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RFID News Roundup

Parisian libraries to implement RFID; Rush University Medical Center to track implantable devices; Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner offers guidance for RFID health-care applications; Axcess International ships RFID-enabled ID card; UPM Raflatac debuts Hammer EPC Gen 2 inlay for metal; Loc8tor shrinks reader, tests car-finding app with Chevrolet U.K.; RSI ID Technologies' antenna for baggage tags.
Feb 07, 2008The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Parisian Libraries to Implement RFID
The city of Paris has announced plans to implement RFID at 42 of its library branches, using a solution from 3M Library Systems. The libraries intend to use RFID to better manage circulation and inventory, as well as improve security. What's more, at those branches with larger numbers of patrons, the city plans to implement RFID-enabled self-service checkout and return facilities to free up staff. The agreement, according to 3M, calls for the company to provide at least 3 million RFID tags, as well as workstations, interrogators, detection gates and self-checkout systems allowing customers to check out and return items, and in some cases pay fees and fines, without staff assistance. Installations are scheduled to begin later this year. 3M will supply tags incorporating STMicroelectronics' LR12K chips, which are warranted for the life of the library items to which they are affixed. France is one of four countries that have established a national standard for an RFID data format. There is currently no international standard for an RFID data format for library systems, though libraries around the world are employing RFID. To help libraries overcome the lack of an internationally agreed upon RFID tag data standard, 3M recently debuted new software that supports the various proprietary RFID tag data formats utilized by different RFID-enabled library systems (see 3M Launches Tag Data Manager for Libraries).

Rush University Medical Center to Track Implantable Devices With RFID
This spring, the Center for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease (CCSHD), at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, plans to install RFID cabinets designed to help manage and track implantable devices used to treat patients with congenital heart problems, such as atrial septal defects, ventricular septal defects, and heart and pulmonary valve replacements. The teaching hospital will use Mobile Aspects' iRISupply system to manage medical devices and supplies via RFID-enabled storage cabinets. CCSHD will apply 13.56 MHz passive RFID tags, compliant with the ISO 15693 standard, to the medical devices and supplies, then store them in the cabinets. The cabinets' built-in interrogators will scan the tags, recording any items that are removed or returned. The hospital hopes the RFID system will help it ensure implantable devices are in stock when needed, as well as track expiration dates, manage recalls and more accurately capture charges for the devices used.

Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Offers Guidance for RFID Health-Care Applications
Ann Cavoukian, Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, in collaboration with Hewlett Packard (HP) Canada, has released a joint white paper intended to provide health-care organizations with guidelines for using RFID while keeping a patient's privacy intact. The report, entitled "RFID and Privacy: Guidance for Health-Care Providers," examines a variety of RFID applications for the health-care sector, organizing them into three broad categories based on their potential risk to privacy: RFID technology to track things alone; RFID technology to track things associated with people; and RFID technology to track people. The Information and Privacy Commissioner is appointed by and reports to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario; the Commissioner's mandate includes overseeing the information access and privacy provisions of a number of laws, including the Personal Health Information Protection Act, as well as helping to educate the public about information access and privacy issues. In a prepared statement, Commissioner Cavoukian said the paper's purpose is to help organizations understand RFID, its benefits and privacy implications, and "the steps that may be taken to mitigate any potential privacy risks." Such steps include identifying all information security and privacy risks throughout the data life-cycle; conducting a comprehensive privacy impact assessment (PIA) of the entire system at the conceptual, logical and physical stages of its development, with a clear plan and timetable for addressing identified risks; and building privacy and security into the RFID system at the outset. Victor Garcia, HP Canada's CTO, coauthored the report.

Axcess International Ships RFID-enabled Corporate ID Card
RFID tracking-solutions provider Axcess International is now shipping iDot Credential, a wireless corporate ID card that leverages its dot-sized ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID chip. The chip, known as Enterprise Dot, provides dual active-passive capabilities—as either a passive EPC Gen 2 tag operating at 860 to 960 MHz, or as an active tag operating at 433 MHz (see New Axcess Chip Can Be Active or Operate as Passive Gen 2). This allows the tag to switch to the appropriate protocol, while also providing greater options for data storage and sensor input. The iDot Credential, which costs $7.95 per card, is designed to provide hands-free building access control. The standard-size card has a small battery, antenna and Enterprise Dot chip embedded into it.

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