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Report: Healthcare RFID Worth $2.1B in 2016

Research firm IDTechEx has released a report on RFID's application in the healthcare market and its growth prospects over the next decade. This article lists the key findings from , which predicts the healthcare market's consumption of RFID will grow to $2.1 billion by 2016.
Apr 28, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 28, 2006—Research firm IDTechEx of Cambridge has released a report on RFID's application in the healthcare market and its growth prospects over the next decade. Listed below are key findings from RFID in Healthcare 2006-2016:
  • The healthcare vertical's consumption of RFID tags and services will rise from $90 million this year to $2.1 billion in 2016.
  • The two biggest contributors to demand, according to IDTechEx, will be item-level tagging of pharmaceuticals and deployment of RTLS within hospitals to track medical equipment and assets, staff, and patients.
  • Tags will constitute a little under half the market; systems will constitute the rest.
  • In pharmaceuticals tracking, IDTechEx observes that high frequency (HF) RFID is still the preferred technology. "It is, however, a constantly evolving story," says the company. Most notably, the recent push for near-field ultrahigh frequency (UHF) technology has added another wrinkle to the ongoing HF vs. UHF debate.
  • IDTechEx considers TAGSYS a front-runner in drug-tagging due to its winning business from a number of leading pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • As for RTLS, IDTechEx sees WiFi-based technologies gaining over their proprietary counterparts in the healthcare market. The new chipset from G2 Microsystems will bring down the cost and power requirements of WiFi RTLS tags, making WiFi RTLS all the more attractive (see New Chip Could Transform Active RFID Market.)
  • For both item-level pharmaceutical tagging and RTLS, one of the biggest attractions for the healthcare market is error prevention.
  • A key quote: "RFID in healthcare is not, and never will be, the biggest application of RFID but its special requirements, unquantifiable benefits (safety, security, reputation, brand protection etc) and sometimes tolerance of longer paybacks for such reasons can often lead to very profitable and worthwhile business for suppliers."
  • Lastly, IDTechEx notes that privacy is particularly sensitive in medical environments, and therefore the application of RFID in hospitals for things like patient tracking could see pushback. The company argues, however, that privacy can in many cases be enhanced by the use of RFID.

Read the full article from IDTechEx
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