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RFID Cures Medical Record Access

MedicAlert, a provider of medical information services and personal health record management, has tapped RFID technology to streamline and facilitate access to personal health information. Teaming with chip manufacturer AMD and Siemens, MedicAlert will launch aimed at enhancing university student access to their medical records.
Feb 08, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

February 8, 2007—MedicAlert, a provider of medical information services and personal health record management, has tapped RFID technology to streamline and facilitate access to personal health information. Teaming with chip manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices and Siemens IT Solutions and Services, MedicAlert will launch a pilot at California State University, Stanislaus on March 1st aimed at enhancing student access to their medical records.

The pilot will last 90 days and will involve 200 students. Each of the participating students will be issued an RFID card which stores a unique identification number. The ID number will be linked to their personal health records within the MedicAlert repository. Secure kiosks will be installed at the student health centers around campus. Upon entering a health center, a student merely passes the RFID card within range of the kiosk's reader to have his or her medical records promptly printed out.

While not a revolutionary application of RFID, it is easy to appreciate a vastly improved patient experience and efficiency at the health centers. Instead of the patient having to wait in line to speak with the health center receptionist, who would then have to sift through the health center's physical medical records in search of the patient's file, the self-service process now allows the patient to enter the center and retrieve his or her own health records in a matter of seconds.

Also notable are the participating companies. AMD is a chip manufacturing giant, widely considered Intel's primary competition in chips for personal computers. German conglomerate Siemens has myriad technology and manufacturing business. It entered the supply chain RFID market with much fanfare in late 2005 (see Siemens and AT&T Jump Into RFID). For its part, MedicAlert is a non-profit foundation with four million members worldwide.

Read the announcement from MedicAlert
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