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GTRI is developing protocols for testing effects of RFID systems on medical devices
Date:10/6/2009

Radio frequency identification (RFID) systems are widely used for applications that include inventory management, package tracking, toll collection, passport identification and airport luggage security. More recently, these systems have found their way into medical environments to track patients, equipment assets and staff members.

However, there is currently no published standardized, repeatable methodology by which manufacturers of RFID equipment or medical devices can assess potential issues with electromagnetic interference and evaluate means to mitigate them.

To resolve these concerns, the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) recently began developing testing protocols for RFID technology in the health care setting. The test protocol development is being overseen by AIM Global, the international trade association representing automatic identification and mobility technology solution providers, and also includes MET Laboratories, a company that provides testing and certification services for medical devices.

"A comprehensive set of test protocols, which are sufficiently precise to permit repeatable results, is required to understand if there is an interaction between various types of RFID systems and active implantable medical devices, electronic medical equipment, in vitro diagnostic equipment and biologics. Only after the protocols are developed will we be able to investigate the cause of any interactions, the result of any interactions, and ways manufacturers might eliminate or mitigate interactions," said Craig K. Harmon, president and CEO of Q.E.D. Systems and chairman of AIM Global's RFID Experts Group. This group is overseeing the Health Care Initiative and includes representatives from 40 organizations in the United States, Europe and Asia.

GTRI researchers will test how RFID systems affect the function of implantable and wearable medical devices, such as pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, ne
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Contact: Abby Vogel
avogel@gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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