Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is either the most amazing thing to grace healthcare in decades or a civil liberties nightmare waiting to explode. Kinda depends on who you ask. RFID fans will cheer a report from hospitals showing how they are cutting down on equipment theft using the technology that allows for "track and trace" of anything from a bottle of pills to a giant medical device. And RFID has already made it inside, so to speak, the human body. Florida-based Applied Digital in late 2004 began marketing the VeriChip, the only FDA-approved RFID chip for humans.
- To find out more about how RFID is cutting costs and shrink at hospitals here
PLUS: You've read some good news; now think about whether RFID is such a great idea after all. A chilling article in Wireless Week highlights recent reports from the Department of Homeland Security raising serious questions about the technology's vulnerability when it comes to protecting personal information. Anyone with an embarrassing, or worse, medical condition they are not prepared to share with the general public may not exactly cheer what they read here about RFID's usage in healthcare IT. Article