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Outbreak of RFID tagging at medical facilities

New York and Mexico City affected

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Jacobi Medical Centre in New York is tagging patients with RFID chips in a pilot project run with Siemens Business Services.

The chips are incorporated into the wrist bands issued when a patient is admitted. The idea is that the chips will cut down on patient misidentification, and make accessing medical records faster. The chip holds basic, identifying information: name, date of birth, sex and a medical record number.

Medical staff will carry RFID readers and tablet style PCs with Wi-Fi access to the medical network. The patient record is connected to the labs, pharmacy and, perhaps most usefully for hospital administrators, to billing.

In Mexico City as well as chipping staff at risk of being kidnapped, authorities have implanted the Applied Digital Solutions tags in approximately 1,000 patients, including Alzheimer's sufferers, the Washington Post reports.

Battersea Dogs' Home in the UK offers a similar service for its many canine, and less numerous feline, residents. ®

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