Who or what gets the RFID tags?

Costs are declining, supplies are increasing. Integration with GPS means RFID can track supplies on the highway.

RFID surgichipThere's a new push on for RFID tags in medicine.

Mostly it's patients getting active RFID chips. Newborns, Alzheimer's patients, surgical patients, and even some cardiology patients are being chipped.

But the push to RFID stuff is getting more intense, too, as Wal-Mart mandates their use in warehouses and pushes the technology into stores.

This is happening because the technology is maturing. Costs are declining, supplies are increasing. Integration with GPS means RFID can track supplies on the highway.

There are two types of RFID tags. Active tags carry their own radios. Passive tags are read by scanning radios.

Millions of consumers already have RFID tags in their cars, for use on toll roads. These are passive tags. They carry little more data than a bar code, and it's their ability to be read remotely which makes them useful.

Privacy advocates are more concerned with active tags, which contain their own radios. When people talk of their dogs being "chipped" they are talking about active tags.

The mandate to use RFID in passports, which hackers have already begun cloning, also causes concern. Since you're supposed to carry your passport with you overseas, and they can be read, criminals as well as law enforcement could know who you were and where you come from.

The good news here is technology may be breaking through some of the privacy concerns.

So is this the year the RFID revolution takes off in medicine?

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