HID Global

RFID in hospitals: the time has come to expand

Articles | By HID Global | 24 May 2016
RFID is often ideal for challenging hospital conditions RFID is often ideal for challenging hospital conditions Photo: HID Global

Cryopreservation with miniaturised RFID transponders

Numerous challenging hospital conditions can be overcome using special RFID transponders for proprietary applications

In sterilisation, cryopreservation or in asset management: RFID is often the ideal solution when it comes to identifying objects in challenging hospital conditions. Guido Kuhrmann, HID Global, is convinced about the technology. Why do so few hospitals rely on RFID? The transponder expert looks at state-of-the-art developments assessing the current situation in interview with ‘RFID im Blick Global’.

Guido Kuhrmann, Sales Director IT, HID Global, in interview with ‘RFID im Blick Global’

Identification at -196 ° Celsius

In 2015, HID Global together with the British company Cryogatt presented a cryopreservation solution based on special, miniaturised HF RFID transponders. Samples could be detected easily at extremely low temperatures. This year, HID Global is working on the launch of complete solutions with partners in Germany, says Guido Kuhrmann: "Currently we are working on solutions for the German market. A German system integrator, for example, approached test tube manufacturers to integrate the transponders directly in production. We expect to have marketable solutions in 2016. Hospitals and laboratories will be provided with complete solutions including hardware and software from a single source."

Miniature ceramic tags for sterilisation

HID Global has developed special UHF ceramic tags sized 5 x 2.5 x 2.5 millimeters with a maximum read range of up to one meter for sterilisation. "These transponders are glued onto surgical instruments - currently being tested in a project at a clinic in the Netherlands. Available adhesives meet all the requirements of biocompatibility and endurance even after hundreds of sterilisation cycles. The evidence, which instrument is from which OR is important for accurate billing and optimised reprocessing documentation. "In the next planned step, the transponders will be halved in size without compromising their performance. "The progressive tag miniaturisation extends the application range at item level considerably."

Where is the wheel chair?

Guido Kuhrmann points to another area in which hospitals have high losses as a result of highly non-transparent processes, which is asset management. Easily employed applications can provide benefits here. "Beds, wheelchairs and movable cabinets are among the assets in a hospital, which often change their place. Staff push them to other stations or in functional areas. Wards or units are not aware of where their assets are. With a simple RFID application - an object tag and an antenna in the door frame to the ward - the movements can be registered and finding them gets easier." A hospital in Europe is currently testing this solution, says Guido Kuhrmann: "The initial feedback is very positive."

Increased publicity necessary

So what are the reasons not to adopt widespread RFID applications in hospital? Why are innovative applications still a niche item in hospitals in early 2016? "Often, hospitals worry about the initial investments. Our duty is to demonstrate even more clearly the positive impact on economic and procedural efficiency. An ROI comes faster than commonly assumed after the applications’ employment. Inadequate technology is no reason for applications to fail nowadays," says Guido Kuhrmann.

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 May 2016 11:24