Gary Ren
Jun 19, 2012

Preventing medical non-compliance with RFID tags

125,000 deaths annually in the U.S., 10-25% of hospital admissions, and billions in medical expenses. Fortunately, there is not some new epidemic to worry about; instead, it is medical non-compliance that accounts for the aforementioned statistics. Researchers at UCLA are trying to solve this problem with the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. They are working on a system that consists of a RFID pill tag, a reader, and a receiver. The pills will contain RFID tags that only activate in the human body. Swallowing anything electronic sounds unappealing, but the tag will be unnoticeable and made from harmless materials that can be easily excreted. The body worn reader, in the form of a necklace or belt, will read the tags and send information, such as dosage and medicine name, to the receiver, which will be the patient’s cell phone. This system won’t prevent all medical non-compliance, but will prevent patients from simply forgetting and keep doctors alerted.