Wireless Communications in Healthcare Environments

Funded by the Spanish Regional Government of Andalusia
Duration: 01/07/2005 to 28/02/2006

Project Overview: 
The CIES project devised the integration of wireless communication technologies in healthcare environments with the purpose of speeding up and increasing reliability and safety of involved processes. In particular, the project focused on analyzing and testing the secure integration of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology providing state-of-the-art knowledge on squeezing RFID capabilities, real expectations and current challenges. The NICS group provided an important role in the design and development of the two lab-tested solutions addressed in the project.
On the one hand, we proposed a secure RFID-based medical equipment tracking system for healthcare facilities enabling both real-time location and theft prevention. We also analyzed worth-noting aspects such as technology selection, possible EMI interferences and management of RFID data from hospital information system. Lab testing of system reliability based on passive UHF EPC Gen1 & Gen 2 revealed relevant limitations of this RFID technology branch in healthcare reading scenarios.
On the other hand, we analyzed and provided a solution for care and control of patients in a hospital based on passive 13.56 MHz RFID (ISO 15693/14443) with the result of a fully functional demonstrator. Our prototype squeezes RFID features in order to provide a secure backup data source from patient's wristband. It also provides an offline working mode aiming to increase application reliability under network fail down and therefore, improving patient's safety.