during hospital visits.

What is RFID Technology?

Even a pinpoint error can cause a serious threat to a patient’s life. Healthcare providers save millions of lives on the planet but it’s really unfortunate to state that around 44,000 people lose their lives in hospitals every year either due to inaccurate medical records or inadequate medicare. 

Modern RFID healthcare solutions are driven by a powerful wireless technology that identifies, tracks, & traces objects automatically through microelectronic tags connected to them. The crucial role of RFID can’t be ignored in the big data AI healthcare sector as it hinders medical errors & lags by imparting real-time response to disaster situations. The major application of RFID technology is witnessed in healthcare management systems which we will discuss in this blog section. 

Major RFID Benefits Empowering The Healthcare Sector

The implementation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in healthcare systems is a new normal for software development in the IT industry. Medicare entities are reliant on RFID medication tracking, medical supplies, equipment, & inventory management, tracing staff & patient’s location, monitoring patients’ medical records & recovery, & multiple procedures or treatments they conduct with absolute zero risks of errors, delays, & discrepancies. 

rfid adoption in us healthcare market

As medical specialists realize the benefits of RFID in healthcare, it is a necessity to note down the below-listed pros of investing in RFID-driven big data solutions to boost patient care & health all along:

RFID for Asset Management

The alarming rise in thefts, damages, & tampering of expensive medical equipment or devices enforce hospitals & medical facilities to opt for RFID healthcare solutions. The benefit of RFID location tracking empowers users to keep an eye on each & every Medicare machinery to safeguard them from unforeseen extortions & breakdowns.

Talking about mobile applications in healthcare, medical facilitators are keen to leverage RFID solutions for inventory & asset management to track the location of medical tools in real-time. Some high-cost medical equipment & single-used tools such as syringes, latex gloves, syringes, masks, etc. are attached with RFID tags to avoid the devastation faced while searching them in different departments & rooms. It saves a lot of time & simplifies the way a hospital’s administration stays organized with assets & inventory. 

The purpose behind highlighting RFID-based apps among top technology trends in 2021 outlines its utilization for management & location tracking of a bundle of medical tools & devices used in hospitals. 

Apart from location tracking, many healthcare providers & pharmacies have come up with implementing RFID solutions for confirmed authentication of medical products & medications they use for treatment. A secure & easy-to-use RFID tag is connected to the packaging of life-saving & pricy medicines to ensure that they’re original & safe to use. The impact of digital technology on business during the pandemic influenced healthcare providers to use RFID tags on surgical tools, clothing, sanitary items, & other hospital items to determine if they’re properly sterilized & sanitized before usage. 

So, it’s very logical to say that RFID for asset management deserves to be identified among the top healthcare mobile apps. The benefits of RFID in healthcare are many and we’re moving ahead to discuss the next one. 

For the Betterment of the Patient’s Health and care  

Just like AI ML development is gaining traction in the healthcare sector, RFID technology is playing its part in improving the quality of medical facilities with greater efficiency & accuracy. Medical experts & surgeons won’t have to deal with the challenges they face while conducting operations in surgery rooms. The benefits of RFID in healthcare speed up blood sampling, testing, medication, & other preliminary procedures carried out for treatment. 

Numerous spacious healthcare centers & nursing homes with limited staff are those who’re preparing the on-demand businesses for the post-pandemic world of COVID-19 with RFID-driven applications. Such healthcare apps not only encourage the efficiency of healthcare providers but also habituate them to attend to a maximum number of patients in a row & within a speculated time.

Right from patient registration to assessment, treatment, & post-recovery checkups, RFID software reduces the turnaround time by streamlining such procedures to a great extent. When a single second is crucial in b/w the critical stages of emergency cases, RFID technology turns out to be a time savior for health workers. One such RFID example in healthcare is an RFID-enabled wristband that extracts a patient’s medical history with every hospital visit & transfers all records to a mobile cloud computing database through WiFi. 

The benefit of RFID in healthcare offers great alternatives to queuing up for a scheduled appointment or waiting for your turn. RFID application deployed with a healthcare system gives real-time updates on the patient’s locations & alerts hospital administration in case of emergency & repeated rescheduling. Even some doctor appointment booking apps use RFID technology to provide real-time insights & notifications of the scheduled meetings with the concerned health specialist. 

Similarly, hospital staff stays up-to-date about the status & availability of recovery rooms, beds, medical supplies, etc. with the help of RFID-powered software systems. 

The impact of telemedicine apps amid COVID-19 also multiplies the demand for RFID apps among health workers who need smart & automated digital products to provide the best treatment & care with ultra-high efficiency. 

Monitoring Temperature & Humidity Level

The most popular apps during the pandemic belong to the category of RFID-based healthcare applications that assist pharmaceutical firms in many ways. Some sorts of medical items like vaccines, blood samples, medicines, food, etc. must be stored & transported under adequate temperature & humidity levels to keep them intact & safe from the external environment.

