International Journal of Health System and Disaster Management

REVIEW ARTICLE
Year
: 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1--5

Radio frequency identification and rescue victims in earthquake


Batool Akbari1, Sima Ajami2,  
1 Department of Health and Medical Sciences Research, Research Institute of Shakhes Pajouh, Isfahan, , Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Health Information Technology and Management, School of Medical Management and Information Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Sima Ajami
Department of Health Information Technology and Management, School of Medical Management and Information Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P. O. Box: 81745-346, Isfahan
Iran

Abstract

Radio frequency identification (RFID) system has been successfully applied to the areas of manufacturing, supply chain, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, and services. The RFID is already used to track and trace the victims in a disaster situation. Data can be collected in real time and be immediately available to emergency personnel and saves time by the RFID. The aim of this study was to express the role of the RFID technology in an earthquake to rescue victims. This study was a unsystematic review which the literature search was conducted with the help of libraries, books, conference proceedings, databases, and also search engines available at Google, Google Scholar. We employed the following keywords and their combinations; RFID, the victim, disaster, rescue, and earthquake in the searching areas of titles, keywords, abstracts, and full texts. This article presents two aspects of usage RFID; advantages and barriers. More than 60 articles were assessed, and 39 of them selected based on their relevancy. This literature review helps define the concept of “Tracking victims via RFID” (in terms of both advantages and barriers) as the new technology in the present age.



How to cite this article:
Akbari B, Ajami S. Radio frequency identification and rescue victims in earthquake.Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage 2015;3:1-5


How to cite this URL:
Akbari B, Ajami S. Radio frequency identification and rescue victims in earthquake. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 May 15 ];3:1-5
Available from: https://www.ijhsdm.org/text.asp?2015/3/5/1/168566


Full Text

 Introduction



Iran, because of extensive, geographical situation, and climate varies, is one of the disaster prone countries of the world. Natural disasters, for example earthquake, as an unexpected event that cause damage and destruction of human life and health, and the injured persons without others assistance are not able to meet their needs. Earthquakes in Iran and neighboring regions (e.g. India, Turkey, and Afghanistan) are closely connected to their position within the geologically active Alpine-Himalayan belt. Earthquake crises disrupt all daily affairs of society, such as economic activities, city services, communication systems and community services, and public health.[1],[2] RFID is an acronym for “radio frequency identification” and refers to a technology whereby digital data encoded in RFID tags or smart labels are captured by a reader via radio waves. RFID belongs to a group of technologies referred to as Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC). The AIDC methods automatically identify objects, collect data about them, and enter those data directly into computer systems with little or no human intervention.[3] The RFID is a technology which utilizes radio waves for collecting and transferring data, with the capability of sending and receiving information without human involvement.[4] The RFID is a wireless technology capable of automatic and unambiguous identification without line of sight by extracting a unique identifier from microelectronic tags attached to objects.[5] The RFID is a technology that uses radio waves to transfer data from an electronic tag, called RFID tag attached to an object, through a reader for the purpose of identifying and tracking the object, animal, and people. The RFID is already used to track and trace the victims in a disaster situation. Data can be collected in real time and be immediately available to emergency personnel and saves time by the RFID. Crisis management teams, hospitals, and emergency personnel, have access to data through a computer database.[6],[7],[8] The RFID was the first explored in 1940s as a method to identify allied airplanes.[9] Today, the RFID system have been successfully applied to the areas of manufacturing, supply chain, agriculture, transportation, healthcare, and services to name a few.[10] The most RFID systems consist of tags that are attached to the objects to be identified. Each tag has its own “read only” or “rewrite” internal memory depending on the type and application. A typical configuration of this memory is to store product information, such as an object's unique ID manufactured date, etc. The RFID reader generates magnetic fields that enable the RFID system to locate objects (via the tags) that are within its range. The high frequency electromagnetic energy and query signal generated by the reader triggers the tags to reply to the query; the query frequency could be up to 50 times/s. As a result communication between the main components of the system, that is, tags and reader are established. As a result, large quantities of data are generated. Supply chain industries control this problem by using filters that are routed to the backend information systems. In other words, to control this problem, software such as Savant is used. This software acts as a buffer between the IT and the RFID reader.[11] The RFID system consists of various components which are integrated in a manner defined in the above section. This allows the RFID system to follow the objects (tag) and perform various operations on it. The integration of the RFID components enables the implementation of an RFID solution.[12]

The RFID system consists of following five components:

Tag (attached to an object, unique identification);Antenna (tag detector, creates magnetic field);Reader (receiver of tag information, manipulator);Communication infrastructure (enable reader/RFID to work through IT infrastructure);Application software (user database/application/interface).[13]

The RFID systems work much like any other radio frequency system. The receiving antenna picks up a signal in the form of radio waves from an object that is sending out the signals. In identification systems, the transponder is an RFID tag that communicates with the antenna and the equipment that decodes the information. Because of the reduced size and the remarkable technology such an ID tag can be programmed and used for long periods of time. If a person carrying or wearing an RFID tag approaches a building or other location where the antenna is in place the signal is received by the antenna. With an active tag, the person does not have to be as close as he or she would with a passive tag. Active tags have an additional power source. Even if the RFID tag is inside clothing or otherwise covered it may be “read” by the receiving equipment. This identification, based on information on the tag, happens in much less than a second. Several tags approaching the receiving station can be “read” and identified at almost the same time. This is one of the keys to protecting retail stores and other businesses. RFID tags can be attached to products to prevent shoplifting. These tags have to be deactivated by store personnel so you can leave the store without setting off the alarm.[14] One of the problems that government and rescuers are facing is to identify and follow victims after saving them under debris after earthquake occurrence. Recording, storing, and retrieving victims' data in information systems can provide useful information to supply:

Shelters;Food and water;Sanitary equipment (bath, toilet);Clothes;Rehabilitation and temporary healthcare services;Human resources (doctor, nurse, rescuer); Drug and pharmaceutical instrument;Burial place for corpses;Publicize victims' relatives and friends; Burial trash management; Logistics management;Dispatch injured victims;Stocks for victim needs.

