RFID in the fight against a pandemic

08/04/2020

The worldwide spread of the COVID-19 virus is frightening and is forcing us to think about the future. As an RFID integrator, we see a huge potential in RFID technology to help control the spread of viruses, not only medically but also within the supply chain.

The tracking of goods and people, in real time or not, provides insight into certain processes. Thanks to this valuable information, safety measures can be implemented more efficiently.

In the healthcare sector, nurses and doctors are under enormous pressure during crisis situations such as the Coronavirus outbreak. RFID technology can help in the following ways.

Limit physical contact with medical equipment

By using RFID tags, materials and their status can be easily picked up by a handheld or fixed reader. In contrast to a barcode scanner, RFID eliminates the separate scanning of each item, avoiding physical contact.

Visibility of materials

RFID allows you to efficiently track sterile equipment for operations, hospital laundry, bed usage… Time is not being wasted in locating important materials.

Ensure regular cleaning and, if necessary, disposal of medical equipment

Each device has a unique ID linked to a tag, enabling the perfect monitoring of the maintenance and sterilisation process and, if necessary, the implementation of additional cleaning procedures. By means of RFID, it is also possible to monitor the compliance of the procedures.  

Stock management

Especially during a pandemic, it can be crucial to be able to monitor the stock levels in real time. By providing this visibility with RFID, staff are able to distribute items where there is greater need.

Also apart from the healthcare sector, RFID can be valuable in the fight against pandemics. Information about the way in which food or other goods were handled or transported can be important to push back the spread of a virus.

By scanning items more frequently, in more places and in an automated manner, we can isolate what happened, who had access to certain goods and, in case of emergency, prevent a problem much faster. Scanning also provides additional information about the items concerned. Where did those items come from? Has the item been touched by an employee? If so, how often, where and who was it?

By means of RFID, scanning can take place automatically to prevent that infected people touch goods. Preventing contaminations in the warehouse can keep many others in and around the supply chain from receiving contaminated articles.

In short, we are convinced that RFID technology can also build in safety in the supply chain. Why should we not use the technology to our advantage? 

Do you wish to discuss your automation needs, please do not hesitate to contact our experts.

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