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RFID News Roundup

IDTronic introduces new passive RFID tag for industrial environments; Michigan's Beaumont Hospital implements Ekahau RTLS to improve staff safety; Intermec to provide RFID equipment for U.S. Army's pRFID II passive RFID contract; Thinaire selects Verizon Terremark cloud to support NFC-enabled mobile marketing platform; French RFID company offers open-source RFID library for developers.
By Beth Bacheldor
Aug 08, 2013

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: IDTronic; Beaumont; Ekahau; Intermec; Thinaire; Verizon Terremark; and ISLOG Network.

IDTronic Introduces New Passive RFID Tags for Industrial Environments

The Indus tag.
IDTronic has announced new ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID tags designed for tracking containers, monitoring production lines and other applications in industrialized environments and is able to function in extreme temperatures without performance deficits, the company says. It is also suitable for tagging on metal, according to iDTronic. The new Indus tags support the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 160000-6C standards, have a read range of up to 8 meters, and use an NXP Semiconductors ' Ucode G2XM inlay featuring 512 bits of user memory and 96 bit EPC memory. The tags, encased in FR4-epoxy, have an IP 65 rating, meaning that testing has confirmed them to be dustproof and waterproof. The Indus tags are able to function in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees to +140 degrees Celsius, and are also able to function in more extreme temperatures ranging from +30 degrees up to +160 degrees Celsius for short periods. Available now, the Indus tags are available in three sizes: 138 by 22 by 13.77 millimeters, 113 by 18 by 16.5 millimeters, and 100 by 14.25 by 11 millimeters.

Michigan's Beaumont Hospital Implements Ekahau RTLS to Improve Staff Safety
Beaumont Hospital, in Royal Oak, Mich., part of the Beaumont Health System, is using an Ekahau real-time location system (RTLS) designed to improve caregiver and staff safety in inpatient units and their emergency center. The hospital, which has 1,070 beds and both inpatient and outpatient services, adopted Ekahau's Wi-Fi-enabled B4 badge tags and Vision software to reduce response times to duress incidents involving nurses, physicians, interns and technicians, according to Ekahau. The B4 badge can be tracked and located by Ekahau RTLS over any brand or generation of Wi-Fi network, and can typically achieve room-level accuracy using Wi-Fi as the location method, according to Ekahau. The badge tag transmits a unique ID number linked to an employee's identification stored in the Vision software. If an employee feels threatened, he or she can pull down on a panic switch located on the badge, and the badge's location will display on badges worn by employees near the incident. Security teams can also view the real-time locations of all badge-holders on Web-based hospital floor plans and they can view post-emergency playbacks of staff movements, using the Vision software. The B4 badge features three call buttons and an alarm switch, all of which can be programmed to address different calls initiated by a user. For instance, a button press can signify a call for assistance in moving a patient, whereas the alarm switch can be used to summon nearby co-workers to help with a life-threatening situation. With two-way communication capability, employees can directly send each other calls for help or other requests, displayed as text on the LED screen on the badges they are wearing. An audible tone and flashing LED signal lights alert workers that there is a new message. "In emergency departments, it's unfortunately commonplace for a caregiver to be kicked, punched, slapped, pushed or tackled. While many hospitals tend to keep quiet about violence in the ED and other areas of the hospital, openly addressing this issue is critical to the safety of millions of health-care workers," Dr. Terry Kowalenko, Beaumont Health System's chair of emergency medicine, said in a prepared statement. According to Ekahau, Kowalenko, along with a group of researchers published a study in the American Emergency Nursing Journal in 2011, surveying 213 emergency department workers and revealing that 827 employees had reported violent events and 226 had experienced assaults. The study revealed that victims filed safety reports only 42 percent of the time and reported incidents to police 5 percent of the time. "Our research showed that workplace violence can result in productivity losses and high job stress that impacts an individual's ability to think on the job. However, employers have options. By implementing a variety of security measures, hospitals can keep caregivers safe," Kowalenko said in the statement. Another hospital, Napa State Hospital in California, recently expanded its use of Ekahau's RTLS to improve the safety of its employees (see California State Hospitals Expand Personal-Duress System).

Intermec to Provide RFID Equipment for U.S. Army's pRFID II Passive RFID Contract
Intermec has announced it will provide a variety of passive RFID products, including fixed and handheld readers, vehicle-mount fixed readers, smart tables and printers, to the U.S. Army. Intermec is one of several companies supplying products as a subcontractor to SRA International, a provider of technology and consulting services and solutions to government organizations and commercial clients. In 2012, the Army's newly named Automated Movement and Identification Solutions (AMIS) product-management office for RFID and AIT solutions awarded SRA a pRFID II (passive RFID) indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract valued at $30 million over five years. Other vendors helping SRA fulfill the contract include Lowry Computer Products, which is supplying RFID labels with Alien Technology's Squiggle Higgs-3 inlays, and GlobeRanger , which is supplying RFID middleware and systems integration (see RFID News Roundup: GlobeRanger Selected as Supplier for U.S. Army Contract, Partners on Oil-and-Gas Solution). The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) requires most suppliers of parts and commodities to mark their shipments with RFID tags to enable tracking, and the pRFID II contract supports a state-of-the-art, common, integrated structure for logistic identification, tracking, locating and monitoring of commodities and assets for the DOD, the U.S. Coast Guard and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as coalition partners, foreign military sales and other federal agencies. Specifically, Intermec will provide solutions including its CN70 RFID rugged mobile computers with integrated UHF RFID readers, CN4 rugged mobile computers with the IP30 handheld UHF RFID readers, PM43 passive UHF RFID and bar-code printers, and its IF2 fixed RFID readers.

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