Rana Radwan December 5, 2011 LTEC 3530 Data Communications System

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The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals


Rana Radwan

December 5, 2011

LTEC 353

Data Communications System

The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals



The topic that is covered in this paper is how hospitals are using
RFID Ultra
Wideband. Ultra
Wideband is a transmitter of data
over a wide array of bandwidth with only little power. It was only
used by the military, but now used commercially. Ultra
is so popular in the medical field, because it does not interfere with
other machinery. The things that I will cover in my paper are:
What RFID Ultra
Wideband is, how it works, the frequencies, how
it is used in hospital settings, and what it can do

for educational
settings as well.

RFID, Ultra
Wideband, hospitals, safety, education,
data communication, antenna, tags, servers, software

The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals


The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals

With the ever growing technology today, we are in need of
more systems that help us get the job done. Data communication
has got so big and will only get bigger in the next couple of years.
One of the systems that are widely used today is the RFID system
It was only used by the military, but now used commercially. What
is RFID you might ask? Well RFID stands for radio frequency
identification. It is a device that stores and retrieves data using the
RFID method. “RFID relies on radio waves and doesn’t
need a
sight to read data. In place of a barcode, you have an RFID
tag or “transponder,” read by a hand
held reader, door
reader, or some other configuration (Staff). RFID is used in our
everyday lives. RFID tags can be found in the tran
industry, consumer products, drugs and food IDs and shelf life
indicators, patient identification, smart houses, and intelligent
wearable. Many industries have adopted the use of RFID.
Probably the most of us have seen these used by clothing s
that have to be removed or deactivate the piece that is attached to
the garment or will make the alarm beep. By them using this
technology, they are sure to be able to be more effective in
The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals


operations, reduce the costs, and even reduce errors that c
an occur.
This is one system that will only get more sophisticated with time.
In the remaining part of this paper, you will learn how RFID
works, the frequencies, how it is used in hospital settings, and what
it can do for educational settings as well.

In order for the RFID system to work, you must first make
sure that you have all the components that are required to have it
work. The components on the system includes: tags, readers, edge
servers, middleware, and application software. “An RFID tag is
small object, such as an adhesive sticker, that can be attached to or
incorporated into an object (anything from a pallet of laundry
detergent to a racecar tire to a pet’s neck) (Goleniewski pg. 675).”
An antenna is used to capture data from the RFID ta
g. Once the
data is received, then it is sent back to the reader. “A small tag on
a device or person emits a radio wave that is detected by a network
of receivers around the hospital. Software crunches the positioning
data and puts the locations on a ma
p or table or into a hospital
information system (Page).” The good thing about RFID
technology is that it works in all kind of weather conditions. There
are three types of different RFID tags. These include: read
read/write, and write once, read m
any times (WORM). RFID can
also be classified as active or passive. Active RFID tags have the
power source and have larger memories then passive tags. Active
The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals


RFID tags can be used to communicate up to 100 feet from the
reader. They are also more expens
ive. The battery life of an
active RFID tag can be up to 10 years. On the other hand, passive
RFID tags do not need battery or power supply. Since they do not
need either on, this only means that it has an unlimited life span.
This makes the passive ta
g cheaper of course. The RFID
frequency bands vary. It can be categorized as low, high,
ultrahigh, or microwave. Using microwave will give you a wider
frequency band of 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz which will also cost
more. The range of these bands, range from

3 feet all the way up
to 100 feet. Depending on what the RFID tags will be used for,
that is how you will choose which one you will need. All the
things that will need to be considered are: the distance needed,
speed, and cost.