In an earthquake, there were a lot of barriers such as network disconnection, fix phone and cell phone unavailable, to track and find victims. Therefore, to rescue victims who had the RFID tags before an earthquake or not, it would be useful to rescue them by using this technology. Therefore, the aim of this study was to introduce the RFID technology and explain how it can rescue victims who saved from collapsed building after an earthquake.

 Methods



This study was a unsystematic review which the literature on the role of the RFID technology in natural disasters to rescue victims on a formal research framework. Our study was divided into three phases: Literature collection, assessing, and selection. The literature was searched on the role of RFID technology in improving patient safety with the help of libraries, books, conference proceedings, databases, and also search engines available at Google, Google Scholar. In our searches, we employed the following keywords and their combinations; RFID, victim, disaster, rescue, and earthquake in the searching areas of titles, keywords, abstracts, and full texts in the searching areas. More than 60 articles were collected and assessed, and 39 of them were selected based on their relevancy.

 Results



RFID could be used immediately after of a major earthquake to save lives, according to new research published in the International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development.

We can divide victims into two groups; (a) victims have had RFID tag before the earthquake, (b) victims did not have an RFID tag before the earthquake [Figure 1].{Figure 1}

Victims have had radio frequency identification tag before the earthquake

Wu of the National Sun Yat-Sen University and Hung, of the National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, in Taiwan, said that there is a “golden” rescue period following an earthquake, which lasts just 72 h. During this key time, rescuers can decrease side effects of the possibility of aftershocks and continued risk caused by collapsing buildings, fires, and gas explosions. In addition, to rescue people who had RFID tag before earthquake such as people and visitors in hospitals or schools, or some organizations would have their identity badges embedded in their RFID tags, to recognize how many people are present in these collapsed buildings. The researchers declared that they have used the Sichuan earthquake (magnitude 8.0) of May 2008. 100 magnitude 4.0 aftershocks hit the area following the disaster as a model for studying how RFID might be used in such a situation. However, the concepts would be equally applicable to other disasters.[15]

Victims have not had a radio frequency identification tag before the earthquake

Japanese rescue workers experienced difficulties of finding victims in Japan Niigata prefecture in 2004. The earthquake might be causing a wired network disconnection, fixed phone, and cell phone services. In fact, victims could not answer the phone, because, their houses had collapsed due to the earthquake. Thus, we may not be able to keep in contact with victims by using the usual tools of communication in time of disaster. The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication is considering choosing one of the several methods. One of the methods is to discover victims use RFID with computer sensors. If the ministry chooses the RFID plan, then the sensing devices would be scattered helicopter evenly over the affected area of the high intensity earthquake. The devices would trigger their RFID to establish a self-organized network to pinpoint the location of victims. The RFIDs with temperature and voice sensors can sense the victim's existence by their body heat and voice to the rescue of injured and trapped victims. However, when victims cannot be located, we use trilateration to ascertain their exact position and find them [16]Rescuers can connect the RFID tags to the victims after the earthquake to manage, estimate provides medical, health, and welfare equipment in a hospital and shelter area.

The researchers also showed the advantages and barriers use the RFID to track victims as follows:

Advantages

Reduce time and cost by using RFID [17],[18] in the process of victims tracking;Reduce errors to recognize and track victims by using RFID;[17],[18]Localize the victims in shelters;[19],[20],[21]Rescue victims faster;[13],[19]Give better services to victims;[19]Decrease wasting time to rescue victims;[19]Decrease making mistakes through data collection;[22]Reduce victims' information analysis time;[18],[22]Improve victims' logistics for tracking and servicing;[22],[23],[24]Improve communication among doctors, nurses, and rescuers;[22]Increase quality of care and decrease human errors;[18],[25],[26]Reduce possible risks and threats;[18]Facilitate medical and supportive data recording;[27]Increase monitoring and enhancing victims' safety;[17],[28] Track and identify victims from various distances;[24]Increase speed of recognizing victims of information system;[18]Reduce time and information processing;[18]Increase security data and information;[29]Ability to read several tags simultaneously.[30]

Barriers

There are many significant barriers to use RFID device for tracking victims after the earthquake as follows:

It is impossible to read wet tags;[31],[32]Vulnerability tags; when they get wet;[33]Tags and reader interaction;[34] The issue of safety (lower security than the barcode),[35]Economic problems due to the high cost with the RFID;[36]Hardware RFID problems;[37],[38] Accredited standards development;[39]There is an ethical and moral dimension to tagging human.[15]

 Conclusions



Organizational resources and technical structures such as hardware and software are very essential requirements in the redesign of electronic projects. The RFID makes the prevention about the human error of medicine, easy, and fast access to medical staff, equipment, medicine. It is cost effectiveness. All of these factors cause to increase the quality and quantity of care in the healthcare sector.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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