Titled, Most Hospitals Reject RFID, a CHIME press release announces that, "A recent CHIME survey shows that the vast majority of respondents have
no current plans to implement RFID technology within their organization." The survey, done last May, gathered responses from 119 CIOs and found:

76% of responding CHIME members reported that their organizations are
not considering using RFID technology for asset tracking. Of those who
do plan to implement an RFID system, 16.5% are in the selection phase,
4.5% report being in production, and 4% said that an RFID system is
currently in use.

That sounds pretty negative, doesn't it? Perhaps iHealthBeat put it best: "RFID Use To Double Despite Lack of Adoption Plans." That sounds closer to the truth. How about this? (emphasis in original)

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies, estimated at $297
million in the U.S. healthcare industry in 2007, are expected to
experience explosive growth over the next five years, reaching more
than $1 billion by 2010 and $3.1 billion by 2012, according to RFID Opportunities in Healthcare in the U.S., a new report by Kalorama Information.

Kalorama pegs the current worldwide RFID market in manufacturing and supply chain management at $27 billion - which makes the US health care RFID market pale in comparison.

It seems to me that CHIME's negative spin comes from the relative immaturity of both RFID technology and the health care market. More than a few CIOs are stubbing their toes on RFID deployments, and some vendors have aggressively over promised and under delivered. There have also been some wireless LAN infrastructure issues with a leading network vendor. On the other hand, Kalorama is probably way over the top. But then who wants to buy a market report for a market that's not about to undergo dramatic growth?

There's no doubt real time location systems can make a great impact on health care delivery - in productivity, outcomes and patient safety. The problem is cost and complexity - too much of both. The market has a ways to mature before all the pieces - the technology, applications, vendors and best practices - fall into place.

What do you think is holding back RFID in health care? Pictured right is the G2 Microsystems G2C501 board sporting their new system on chip for active RFID tags.