The first results of the EU’s RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and Health project have been published. The report presents the findings of the first phase of a study to identify the policy options that can help the development and application of RFID in healthcare. The objectives of the study were:
•To identify and discuss the most relevant areas for deployment and use of RFID in healthcare;
•To identify the most important enablers, obstacles and uncertainties, and
•To discuss other alternatives to RFID technologies.
The report found that tracking is the key RFID-enabling function in use. Applications include identification and authentification of patients as well as automatic data collection and transfer in clinical trials. The key barriers and obstacles to RFID’s wider-scale implementation, include:
• Direct RFID costs;
• Privacy, security, data integrity and legal issues;
• Operational/managerial challenges, and
• Cultural and ethical concerns.