The idea of using RFID to store medical records has been around for a few years already. But so far, no device existed to appropriately store and deliver medical data about a person in a secure way and the application of such technology proved to be very costly and largely refuted. Japan based chemical and tech company Asahi Kasei is about to produce a small RFID device that may change this situation.
The company has developed a small storage device that acts as a healthcare suitcase in which all the user’s medical history is saved – emergency contacts, blood type, previous health issues… The device would not be able to store larger files like X-rays, but it would provide the medical examiner with a link to the file and the ability to visualize it from a separate secure server. The device uses a smart card technology called FeliCa that is already present in most phones and laptops. As it is already largely adopted by all main carriers and tech manufacturers like Sony, in Japan, it is a cheaper alternative than building out a proprietary system.
As such, in an emergency situation, doctors or any medical personnel would only need to approach FeliCa equipped equipment from the RFID device to access the user’s healthcare data. It would save precious seconds or even minutes on the time spent identifying the victim, delivering a diagnostic, contacting relatives and family members or making life-saving decisions.
The device is the size of an amulet (3 x 3 cm only or 1.2 x 1.2 inches) but may eventually save many peoples life by making it much easier for medical personnel to understand the situation when they first meet the patient. The device is expected to be made available on the Japanese market for as little as ¥ 2,000 ($25).