At Xerafy, we’ve helped a number of hospitals and other healthcare organizations improve their operations using rugged RFID solutions. Hospitals are using RFID to track everything from surgical instruments to large assets like beds and wheelchairs, and even patients.
Over time, RFID technology has proven its ability to provide a strong return on investment (ROI) in the hospital environment. Below are five benefits of RFID that are key improvement areas contributing to ROI, based on Xerafy’s experience with hospital customers around the globe.
In the operating theater, nurses and other staff waste time manually counting surgical instruments before and after each procedure. While this process is time consuming, it is necessary to ensure patient safety (no instruments are inadvertently sewn up inside the patient), to make sure the right tools are available for the procedure, and to reduce asset loss. Using RFID, these manual counts are eliminated and hospitals can automatically track instruments as they pass through sterilization processes. Continue reading
Oil and gas industry safety issues have come to the forefront in recent decades. In the 2011 “Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages,” it was reported that more than 450,000 workers were employed in the oil and gas extraction and support industries. These workers are engaged in many different industrial processes needed to successfully drill and service a well. These processes frequently require the use of specialized equipment and specialized work crews, and the number of workers in the industry has only increased as operations expand around the globe. Continue reading
RFID solutions in healthcare often focus on things in motion: checking surgical instruments in and out of an operating room; tracking wheelchairs to improve asset utilization; even tracking patients as they move around a facility. Smart cabinets are another approach that provide smarter storage options for healthcare with RFID. These cabinets have RFID readers incorporated into them to track tagged inventory (often high-value goods like medications) as they are accessed by staff using secure credentials.
According to Technavio, the global radio frequency identification smart cabinet market will experience a compound annual growth rate of 14.03% through 2020. Some of this growth will be driven by increasing government regulations, but also by efforts to improve the management of high-value inventory. Smart cabinets are also part of the larger smart healthcare products market, which is expected to exceed $57 billion by 2023. Continue reading
In the industrial space, it’s easy to restrict your thinking about RFID and big data to the types of systems enterprises are used to working with – harnessing data from a single factory or hospital, or maybe from a population of specific types of machines widely dispersed at different customer locations. But the technology has even bigger ramifications than that, as this Forbes article outlines really well. Big Data and RFID will be key enablers of “Smart Cities,” where technology can help better manage things like infrastructure, pollution, traffic congestion and crime.
Half of the global population now lives in cities – and many of which were not designed to support the ballooning populations they now house. In some cases, these cities have expanded haphazardly with little long-term planning. However, the cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and RFID can help make cities more manageable, the article predicts.
Many cities are already using this type of technology to gather traffic data, crime data, and other information that could be used to guide infrastructure improvements and resource deployment. One example from the article: storm drain sensors in Rio Plata, Buenos Aires, combined with SAP’s HANA platform, have helped improve maintenance and reduce expensive flood damage. Nanjin, China, meanwhile, uses RFID and sensors to help manage traffic volume and assist with future transportation planning. Continue reading
With the expanding implementation of the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) requirements for identifying and tracking medical devices, there will be increased usage of RFID tags on medical devices and increased focus on RFID safety in healthcare.
Some medical devices, however, are uniquely susceptible to electromagnetic interference – so much so that even the use of relatively low-power RFID interrogators could potentially present challenges for manufacturers and end users. While there have been no documented cases of RFID systems posing a health risk in a hospital environment, medical device manufacturers and their customers have been urged to test the use of RFID with their products to ensure patient safety.
To help medical device manufacturers better evaluate the applicability of RFID for their tracking applications, AIM – the worldwide association for the automatic identification industry – has released its Medical Electrical Equipment & System Electromagnetic Immunity Test for Exposure to RFID Readers. The new standard will provide specialized guidance for the testing of non-implantable medical devices to determine whether they are immune to RFID emissions. Continue reading