Introducing RFID technology in dynamic and time-critical medical settings: requirements and challenges

J Biomed Inform. 2012 Oct;45(5):958-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 Apr 17.


We describe the process of introducing RFID technology in the trauma bay of a trauma center to support fast-paced and complex teamwork during resuscitation. We analyzed trauma resuscitation tasks, photographs of medical tools, and videos of simulated resuscitations to gain insight into resuscitation tasks, work practices and procedures. Based on these data, we discuss strategies for placing RFID tags on medical tools and for placing antennas in the environment for optimal tracking and activity recognition. Results from our preliminary RFID deployment in the trauma bay show the feasibility of our approach for tracking tools and for recognizing trauma team activities. We conclude by discussing implications for and challenges to introducing RFID technology in other similar settings characterized by dynamic and collocated collaboration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation
  • Emergency Medicine / instrumentation*
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Medical Informatics Applications
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated
  • Radio Frequency Identification Device / methods*
  • Resuscitation / instrumentation
  • Trauma Centers
  • Video Recording