Indus Hospital: Tracking Pneumonia with RFID

The Interactive Research & Development (IRD) Indus Hospital, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Blookberg School of Public Health”s Department of International Health, has been using RFID technology to measure the incidence of pneumonia in infants in Karachi Pakistan in order to track how often infants contract penumonia due to Pneumococcal disease.

In the initial test run 4000 infants were given a waterproof RFID bracelet encoded with a unique ID number that is linked to the baby”s medical history. When the infant is brought into a healhcare facility, the doctor scans the bracelet with a mobile phone to see if the infant in fact requires pneumonia testing or treatment. If he/she does then an SMS alert is sent out and a team whizzes in to take care of it.

Dozens of healthcare facilities in the city are connected to the IRD so that the infant does not have to be taken to a particular facility to be monitored or treated.

Of course the sharing of medical data in itself opens up questions regarding the privacy of the child”s health data so there need to be rules which safeguard and restrict access to only those who absolutely require it.

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This is an example of how mobile and RFID technology can be used to track and treat diseases.

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