Cryptographically Supported NFC Tags in Medication for Better Inpatient Safety

  • Mehmet Hilal Özcanhan
  • Gökhan Dalkılıç
  • Semih Utku
Patient Facing Systems
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Patient Facing Systems


Reliable sources report that errors in drug administration are increasing the number of harmed or killed inpatients, during healthcare. This development is in contradiction to patient safety norms. A correctly designed hospital-wide ubiquitous system, using advanced inpatient identification and matching techniques, should provide correct medicine and dosage at the right time. Researchers are still making grouping proof protocol proposals based on the EPC Global Class 1 Generation 2 ver. 1.2 standard tags, for drug administration. Analyses show that such protocols make medication unsecure and hence fail to guarantee inpatient safety. Thus, the original goal of patient safety still remains. In this paper, a very recent proposal (EKATE) upgraded by a cryptographic function is shown to fall short of expectations. Then, an alternative proposal IMS-NFC which uses a more suitable and newer technology; namely Near Field Communication (NFC), is described. The proposed protocol has the additional support of stronger security primitives and it is compliant to ISO communication and security standards. Unlike previous works, the proposal is a complete ubiquitous system that guarantees full patient safety; and it is based on off-the-shelf, new technology products available in every corner of the world. To prove the claims the performance, cost, security and scope of IMS-NFC are compared with previous proposals. Evaluation shows that the proposed system has stronger security, increased patient safety and equal efficiency, at little extra cost.


Inpatient medication Ubiquitous systems RFID NFC Authentication 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehmet Hilal Özcanhan
    • 1
  • Gökhan Dalkılıç
    • 1
  • Semih Utku
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer EngineeringDokuz Eylul UniversityIzmirTurkey

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