rfid / nfc

“Connecting the physical world to the digital world”

Leverage RFID and NFC technology with the Rx SCRAM™ line

One of the greatest obstacles of ensuring patient safety in a healthcare environment is the appearance of adverse events during the care process. Various studies show that 38% of adverse events occur during the process of prescribing /validation / dispensing / administration of drugs.1

| “Improve patient’s safety in healthcare and especially in medication care by using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and NFC (Near Field Communication) technologies.”

So, what is RFID and NFC?

RFID technology enables the communication between an unpowered tag and a powered .

RFID systems consist of a reader with an antenna, and a transponder (tag). There are two different RFID tags possible. Either they are active, meaning they have their own power source, or they are passive. Passive tags have no own power source and have to be supplied with energy via an electromagnetic field produced by the reader.

NFC is a technology standard based on RFID that does not require an internal power source to function and can transmit information wirelessly over small distances. Contactless payments is an example of how this technology has become apart of our day to day life.

 | “RFID and NFC are global contactless communication technologies.”

Unlike RFID, NFC technology can be integrated into universal devices such as mobile phones, reducing the cost of the system because dedicated devices are unnecessary. The combination of both technologies (RFID and NFC) was proposed by Lahtela et al.1,2 More recently, front line of medical care benefits from NFC which offer a new and better way of doing things by streamline processes and reducing overheads and improve accuracy.3

| “NFC, is a connecting technology that allows exchange of information wirelessly with just a tap.”

So, how can we leverage this technology?

When conducting an economic evaluation of a quality improvement intervention the identification, measurement and valuation of both the relevant costs and the relevant benefits is required.4,5 These chips are readily available, and the possible applications of the technology can be limitless if one takes into account the low cost of deployment. With this in mind we have integrated an RFID pocket into the design of: Rx SCRAM, Tactical Rx SCRAMand CRASH Rx SCRAM to hold a chip. So, end users who already have such systems in place can continue to leverage this technology and  for those who don’t, it also affords a quick and easy way to benefit from this technology.

Embedding NFC technology into: Rx SCRAM, Tactical Rx SCRAM or CRASH Rx SCRAM provides:

Fast and interactive access to information

By reading the label-integrated chips with an NFC-capable smartphone (Fig 2) users receive easy access to important information, which pharmacies can update and adjust at any time as needed. For this purpose, data stored on the NFC chip or additional information can be accessed via the internet, thus, providing the clinician with clear identification of the medicines, from  easy query of the expiry date through to important product details or warnings.

| “To operate you just need to hover your phone over the tag, data will send to your phone directly, No need for a battery, No manual pairing.”

| “The NFC Tag is at the heart of any contactless system – small, inexpensive and portable.

Increased safety

The NFC chip can be easily linked to support medication-related clinical decisions and dosage recommendations. This is a valuable tool to help reduce drug error and enhance patient safety.

Optimum processes in intralogistics

Consumables or equipment provided with RFID labels are able to optimise processes in the operations and workflows of pharmacies, laboratories, hospitals, or pre-hospital teams.

The use of RFID also makes it possible to monitor and control logistics material and product flows in real time: the labels are automatically read at various stations for maximum transparency and concurrent documentation. The processes optimised and automated in this way help to enhance efficiency and process reliability.

Programming the NFC Tag

1 – Get NFC Tags

You will need blank NFC tags before you can start writing information to them. Double check to make sure they are blank and not locked, as you can never re-write an NFC tag once it has been write locked. 

2 – Install an NFC Tag Writing App

I have used an app called NFC tools – click respective OS below:

3 – How to write NFC tag

There is also NFC TOOLS – PC / MAC

Where can I get NFC Tags?

NFC tags are cheap, and readily available through sites like Amazon or ebay, etc. There are a wide range of NFC tags that exist all have a unique purpose and added benefits

Two points to consider are:

  1. size of the memory required for your needs.
  2. size of the antenna.

The size of the tag – the smaller the tag the smaller the antenna thus, the read distance is shorter than an NFC Tag with a larger antenna where read distance makes it easily readable.

The types of NFC tag that we used used during testing was:

  • NFC Tag | NXP Chip NTAG216 | 888 Bytes Memory | Extra Wide Round Antenna 45 mm
  • NFC Tags | NXP Chip NTAG216| 888 Bytes Memory | Extra Wide Antenna 45×45 mm

Financial Disclosures

Unless otherwise stated at the top of the post, related parties have no relevant financial disclosures or conflict of interest.


  1. Martínez Pérez M, Vázquez González G, Dafonte C. Evaluation of a tracking system for patients and mixed intravenous medication based on rfid technology. Sensors. 2016 Dec;16(12):2031.
  2. Lahtela A, Hassinen M, Jylha V. RFID and NFC in healthcare: Safety of hospitals medication care. In 2008 Second International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare 2008 Feb (pp. 241-244). IEEE.
  3. Camacho-Cogollo JE, Bonet I, Iadanza E. RFID technology in health care. InClinical Engineering Handbook 2020 Jan 1 (pp. 33-41). Academic Press.
  4. Martínez M, Fontecha J, Vizoso JR, Bravo J, Cabrero-Canosa MJ, Martín I. RFID and NFC in hospital environments: Reaching a sustainable approach. InInternational Conference on Ubiquitous Computing and Ambient Intelligence 2012 Dec 3 (pp. 125-128). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
  5. Walsh EK, Hansen CR, Sahm LJ, Kearney PM, Doherty E, Bradley CP. Economic impact of medication error: a systematic review. Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety. 2017 May;26(5):481-97.
  6. Drummond MF, Sculpher MJ, Claxton K, Stoddart GL, Torrance GW. Methods for the economic evaluation of health care programmes. Oxford university press; 2015 Sep 25.