Healthcare Directions: RFID transponders on clothes utilized in MRI scans

Before attaching RFID transponders to garments that are likely to be worn by patients undergoing an MRI scan in hospitals, the lines and lines must be carefully tested before use.
RFID transponders (microchips) are widely used in hospitals and health care facilities to track and track any type of textile during their washing cycles. Embedded in patient gowns, linen and surgical textiles, RFID technology helps to reduce losses, optimize logistics and ensure the highest hygiene and sterilization standards.

MRI relies on strong static magnetic fields, so objects that contain metal or conductive elements may have undesirable effects when inserted into an MRI scanner. Such effects range from excessive warming and displacement that could harm the patient to image artifacts (anomalies) that could affect the diagnosis. Since all RFID transponders contain conductive elements and therefore fall into this potentially dangerous category, it is extremely important to test them carefully for MRI compatibility.

The MR condition label guarantees that a device is suitable for patient safety as well as for the integrity of the diagnosis for use in MRI devices. This means that a patient wearing a textile that is equipped with a compatible RFID transponder can be safely scanned in an MR system with 1.5 or 3 Tesla. The MR condition label does not limit the size of the artifact as this has no primary security implications. However, the presence of an artifact can affect medical diagnosis. It is therefore important to reduce the artifact caused by the RFID transponder to a minimum size.

According to a spokesman for RFID systems expert Datamars, the company can ensure the maximum quality and security of its own UHF RFID LaundryChips product in any healthcare application, including MRI. Datamars has carried out extensive studies and validation tests. The information and insights were used to develop a white paper that shows how the highest level of safety and quality can be achieved for MRI compatibility.

In fact, in its “white paper” on the subject, the company goes one step further than the MR-related label by analyzing configurations that are not included in the ASTM labeling standards. It is the most comprehensive documentation currently available on the market for using UHF RFID transponders in MRI environments.

The white paper is based on precise MR validation tests that were commissioned from MR: Comp GmbH, an accredited ISO-certified laboratory in Germany, which specializes in test equipment for MRI security and MRI compatibility. It focuses on the worst-case usage conditions of UHF RFID tags in MRI environments and compares them with the results for conditional MR labeling. Patient safety is the first driver of the white paper, while some considerations are made regarding the possible impact of image artifacts on medical diagnosis.

In contrast to other UHF RFID transponders, Datamars are not only “neutral” and therefore safe from the point of view of force and torque, but also almost invisible during imaging (artifact size <3.5 mm) so as not to influence the diagnosis. The company was able to achieve this result by conducting an in-depth analysis of all the components used in its UHF LaundryChips and replacing them with a-magnetic elements if necessary. In fact, reducing the magnetic level of the tag antenna by using a specially processed antenna wire, which was implemented with a patented technology, was the key to reducing the artifact size and ensuring the maximum quality and security of the RFID transponder.

The Datamars white paper "HF heating, force, torque and artifact of the RFID tag" can be downloaded here free of charge.

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