Definition of Radio frequency identification

Radio frequency identification: (RFID) A system for remotely storing and retrieving data. An RFID tag may be a little sticker that can be attached to an object. The tag contains an antenna that enables it to receive and respond to a radiofrequency query from an RFID device called a transceiver.

Most RFID tags in use today do not have their own power supply. The radiofrequency query induces a tiny electrical current in the antenna, permitting the tag to send a brief response, usually just an ID number. Such RFID tags are quite small.

By outfitting drug packages with RFID tags, drug companies, distributors, and pharmacists can trace the path the drugs take from the time they are produced to the moment they are dispensed.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Search MedTerms:


Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.