As we gear up for HIMSS, we’re reminded of the benefits that RFID has brought to healthcare – tracking expiration dates of prescription medications, preventing surgical equipment loss, making processes more efficient, personalizing a patient’s experience – the list goes on and on. Let’s add another to the list - one that merits special attention. It’s the use of RFID to promote cancer awareness.
In Polk City, Florida, a group of breast cancer awareness activists held a Big Pink Ribbon event where thousands of individuals wearing pink ribbon t-shirts assembled for the cause. Each person was counted by team captains with check lists, hand tally counters and of course, RFID! Why did they want such a precise count? What better way to garner attention than to get into the book of Guinness World Records!
The University of South Florida Polytechnic, UPM RFID and Borda Technology used RFID readers, UHF tags and custom software to accurately identify each individual and provide a 100% accurate, real-time count of the total number of participants. The RFID solution included:
- Lanyards for all participants with UHF RFID tags, which supported the EPC Gen 2 RFID standard
- An RFID reader at the entrance portal with four downward-pointing antennas to count participants
- Software with a custom asset-tracking solution
The tags were used for precision counting with built-in redundancies. The readers captured participant data and transmitted that information to a custom asset-tracking software program. The RFID system would have immediately alerted the organizers if they had set the new world record for largest human-awareness ribbon. But it wasn’t in the cards this time. Even though the event didn’t make it into the book of Guinness World Records, they had a great turnout fulfilling their first objective - to educate more people about finding the cure for breast cancer.
We like how they showed another way in which RFID can be easily integrated into everyday lives. As you may remember, one of our missions last year was to promote awareness for RFID via our RFID100 campaign. Hopefully greater awareness of RFID and the cure for breast cancer will help each other succeed.