Radio frequency identification is a technology that uses radio waves to recognize a tagged object passively. It is used in various commercial and industrial applications, from tracking commodities along a supply chain to keeping track of items checked out of a library.
Radio frequency identification is also used in conjunction with a microchip, a powered antenna, and a scanner. Even if commercial uses were first developed in 1970, it has become more accessible. With advancements that have been made in this particular technology, radio frequency has become more affordable to purchase and adapt.
Moreover, radio frequency identification works through a small electronic device, usually a microchip, that stores information inside it. These particular devices are tiny, and sometimes they come in the size of grain rice and can hold a lot of data. Even if not all of them emit electricity, some contain a powered source of batteries.
The scanners found in these batteries can be used to read these devices and can also provide enough electricity to allow them to read the microchip. This active RFID technology has multiple uses, but the main one is to track products, animals, and currency.
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One of the most common uses of RFID technology is microchipping pets. Veterinarians implant these particular microchips, and they have information about the pet, including their name, medical records, and contact information for their owners.
When a pet goes missing and is turned into a rescue shelter, the rescue shelter worker scans the animal for a microchip. If the pet has a microchip, it will be easier for the owner to be contacted since the owner will be called or searched on the Internet. Pet chips are also more reliable than collars which can easily fall off or be removed.
With the rise of accessibility of technology, most veterinarians and shelters now have the technology to read these microchips. Moreover, universal scanners and national databases for storing new data are also rising in popularity, making it easier for microchipping pets to be a successful way to get lost pets reunited with their owners. The only drawback is that records must be kept up to date, and the data will be as reliable as what is being attributed by the person setting up the microchip.
Data for healthcare professionals
RFI continues to evolve each day and is starting to get used from time to time. It is essential to consider its potential for interference with peacemakers, implantable cardioverters, and other electronic medical devices. Physicians need to stay informed about the use of RFID systems.
For example, if a patient experiences a situation with a machine, ask questions that will help you determine if RFID might have been a factor, such as the moment the episode occurred, what the patient was doing at the time, and whether or not the issue resolved once the patient moved away from the environment. If you suspect that RFID was a factor, device interrogation might help correlate the episode to the exposure. Report any suspected medical device multifunction to MedWatch.
Effects of RFID on medical devices
The FDA has taken steps to study how what is RFID and how it affects medical devices, and some of the things that were gathered include;
- They are working with manufacturers of potentially susceptible medical devices to test their commodities for any adverse effects from RFID and encouraging them to consider RFID interference when coming up with new appliances.
- Working with the RFID industry to better understand where RFID can be found, what power levels and frequencies are being used in various locations, and how best to mitigate potential EMI with pacemakers and ICDs.
As stated above RFID tag comprises an integrated circuit and an antenna. This particular tag is also composed of a protective material that holds the pieces together and shields them from various environmental conditions. The protective material depends on the application.
For instance, the employee ID badges that contain RFID tags are normally made from durable plastic, and the tag is embedded between the layers of the plastic. Moreover, the tags come in various sizes and shapes and are either passive or active.
Passive tags are the ones that are typically used because they are smaller and less expensive to implement. Passive tags need to be powered up by RFID readers before they can transmit data. Unlike passive tags, active RFID tags have an onboard power supply, enabling them to share data at all times.
Smart labels are different from RFID tags because they incorporate both RFID and barcode technologies. They are also made of an adhesive label embedded with an RFID tag inlay, and they may also feature a barcode or other printed data.
RFID includes many things, and we have seen how it is used in various fields.