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Use of Quick Response Codes in Health Care - Research Paper Example

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Use of Quick Response Codes in Health Care

A quick response code is a matrix barcode, which can be read using a smartphone that has the right bar code reading application. In health care, the bar code is encoded with heath information or data of an individual. In order for a first respondent to access an individual’s data on the bar code during an emergency, the smartphone or other enabled devices can be used to scan the bar code (Davis, 2012). Although this technology in health care might play a big role in emergency cases, there are various concerns such as privacy and ethics concerns, raised by its use, which might discourage most health care institutions and individuals from adopting it. Body The history of the quick response codes is traced in Japan. This is where the Japan-based company ‘Denso Wave Corporation’ invented this technology in 1994. Initially, this technology was not meant for use in health care. Instead, the company invented this to help in tracking Toyota vehicles and vehicle parts, during the process of manufacturing. However, in the most years, packaging companies and consumer advertisers have been responsible for the infiltration of the QR codes in the USA. Today, QR codes are found on the internet, on mails from advertisers, on books, and on billboards. In this case, the bar codes have data about the advertised products and the company, as well as the URL’s of the company. Most recently, QR codes have crossed the border from advertising and marketing industry to the health care sector (Maeder & Martin-Sanchez (2012) In health care, this technology is still new, therefore, has not been adopted by most health care institutions. Knowledge of the technology and expertise still lacks, since this technology is still in its initial stage of implementation. For instance, in the USA today, the implementation of this new technology is underway in the Marin County, in the state of California, through a partnership with Lifesquare. The health care professionals in this county are being equipped with iPhones with enabled bar code readers. On the other hand, Marin residents are encouraged to register their personal and medical information in the quick response bar codes available in CVS stores. Lifesquare requires the individuals to stick the bar code stickers to areas it recommends, such as wallets, and mobile phones, among others, where these can be accessed during an emergency (Davis, 2012). In this case, the health data read by the first respondent is directly fed into the emergency systems of the relevant health care institution. According to Garcia-Betances and Huerta (2012), the major advantage of using QR code is that it is a simple technology, which does not require special tags in its use. The QR code is a type of a 2D code, thus it is easy to generate and print the bar code on different surfaces, including paper, and plastic surfaces, among others. This does not require use of any complex equipment. Therefore, with basic training, individuals lacking information on how to use the QR codes can learn this within a short period. Additionally, the QR codes in health care are capable of reducing cases of erroneous reading of patient health information, leading to misdiagnosis and wrong prescriptions. This is because, QR codes are easy to read and decode since this technology is not a complex. As long as an individual has a smartphone or a device capable of decoding a bar code, they can access the health data on a patient’s bar code. Garcia-Betances and Huerta (2012) note that since the 2D-based readers are camera-based, these have a much ...Show more


There are various concerns raised by the public about the reliability of the quick response codes in emergency health care. A quick response code is a matrix barcode, which can be read using a smartphone that has the right bar code reading application…
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Use of Quick Response Codes in Health Care essay example
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