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Study: RFID devices interfere with medical apps

Posted: 27 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RFID? medical electronics? EMI test?

A study conducted by University of Amsterdam researchers found that the use of RFID in hospitals can interfere with critical care medical equipment.

The research was done in May 2006 and one active (125kHz) and one passive (868MHz) RFID system were operated at about 30cm (1 foot) from each of 41 pieces of medical equipment at the Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

According to the study published at the Journal of the American Medical Association, in 123 tests for EMI, RFID induced 34 EMI incidents: 22 were classified as hazardous, two as significant and 10 as light. The passive system at 868MHz induced 26 of the incidents while the active 125kHz RFID signal caused 8 incidents in 41 EMI tests.

One conclusion of the study is that the implementation of RFID in the critical care environment should require on-site EMI tests and updates of international standards.

Another result is that it is unlikely that RFID can be adopted quickly for use in patient or medical equipment identification or tracking.

- Peter Clarke
EE Times Europe

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