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RFID in healthcare consortium being formed

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According to Harry P. Pappas, CEO and founder of the RFID Educational Foundation, the non-profit charitable institution, is leading an effort to form the RFID in Healthcare Consortium (http://www.rfidinhealthcare.org). On September 9, the Foundation is holding a by-invitation-only meeting at the RFID World 2008 event in order to establish the consortium. “With worldwide interest in using radio frequency identification (RFID) to increase accuracy and reduce costs in healthcare, we at the Foundation believe it is time to involve industry, government, and educational leaders in providing unbiased information on what the technology can and cannot do,” said Pappas. The Consortium will hold its first meeting, September 9 as guests of TechInsights’ world-class show dedicated to the RFID industry. The by- invitation-only meeting includes industry veterans such as Ken Baker, CEO of NewAge AdvantaPure; Daniel Sands, President and CEO of Solstice Medical; John C. Shoemaker, President of Shipcom Wireless; John Stevens, Chairman of Visible Assets. Chairs of the Foundation’s Life Sciences Advisory Board — Professor Daniel Engels, University of Texas at Arlington; Dr. James Fonger, an adult cardiothoracic surgeon; and Paul Rudolf, M.D. of Arnold & Porter, LLP — are participating in the organization of the Consortium as well. According to Ken Baker, the consortium is being formed in order to educate the healthcare industry on typical global deployment methods and best practices for RFID technologies across all areas of the industry and to provide a collective voice to consumers, businesses, and regulators. Prof. Engels, former Research Director of the MIT Auto-ID Lab says, “Educating the industry and the general public on specifications, standards, regulatory guidelines, and testing procedures is of prime importance to both the development of the RFID and healthcare industries.” “The global healthcare industry needs a forum for peer development, education of stakeholders, reviews of RFID technology, of regulatory guidelines and standards that proactively ensure safe implementation of this technology for healthcare institutions,” says Paul Rudolf, formerly with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and now a consultant to many healthcare stakeholders.”We need to a have vendor-neutral, non-profit organization that values education above all else in helping RFID technology find its voice,” says Dan Sands. Dr. Fonger adds: “The opportunities to reduce cost and improve patient safety with RFID technology are compelling.” The Consortium’s efforts to collect input from experts within the medical device industry, RFID industry, standards and regulatory bodies should help eliminate subjective interpretation of uses of RFID.

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