The benefit of RFID in healthcare enables pharmacists to monitor & maintain the right temperature of products they manufacture to conserve their efficacy. RFID healthcare solutions are merged with WiFi technology to save crucial time consumed in monitoring every storage unit, refrigerator, & logistic setup manually. Such kind of automation makes things easier & faster than traditional methods of temperature tracking & monitoring done during the transmission of medical goods.

RFID apps collect data on temperature readings & share them on the cloud-based healthcare software instantly. The hospital staff gets notified via phone alerts or text messages immediately in case the temperature & humidity goes beyond the range. Healthcare App Development Services play a vital role in creating these efficient and responsive RFID-based healthcare apps, ensuring the safe storage and transport of critical medical supplies.

For Improving Infant Care & Safety 

Regardless of descending infant mortality rate, global healthcare organizations are seriously concerned about the health of newborns. Well, many health workers favor the concept of RFID healthcare solutions to solidify the security of infants kept in medical care facilities. 

Installing an RFID-driven security system across infant care & birthing units provides triple-layer protection to newborns throughout the day & night. New parents along with hospital staff can track infants & navigate through their locations on an advanced RFID-tracking system in real time. All thanks to the popular AI, IoT, AI-ML, & wearable technology trends that are adjoined with RFID. 

Types of RFID-based Applications in Healthcare

The never-ending list of benefits of RFID in healthcare unveils some major applications of this fast-emerging technology in the industry. Let’s give you a brief overview of various types of RFID apps that are determined as the preferred tech tools to help the coronavirus pandemic for health workers around the world. 

Medical Supply Tracking & Authentication

For medicare experts & pharmacies, RFID tech can bring a bundle of benefits in tracking their assets. The tedious task of inventory management gets replenished when RFID tags are used to get real-time location updates of each & every medical supply used for a patient’s treatment. 

Besides typical tracking solutions, RFID apps provide reliable ways to determine the quality of drugs & medicinal products utilized for medical care. Such handheld RFID tags kept inside the packaged products share original data of the types, cost, use, & other details proving their authenticity.  

Visitors or Patient Tracking

Most healthcare centers, medical research institutions, nursing homes, clinics, & other medicare entities count on RFID technology to:

  • Cross-check patient medical records & general information through a database.
  • Cut down waiting time during medical emergencies & other unnecessary formalities.
  • Trace patients & staff within the hospital premises with real-time location systems (RTLS).
  • Enhancing the safety of newborns with a highly secure infant tracking healthcare system as mentioned in a guide to on demand pediatrics app

Surgical Tool Tracking & Management 

The tools to perform surgeries & equipment used to provide intensive care to the patients must be available 24/7. Surgical tools such as clamps, scalpels, retractors, etc. must remain handy & ready to use with proper sterilization done beforehand. Not having the right type of surgical instrument is unacceptable for the patient’s safety. Hence, it’s very important to leverage RFID healthcare solutions for tracking & management systems of medical devices & tools to avoid a last-minute rush.   

Single-use Tools Tracking

Medical emergencies demand immediate action to save a life. Just like blockchain technology in healthcare, the benefits of RFID in healthcare make it possible to store & manage single-use items like gloves, sanitary products, gauze, plastic vials, disposables, etc. Such medical tools & products are comparatively lower in cost & they don’t need expensive RFID tags for tracking purposes in hospitals.

The cost-effectiveness of RFID healthcare solutions makes them ideal inventory solutions to track & manage out-of-box items. RFID-driven vending machines are used to track the tools used by hospital staff & monitor their availability via monthly reports. 

High-value Hospital Items Tracking 

The demand for RFID applications in the healthcare industry called a halt to the hype over the adverse impact of Covid-19 on mobile app economy. Hospitals & health workers depend on RFID-based mobile app solutions to track their high-cost assets including hospital beds, testing machines, automatic surgical devices, & other miscellaneous expensive medical equipment. 

All high-value items used in patients’ rooms & operation theaters need regular maintenance & tracking so that they won’t go missing or damaged due to negligence. RFID solutions are deployed to eliminate such circumstances that eventually result in heavy investments in repairing or replacements. 

Hospital Security Tracking

From concerned visitors to patients, hospital staff, medical supplies, tools/machines, & every single thing used within the hospital premises, RFID-enabled badges provide optimum security from loss, damages, or any undesired activity that may alter medical operations. 

Access to some restricted areas is not permitted in hospitals due to security reasons & the benefit of RFID in healthcare brings this application for the prevention of such scenarios that are addressed in security challenges of IoT as well. 

Hospital Laundry Tracking

Last but not least, one RFID example in healthcare is worth noting as a credit to this brilliant technology. A major RFID application utilized at big medical centers is none other than advanced laundry tracking software. 

