RFID Applications and Adoptions in Healthcare: A Review on Patient Safety

Procedia Comput Sci. 2018:138:80-88. doi: 10.1016/j.procs.2018.10.012. Epub 2018 Oct 23.


Patient safety is a serious global public health concern. Official statistics show that there is an increasing number of mistreatments within healthcare due to the improper identification of the patient or the drug administered to the patient. It is believed that the majority of the medical errors caused by misidentifications are preventable by introducing integrated IT infrastructures. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is believed to be the next generation technology for tracking and data-collection and has successfully been applied in several industries such as manufacturing, retail and logistics. RFID technology is also seen as the next disruptive innovation in healthcare and represents several opportunities for increased safety, operational efficiency and cost savings, by tagging inventory, assets, patients and personnel. Even though RFID promises several benefits for the healthcare industry, the adoption of RFID technology in the health sector has not been as striking as anticipated and still lags behind compared to other industries. Through a literature review, this paper attempts to explore the challenges of RFID adoption in healthcare, with a focus on patient safety. Our main findings suggest that high costs of adoption, concerns related to security and privacy, and human safety risks are the main barriers for adoption.

Keywords: Healthcare; IoT; Literature Review; Patient Safety; RFID.