Technology

Read this before you get ‘chipped’

rfid_tag.jpg
ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Put this one down in the “con” column when Big Brother offers to LoJack you for your own protection: Apparently, radio frequency identification (RFID) chips can interfere with vital hospital equipment.

The study by Dutch researchers, the first of its kind as reported this week by redOrbit, already is being taken seriously by patient safety experts and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Used in “supply chain management” to track inventory and approved in 2004 for human implantation, RFID tags can be found everywhere, from many countries’ passports (including ours) to library books to retail merchandise. Some hospital patients have received RFID wristbands, and the technology is even used to track lost pets.

If delicate hospital equipment is affected by the electromagnetic interference generated by RFID devices, what about other forms of technology like airliners, public communications systems — and my iPod?

Just something to think about.

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About the author

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Scott Kirchhofer

One of Nerdvana's founding bloggers, Scott Kirchhofer is a graphic artist and designer of the Nerdvana logo, as well as a gamer and comic book movie fan.

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