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Global Market for RFID in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals to Reach US$1.7 Billion by 2018
Businesses are increasingly becoming more aware of the need to track and monitor people as well as other assets for optimum utilization of resources. Taking cue from other sectors, healthcare providers worldwide have recognized the benefits of adopting Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology into their operations for enhancing the delivery of healthcare services. The availability as well as new found usage of innovative RFID-enabled information technology applications is enabling providers to scrutinize the administration and authenticity of drugs; track medical supplies and equipment in a more efficient manner; as well as enhance patient security and safety, using RFID-enabled identification bracelets for patients. However, with the increase in realization of the benefits associated with uses and applications of RFID, concerns are also mounting regarding the potential privacy implications of the use of the technology, particularly when RFID tags are attached to identify people.
The pharmaceutical and healthcare industries are typified by unique set of requirements with respect to RFID technology. However, potential returns on investment are plausible with overwhelming benefits that could incite even laggards to adopt the technology. RFID market in healthcare and pharmaceutical industries would be mainly driven by the demand for RTLS (Real Time Locating Systems) for its use in locating equipment, patients and staff, and in enhancing safety and efficiency of healthcare delivery. Besides, demand for technology would also be driven by the need to reduce losses in operations. Tagging of drugs at item level to eliminate influx of fake drugs would also assist robust growth in demand for these systems in the years ahead. Although factors such as out of stock and counterfeiting are not the favorites in any industry, these could have relatively more serious implications on the pharmaceutical industry. RFID enables pharmaceutical companies to pinpoint the exact location of a particular stock in case of a recall, record when a patient has taken a medicine and even communicate with them.
Use of RFID in healthcare industry mainly revolves around active RFID tags. These tags operate by transmitting radio signals continuously to networked receivers that are located throughout the establishment. However, significant uses also exist for passive RFID tags, which function by swiping a reader near a Tag by the user. The use of these tags had been successfully demonstrated and finds application in areas such as reducing medication errors in a healthcare setting. Active RFID has mainly been used in healthcare settings for optimizing operations and in management of assets by healthcare facilities that embraced this technology early. Those clients opting RFID for asset management application do so for locating equipment in their facilities. This includes locating products such as wheelchairs, small equipment used in operating rooms and others.
Packaging security acquires tremendous importance in the pharmaceutical industry. Although RFID is being seen increasingly as a beneficial tool, use of RFID tags, especially passive tags, requires some deliberations before being implemented. This is due to the fact that use of unsecured RFID tags may introduce new set of risks to the pharmaceutical supply chain. Such tags could be subjected to substantial threats including spying, cloning, tracking and covert scanning of the products. The threat with unsecured passive RFID tags is that all information related to the product present on the tags could be revealed by scanning them. In cases where tags are encoded with some unique identification, it allows tracking the complete movement of the product. In extreme cases if a reader of the tag gets hold of an encryption key used for the tag, it gives the reader an undetectable access to the product for eternity, unless there is a mechanism to the change the encryption key.
High initial outlay has been a major hurdle to adoption of RFID technology in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Some major establishments and early adopters have embraced this technology, while many others remaining as laggards, waiting for further validation of benefits of the technology and decline in costs before adopting it. The same scenario is being witnessed in pharmacies as well, with many independently operating pharmacies unable to afford such high investments. Resultantly, adoption of the technology among these players is relatively low. However, even these players are expected to catch up with the latest technology when infrastructure costs decline further with improving economies of scale.
The US represents the largest regional market worldwide, as stated by the new market research report on RFID in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals. The US is also expected to emerge as the fastest growing market for RFID in healthcare and pharmaceuticals systems worldwide. Europe, the second largest market, is projected to record a compounded annual growth rate of 26.9% during the analysis period. Segment-wise, RFID Systems represent the largest as well as the fastest growing product segment in the global market for RFID in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, demand for RFID Tags is projected to surge at a compounded annual rate of 29.6% during the analysis period.
Major players profiled in the report include Alien Technology Corporation, Identive Group, Inc., Impinj, Inc., Intermec Technologies Corporation, International Business Machines Corporation, PositiveID Corporation, RF Technologies®, Inc., SkyRFID, Inc., Versus Technology, Inc., Zebra Technologies Corporation, among others.
The research report titled “RFID in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals: A Global Strategic Business Report” provides comprehensive market overview, trends & issues, recent technological and product innovations/introductions, recent industry activity and profiles of leading market players. Analysis and overview is provided for the years 2009 through 2018, for major geographic markets, such as the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Rest of World. Market analytics for RFID in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals are provided for global and regional markets in terms of US$ Million by the following product segments – RFID Tags and RFID Systems.
Details of the new report, table of contents and ordering information can be found on Electronics.ca Publications' website. View the report: RFID in Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals: A Global Strategic Business Report.