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U.K. may try RFID to stop medical gear theft

National Health Service may turn to new technology to help stop the theft of expensive diagnotic eqiupment.

The U.K.'s National Health Service is exploring the use of RFID tagging to stop the theft of medical equipment.

In the last 12 months, 11 NHS hospital trusts have reported thefts of diagnostic equipment worth at least $17,000 each.

Health Minister Rosie Winterton said earlier this month that the NHS Security Management Service is "actively exploring the options for making use of new technology to track and trace high-value pieces of NHS equipment."

She said radio frequency ID tags could be used to monitor the whereabouts of such equipment.

A representative for NHS told "We are actively exploring the options for making use of new radio frequency technology to track and trace high value pieces of NHS equipment."

The representative added that recommendations have been issued to hospitals about ways to best protect vital equipment. These include reviewing security arrangements, using closed-circuit TV, controlling access to the equipment, and ensuring suspicious incidents are reported to security guards.

Steve Ranger of reported from London.