how I think – NFC can be deployed in Nepali medicine

Read the news on automaker Hyundai and its plan for implementation of NFC ? Sadly, I write from mobile device, and finding a link to aforementioned article is – me preserving energy in these Kathmandu winter months.

Along with Fiscal cliff (USA), the winter death (World), student uprising (TU – Nepal), “Killer Crow”, Tim Cook’s salary, and DSM-5 “Gender Dysphoria” – my most important news today was one that came from google alerts. NFC in

automobiles. Still in concept with final product to be launched around 2015, this has very good use for NFC. Mobile phones controlling the car, with profile based management, from unlocking the door, adjusting the seats and rear view mirror, to profile based location awareness, and direction. Imagining parental guided mobile phone to go with parental guided car drive, with location locks and limited cruising capabilities. GPS and NFC – are two technology, that I am very much looking forward to implement in Nepal. Its definitely not from me at the moment, but I’d be happy if someone initiates it. I have few more years of learning and networking before entering the technology in Nepal. Limited to medicine for now.

NFC (Near Field Communication) has a wonderful worldwide website dedicated to various projects throughout the world (again search for it, use the keyword – nfcworld, NFC, etc). It’s affordability and standard based low power consumption are two main advantage that can be used in Nepal. As it becomes affordable, every medical institute in Nepal should add an NFC chip to their patient identity card (or patient id file). Kathmandu University Hospital (place where I did my MBBS) has a price of NRS 20 to make a new patient card. Addition of NFC would increase it to around NRS 50 (based on current price assessment – look below for more). Private hospitals in Nepal take around NRS 200 to 300 per patient for similar ID. Here are my five ideas, that could be implemented in Nepal in the field of medicine.

1. in pregnancy – a lady could keep the details of her most important pregnancy related details in these NFC memory. Details of all four visits and latest lab/USG values, along with risk (mother or baby) related notes. Emergency pregnancy/labour could be managed more efficiently.

2. diabetics, epilepsy and cardiovascular (and those with such emergency conditions) patients who usually carry information about their status – could use NFC tags embedded personal ID card with more information about their acute condition which require immediate medical care.

3. Children could also use NFC embedded ID cards with their illness information embedded along with their guardians’ information. NFCWorld.org (or was it .com or .net) has yearly competition on most innovative use of NFC device, and last year, a medical team from Pakistan won for their innovative idea on NFC stored information for Children suffering from Chest Infection (pneumonia and/or asthma). I did want to know more about this, and had sent a mail to the given address. Sadly, one month later, I have yet to receive a reply from the team.

4. Community health could also benefit from NFC embedded card placement in various places, to store and visualize information. Six monthly or yearly Chlorination (cleaning water to make it drinkable) date; and information like micro-organism and Chlorine level could be updated and kept in public places near the water source.

5. The 2011 census says the mobile phone penetration in Nepal is around 60+ percentage. It won’t take long to get this number into 90+ percent population. With affordable NFC phones (not smartphones, most Nepalese can’t afford this) vaccination data could be more organized and easily available. Would definitely love to see cheap Indian and Chinese handset in Nepal add NFC. They have Bluetooth, so why not NFC?

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what’s the cost? (price assessment)
Amazon was (november 2012) selling 10 pack NFC chips for 15 USD. These were branded NFC with covers and good looks from Samsung. There are Indian and Chinese companies selling a in lot cheaper, in bundles of 500 and upward. Price comes down to 0.5 to 2 USD or less. And if the trend keeps on, prices have still not reached the minimum.

what’s NFC?
It’s basically Bluetooth made smaller. You tap two NFC capable devices to exchange information. Requires very less power, and has a distance of use at 8 to 10 cm (Bluetooth has like 4-5 meters?)

what’s cool about it?
It’s cheap, uses low power, and works easy. Just tap to make a connection, and exchange data. Need not be two mobile handsets. You can tap a small NFC chip embedded (in anything – id card, wallet, wall, poster, door knob, car etc) and exchange small amount of information.

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P.S. – I will write some more about NFC. I’d been asked to write/contribute as a guest writer for a small technology blog community in Nepal, but due to my lack of experience in blogging – i had been postponing it. As soon after my exam – I resume medical writing in Nidan (www.nidan.org.np) and Technology writing in ___ (not saying it now, I haven’t spoken to Mr.E, and he might have already fired me, so let me first confirm). I would really like to join and learn from the tech writer team in ____ .

P.S.ii – nepali DeviantArt community is really awesome. Wonderful art/image/picture. I wonder if they can design a wedding card for me?.??

2 thoughts on “how I think – NFC can be deployed in Nepali medicine

  1. Bineeta Gurung (@BineetaGrg) 28/12/2012 / 9:41 am

    I cant resist commenting on your posts. They are too good and informative. The best part is that you post daily, leaving a lot for the readers to read 🙂

    On today’s post : NFC-This seems like an interesting technology. Most of it was over my head initially (and still is), until I googled it up. Thanks to your post.

    The techno-community in Nepal will hopefully explore its possibilities in different sectors in the future. However, I did see that it has some security issues and still has to match to ISO standards. I am hopeful that these shortcomings will be overcome in the future.

    • Prashant 28/12/2012 / 11:14 am

      🙂 thank you, once again.

      Really hoping for affordable tech innovation in Nepal,Nike its happening in African continent. Not that Nepal hasn’t started yet, but we need a lot of catch up.

      Well about the daily posting, these topic are/were something I wanted to write for a long time. Once the my initial ideas and view finishes, I hope to then stabilize twice every week, with better research and reading. Right now, it’s early morning typing in bed with no correction and background check. Hope to improve on this. 🙂

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