RFID Technology for the Health Care Sector
Jordi Castella-Roca and Agusti Solanas
Affiliation: CRISES Research Lab. Dept.Computer Science and Mathematics. Rovira i Virgili University. Av. Paisos Catalans, 26. 43001 Tarragona. Catalonia. Spain.
Keywords: RFID, Health Care
Health care is the linchpin of a developed society. The general trend in developed countries is to increase public spending to improve the quality of health care. However, the economic model applied to the health care sector varies from one country to another. There are models in which health care costs are mainly supported by governments. On the contrary, there are other economic models such as the “fee-for-service” model in which patients pay for the services like in any other service industry. Whichever model is used, technology can help increase the efficiency of the service and the reliability of the diagnoses. Specially, Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) technology can drastically improve the processing times associated to medical records retrieval, dispensing of medications, personnel management, etc. In this article, we explore some of the most relevant patents, which propose the use of the RFID technology in the health care sector. We provide an overview of the field and a classification of the patents in several categories, being the aim to facilitate the task of researchers, practitioners and managers when looking for patents in this field. Moreover, we analyse a recent and relevant patent application from Kodak™ that provides a system for monitoring the ingestion of medicines by means of digestible RFID tags attached to the medicines.
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