The benefits go beyond ROI...
Spending on RFID track-and-trace technology is to skyrocket, according to analysts.
Research from analyst house Frost and Sullivan has found that the revenue from RFID within healthcare and pharmaceuticals will rise almost sixfold, from 2004's total of $370m to $2.3bn in 2011.
According to Frost and Sullivan, the healthcare market is likely to see swift uptake of RFID technology due to easily demonstrable benefits beyond traditional ROI - for example, cutting the risk of drugs being misplaced or given to patients incorrectly.
However, barcoding is required by many of healthcare's governing bodies, and given the high price of RFID, barcodes are unlikely to disappear from the market before at least 2015, Frost and Sullivan research analyst Priyanka Gouthaman said.
RFID has already made its way into healthcare in both Europe and the US. For example, the Klinikum Saarbrücken in Germany has conducted pilots on the use of RFID to ensure patients are given the correct mediation, while the UK has seen the technology used in drug tracking trials.