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Electronics Production | June 25, 2008

RFID chips interfere with medical equipment

RFID chips can interfere with sensitive medical equipment. Fifty percent all electrical medical equipment in a Dutch study was so unstable that it put patients in danger when RFID chips were in the vicinity.
Hospitals should use them with great care says one researcher. RFID, small radiochips, can interfere with medical equipment at distances up to six meters from the device.

The report is published by doctors from the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam. The background is trials were 41 RFID devices used in hospitals was involved, writes the news agency Reuters.

Two of the most widely used RFID chip has been put in single rooms without patient. Here were 22 risky disorders, 2 significant disruptions and 10 less errors registered.

A risky interference is a danger to the patient, while a small disturbance requires a nurse's presence, even if the patient is not in immediate danger. RFID technology is especially common in the retail sector but is predicted to be used increasingly in health care. Typical applications are monitoring of temperature sensitive products as blood or monitoring packages of medicines to avoid confusion.

Studies have previously shown that alarm systems in supermarkets also can create electromagnetic interference for people with pacemakers.

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