A six-fold increase in revenue expected for RFID in health care and pharmaceutical applications market

Mumbai 02 December 2005The RFID market is still in its nascent stages within the health care vertical. The business case for the health care market has immediate perceivable benefits as compared to other verticals that are still struggling to define the potential returns of adoption. The potential returns and benefits of RFID adoption go beyond just efficient supply chains and economic value to critical issues such as patient safety and process efficiency. RFID would help improve the process of developing drugs and running clinical trials of drugs, increasing patient safety, managing critical care assets and hospital equipment and cutting down on counterfeiting and diversion of pharmaceutical products.

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New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, "World RFID in Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Applications Markets", reveals that the RFID in health care and pharmaceutical applications markets earned revenue of $370 million in 2004 and estimates to reach $2318,8 million in 2011.

"The late adoption of barcode technology by the market has meant that the technology is still popular among pharmaceutical and other health care applications", stated Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Priyanka Gouthaman. "The current price of RFID technology would also suggest that a complete replacement of bar codes is unlikely and co-existence of both technologies is expected for the next 10 years."

The current use of bar coding technology is required by various regulations such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In Europe, the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) and individual legislations in countries such as Belgium, France and Italy require similar compliance. RFID is expected to represent a natural extension of the bar coding technology.

"The hype surrounding RFID technology in the recent past has contributed to unrealistic expectations among consumers", stated Priyanka Gouthaman. "The internal assessment of business processes involved is often overlooked by most vendors and system integrators."

The results of the pilots often do not match up to the end-user expectations, thus impeding investments in deployments. The expectations of the technology based on results of early adopters are often too high. The business case of the end-user is not thoroughly evaluated in terms of process requirements.

The technology needs to be sufficiently customized and integrated into the manufacturing process of the end-user after due consideration to the existing environmental conditions. Challenges include decisions on product make-up, especially in mixed pallet scenarios and tag placement, since they affect readability rates. An initial evaluation of the operational process involved and improving consumer awareness about the limitations of the technology would overcome integration challenges.

"World RFID in Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Applications Markets", a part of the 9201 subscription, provides an overview and outlook for the world RFID market in health care and pharmaceutical applications. This study segments the markets into different applications such as medical equipment tracking, patient tracking and drug tracking. It includes detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview of the latest analysis of the "World RFID in Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Applications Markets", you can send an e-mail to Surbhi Dedhia and Samantha Unnikrishnan, Corporate Communications at Frost & Sullivan with the following information: your full name, company name, title, telephone number, fax number and e-mail. You will receive the information via e-mail upon receipt of the above information.


Leslie Versweyveld

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