RFID is something that

hospitals are using more than ever.
It is a way that they can be sure to be able to operate the hospital in
a more effective way, help out the nurses as well as doctors, and
also help out the patients. You have probably seen some of these
tags in some o
f the hospitals today, but just did not know what they
were exactly. Most hospitals today have adopted this new system,
by giving each one of their medical staff personnel and patients a
card that is the size of a credit card. These cards have a chip tha
t is
embedded in them that help track the identities of the medical staff
The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals


personnel as well as the patients. When being used by personnel,
the managers will be able to track when they have arrived for work
and their exact location in the hospital. The ch
ip will also limit
access to rooms to only the ones that have the appropriate required
codes on their badge chip. The hospitals do not have to worry
about the systems interfering with any other equipment that they
might be using. “That is because UWB tra
nsmits short
radio waves that are finished before they can reflect off walls and
ceilings (Staff).” This should give you a general idea of how fast
these systems work. To be exact, the data that is being transmitted
is traveling at a rate of 100

kilobits per second.

A major use of these systems in the medical industry is
helping with patient care. These systems are able to monitor the
patients’ health, let the nurse know what medicine is for what
patient so that there isn’t any confusion, and

track a patient in case
they were need to be found. Tracking the patient’s health could
include their heart rate, body temperature or anything else that
needs to be closely monitored without the nurse having to step
inside of the patient’s room. This al
l is for the main reason of
keeping the safety of the patients. Some chips are also embedded
in surgical instruments, just so the doctors are careful and not sew
up the patient with an instrument still left inside of them. “For
example, RF Surgical System
s, Bellevue, Wash., puts passive tags
The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals


in surgical sponges that emit a signal to help prevent them from
being left in patients (Page).” We probably have all heard about
all those horror stories where this has happened. Another way that
hospitals are putti
ng these systems to use is by cutting down on
infant abduction. In many hospitals today, the mother and infant
will get identical tags. This will make sure that the infant is only
given to the mom and not someone else. Many mix ups have
happened in the
past and this technology will help end that. It also
will give a special sound if both tags are a match and will give a
different sound if they are not. These tags can also lock elevators
in case of an abduction that has occurred. “Only those of us who
re authorized to put a baby in the elevator can wave our tag in
front of the touch pad so the elevator door can close (Orlovsky).”

RFID systems also help medical staff personnel find
exactly what they need without going and digging for an item.
This hel
ps the hospitals save both time and money. It is a problem
especially if a nurse is in need of some equipment and cannot find
it right away. The system will help find it very fast. “This same
method is also used to track the utilization of hospital equip
which Roberti said is also a big issue for hospitals concerned with
cost (Orlovsky).” Hospital equipment is very expensive and it
would be a big loss if they just ordered new equipment every time
The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals


they miss placed and item instead of just knowing th
e exact
location of it.

RFID systems are also very useful when used in
educational settings. Just like the way that hospitals use it to
recover missing equipment, a school can use it to be able to find
the exact location of projectors, supplies, or ev
en books. Teachers
do not want to take up their time looking for such things. Having
this technology available to them will only help them save time.
Especially since distance learning has got so big the past decade,
RFID can help the students learn more

than just being put in a
traditional classroom. Some people learn if they sit down and hear
what a teacher has to say, but others do not. Some learn by simply
having to apply what they learn. If they get the chance to do this,
then the use of RFID in e
ducational is a great investment.
Learning about these systems will also help any medical field
student with hands on before they will have to actually use it in the
hospitals. Only imagine the medical staff personnel and how long
it probably could take
them to start knowing how to use these
kinds of systems.

It is amazing to see how much technology can help us with
our everyday lives. We see RFID used probably more then we
expect, but just do not think about it. Keep a close eye on things
The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals


and you wi
ll be surprised on how many things really do use the
RFID system.

The Use of RFID Ultra
Wideband in Hospitals


Works Cited

Collins, J. (2004
Aug. 19
Hospital Gets Ultra
Wideband RFID
Retrieved from

Goleniewski, L. (
Telecommunication Essentials
: Pearson Education, Inc.

Orlovsky, Christina. (2011, Nov.21)
Radio Frequency
Identification Technology Protects Hospital patients,
. Retrieved from

Hospitals tune in to RFID.

Retrieved from

Raths, D.
(2008, July 11
Hospitals play tag

RFID finds a
niche in healthcare
. Retrieved from

Staff (2010, Sept. 20
How to Use RFID Technology
. Retrieved