Health Care CIO Runs 'Internal' RFID Test

February 23, 2005

An RFID chip that is the size of two grains of rice and encased in a glass container was implanted in the back of Halamka's right arm, near the elbow, just before Christmas. Halamka said this month that when the chip is scanned by an RFID reader, an identifying number directs physicians to his medical records, which are stored electronically at CareGroup's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

The chip was inserted with a needle in a procedure that took about five minutes. Halamka, 42, said he's testing the technology for its potential to help health care workers get critical medical information about unresponsive patients.

For example, Halamka noted that he is an avid mountain and ice climber. "If I fall and I'm not responsive, wouldn't it be extraordinarily helpful for the people who rescue me to know who I am and my medical history?"

Halamka, who has a medical degree and works as an emergency-room doctor at Beth Israel, said he isn't advocating that people get injected with RFID chips. But he added that he decided to try the technology himself partly so he could describe the experience to patients who want to undergo the...

RFID Times

Posted by cmccarter

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