Regular cleaning & sanitization of towels, patient wear, blankets, curtains, bedsheets, & other fabricated items used at hospitals is strictly done to maintain the utmost hygiene for every patient right before admission & after discharge. The laundry facilities are 24*7 available at the hospital with RFID tagging to track each of these items for essential cleanliness.

How Does RFID Work?

The innovation of RFID technology has been revolutionizing numerous industries & business sectors for a long time. As its name depicts RFID is somehow related to a system that runs on radio waves to render data on electronic tags or you can say RFID tags attached to any physical object or person. Observing the ample benefits of RFID in healthcare, the experts at every Android & iOS app development agency are eager to integrate this technology into their mobile app solutions

what is basic mechanism of rfid system

RFID tags have built-in ‘read only’ or ‘rewrite’ internal memory to store relevant data or details of a product, patient, equipment, & other items used in medical procedures. They’re configured to locate objects with a smart RFID reader that creates magnetic fields to trace the connected item in real-time. RFID healthcare solution works by generating electromagnetic waves that generate immediate signals to trigger the RFID-enabled tags simultaneously. In this way, the communication channel b/w the reader & tags is established within the blink of an eye.

Once you understand how is RFID used in healthcare, you can get a clear picture of the components of an RFID system & here are:

  • Tag attached to an object or individual for verification, tracking, & records 
  • An antenna that detects tags & generates a magnetic field to transmit data 
  • Reader & manipulator to receive data or information from RFID tag 
  • A communication channel that monitors data stored & managed across RFID system
  • RFID-driven application software to automate healthcare systems for patient care

Impressive Popularity Stats of RFID-driven Healthcare Apps

Whether you’re an independent health worker or a team of professional medical specialists, the outbreak of the pandemic led to growing concerns for better health & medical facilities among human beings. More & more healthcare organizations & groups are accommodating automated systems such as RFID healthcare solutions and software like the COVID-19 tracking app to boost their efficiency in improving patient care.

Believe it or not, Adventist Health White Memorial is one of those healthcare centers that saved around $1 million by using RFID-driven mobile app solutions to automate their hospital operations. 

Last year in 2020 when the pandemic was at its peak, RFID-based apps made a great hit in the healthcare industry by securing a record-breaking market value of US $4.2 billion. Further to this report, it is predicted that the global market of RFID applications in healthcare will turn into US $ 9.1 billion at a CAGR of 13.8% by the end of the year 2026. 

amazing facts and figures on rfid technology

What’s the Futuristic Scope of RFID in the Healthcare 

Apart from tracking, management, security, & efficiency, RFID is anticipated to introduce a lot of modifications & digital transformation trends in the healthcare industry. The healthcare sector is evolving every day & there are still many areas that still need to integrate digitalized medicare systems to stay productive in terms of facilities, safety, & convenience. In the upcoming years, health workers will be prioritizing patient satisfaction alongside giving more importance to optimizing their work operations & efficiency. 

Besides workflow management at hospitals, the benefits of RFID in healthcare will embrace the attributes of other modern technologies coming on the way to cross-platform app development & digital mobility solutions. 

Tie up with Appventurez to get high-end RFID Healthcare app solutions

The benefits of RFID in healthcare neutralize the risks & challenges faced in conducting general medical practices. With numerous healthcare organizations appearing to sense why hospitals need app reason, the global health workers seem to be contented with streamlined procedures of monitoring & tracking the well-being of their patients. Despite being deployed with existing healthcare software systems, RFID in healthcare may not perform the way it’s expected to. Hence, you need expert hands at Appventurez to get highly secure & useful RFID-enabled applications as feasible for your hospital needs. 

If you’re searching for a healthcare mobile app development & strategist, let us know what’s on your mind!!

FAQs

Q. Are there any RFID health risks?

Since RFID tags generate electromagnetic fields (EMF) to transmit data to the healthcare system, the debates on the potential risks of causing radiation are on. However, WHO’s research report says that RFID in healthcare brings no harm to humans if the range of EMF exposure remains below the recommended limits.

Q. What data or information is stored in RFID apps used in healthcare?

RFID tags use cloud databases to store data associated with the medical history of a patient. Some medical products are attached with RFID tags to get a record of the date of manufacturing & expiry, use & dosage information for medicines, etc. to ensure the quality & safety of items.

Q. RFID healthcare solutions or Barcodes, which one is better?

RFID and barcodes, both are based on distinctive technologies & platforms. However, they tend to intersect in some cases. The basic difference b/w the two is they respond. On one side, barcodes use line-of-sight technology to make you scan the lines of unique patterns while RFID performs Radio Frequency identification to read & transmit data to the designated system.

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    Chandrapal Singh
    Chandrapal Singh

    Director at Appventurez

    Director and one of the Co-founders at Appventurez, Chandrapal Singh has 10+ years of experience in iOS app development. He captains client coordination and product delivery management. He also prepares preemptive requisites and guides the team for any possible issues on a given project.