Microsoft Tags in Healthcare

While more and more hospitals are implementing barcode based systems for patient wristbands and prescription bottles, there has been much discussion throughout the blogosphere over using Microsoft Tag throughout other parts of the healthcare
industry.

Proponents of using Microsoft Tag for healthcare purposes believe that, while there is an abundance of information out there, it’s not always easy to get the right information to the right people at the right time. Healthcare professionals, much like the general public, do not always have time to perform research in their day to day activities, so the information needs to come to them. With the capabilities of turning cell phones into a barcode scanner, the possibilities for retrieving information instantly are endless.

For example, when a healthcare device is recalled, it is quintessential that hospital personnel take the appropriate precautions. While some hospitals have already implemented RFID systems for device and drug recalls, many have not and it is imperative that this information be distributed as quickly as possible. In theory, Microsoft Tags can be encrypted and work with many RFID programs, so if medical device companies were to use a Microsoft Tag when packaging their devices, it would only take one scan to ensure the device was not recalled, or any safety information was shared, all with a regular cell phone. This would be particularly useful in device implants; if a patient receives an implant of a device that has been recalled, they could die if it malfunctions.

While I definitely see the value in putting a standardized recall barcode that can be read with cell phones on device packaging, I don’t see why it would have to be Microsoft Tag vs. a standard QR code. Thoughts?