As regular eNews readers may recall, a Dutch study on RFID tags and medical equipment published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicated that the radio frequency emissions from these tags could have unintended and dangerous consequences by interfering with vital medical devices. Electrical interference was found to alter the rates of ventilators that assist patient breathing and to cause syringe pumps to stop. This news was particularly disquieting because many hospitals had already begun to use RFID to track the availability of crucial equipment in large urban medical centers and to assure the accurate identification of pharmaceuticals. Now, well-known names in the electronics industry have broached solutions to this dilemma. Shielding manufacturer Wave Zero pointed out that using enclosure level or board level shielding with an effective connection to the ground plane would create an adequate shield and would prevent interference to the normal operation of a device. Also, WaveZero’s Form/Met shielding is characterized by flexibility and light weight and is already in use as 360-degree shielding for a defibrillator made by a leading manufacturer. Taking another tack Sonitor Technologies issued a statement that its ultra-sound based RTLS (real time location solution) is a tracking and identification solution that does not involve radio frequencies, poses no threat to medical equipment, and is already in use at medical centers across the U.S. Additionally, RFID system manufacturer Ekahau that maintains operations in both the U.S. and Europe, issued a statement reassuring users of their systems. A company spokesman assured both customers and business associates that Ekahau RFID is built exclusively around the 802.11 Wi-Fi standard, has no active RFID chokepoints or locations centers, and uses none of the 125-MHz technology called into doubt by the Dutch study, To learn more details, visit the respective websites of WaveZero, Sonitor, and Ekahau. Want to weigh in on this crucial shielding issue? Visit the Shielding Forum at the new InterferenceTechnology.com.