Benefits of active RFID

Active radio frequency identification (RFID) technology can be used to track the location of medical assets or patients in healthcare environments. It is ideal for high-value asset tracking, wandering patient safety, baby tagging, staff safety and temperature monitoring. Compared to passive RFID it provides longer read ranges and the option to record additional information such as temperature information or emergency call signals.

How active RFID works

In active RFID systems, assets or people are fitted with a special tag with an internal battery. This transmits a regular radio frequency (RF) signal with a unique ID. Signals are picked up either by an existing wi-fi infrastructure or a network of proprietary readers and then passed on to a central database for tracking and analysis. Alternatively mobile readers can be used. Active RFID tags be read over a distance of up to hundred metres depending on the environment and the asset properties.

Active RFID systems are characterised by the way they communicate with a central database:

Wi-fi based RFID systems

Wi-fi based RFID systems use the existing wireless infrastructure of the organisation. Additional readers can be installed where the current system has no or insufficient coverage.

Non Wi-Fi based RFID systems

Non Wi-Fi based RFID systems use a network of fixed RF readers placed strategically to detect tags and update inventory location records. Handheld mobile readers can be used in addition for areas where there are no fixed readers.