RFID Technology For Securing Newborns at Hospitals

Hospital Exam RoomSecurity personnel at hospitals try to be on highest alert when it comes to protecting precious newborn babies. They have various tools to assist them including video cameras, defense equipment, door locks, alarms, and routine rounds. Yet, this is not enough. Infants are still being accidentally placed in the wrong crib and are still abducted right from within the hospital.

In October 2013 we came across a story of two mothers, giving birth at the same hospital in Argentine, on the same September 30th day. The babies were born via C-section, and handed to the mothers only after recovery. Once the mothers and infants were home, a nagging feeling that something was wrong took over – realizing at one point that the babies are not their own. The story comes to a happy end three weeks later, when the mistake was recognized and the right infants were put back with the right mothers.

In 2011 another interesting story took place, but didn’t end so quickly, or have such little impact – a pair of 12-year-old girls who discovered they were accidentally switched at birth asked to stay with the mothers who have been raising them rather than go to their biological parents.

These kind of stories pop up in the news every several months, at various countries and cities. However, there are likely a higher percentage of ‘babies switched at birth’ stories than we actually hear about. We should and can eliminate this occurrence completely, with the right already available technological tools

RFID technology can eliminate all infant security issues.

A wireless RFID bracelet is placed on the infant and the mother from the moment they enter the world, until they leave home with their families. The bracelet is non-intrusive, and works in coordination with the hospitals’ security system and personnel. It can trigger alarms, lock doors, send notifications and much more – all in real time.

A commercial, non-medical, bracelet you can experiment with can be purchased through Amazon for just a few dollars. For example, Tagstand offers for $15 ($3 each) a  Programmable NFC Wristband 5-Pack which works with Android, Samsung NFC Galaxy S3, S2, S, Note 2, Note and All Other NFC Enabled Devices.

Ultimately, this means that if the baby is put in the wrong crib, handed to the wrong mother, leaves the premises with unmatched adults or prior to the permitted time actions are taken. Depending on the hospital, these actions may include alarms at the security and nursing stations, doors being shut, warning SMS… etc.

A full security is in place with RFID solutions implemented in hospitals:

1. mother/baby mix-ups
2. Milk storage mismanagement
3. Legal lawsuits against hospitals
4. Pain and suffering of the family
5. Potential infant abduction

Read more about this topic in How RFID Tracking Helps Hospitals and Patients

To learn more about RFID and its uses, we can recommend a few books available through Amazon:
RFID For Dummies ($23.52 – paperback)
Getting Started with RFID: Identify Objects in the Physical World with Arduino ($5.99 – paperback)
RFID in the Supply Chain ($19.97 – hardback)
RFID: Applications, Security, and Privacy ($31.91 – hardback)

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