Certain types of radio frequency identification tags can cause electromagnetic interference with medical equipment, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The report cautions facilities to check for interference from an RFID system before deploying it.
The study examined the impact of 125-kHz and 868-MHz frequencies on medical equipment. The 125-kHz is the technology used in proximity cards while the 868-MHz is a long-range RFID tag. Contactless smart cards, which use the 13.56 MHz, were not mentioned in the report.
In 123 tests, RFID induced 34 incidents of interference: 22 were classified as hazardous, two as significant, and ten as light. The 868-MHz RFID signal induced a higher number of incidents, 26 incidents in 41 EMI tests. Compared with the 125-kHz RFID signal which cause eight incidents in 41 tests. The median distance between the RFID reader and the medical device in all EMI incidents was 30 centimeters.
Read a summary of the report here.