RFID News Roundup
GE Healthcare, AeroScout integrate solutions for European market; AZ Monica hospital expands AeroScout deployment; Zebra Technologies intros mobile printing Apple app for RFID tags; Ubisense raises nearly $8 million in fund-raising round; Xerafy unveils UHF RFID tags for Europe; IDTronic announces new RFID-enabled wristband.
Nov 25, 2010—The following are news announcements made during the past week.
GE Healthcare, AeroScout Integrate Solutions for European Market
GE Healthcare, the U.K.-based, $16 billion unit of General Electric Co., and AeroScout, a provider of Wi-Fi-enabled real-time location systems (RTLS), have announced that they have integrated GE Healthcare's AssetPlus maintenance- and facility-management software application with AeroScout's Wi-Fi RFID solution. Targeted for European markets, the combined solution adds real-time asset location information to AssetPlus, and helps streamline key business processes, the two companies report. AssetPlus is a computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) system designed to help hospitals plan for and schedule recurring maintenance, repair and recall of critical medical equipment. More than 1,000 hospitals worldwide employ AssetPlus, according to GE Healthcare. The combination of the two companies' products also enables medical facilities to improve the management and maintenance of medical equipment, increase patient safety and help control costs. Hospital employees will be able to locate equipment by accessing the AssetPlus application, which receives real-time location updates from AeroScout's MobileView software. Users can view an asset's current location and other information on a map, and also see other information culled from AssetPlus' database, such as hospital asset and serial numbers. In the event of a safety recall, the firms indicate, clinical engineers would be able to quickly locate and recover affected equipment. AeroScout's RFID hardware leverages a hospital's existing standard Wi-Fi network, and its MobileView software is available in multiple languages, including German, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch.
AZ Monica Hospital Expands AeroScout Deployment
AZ Monica, a 500-bed general hospital located in Belgium, employs AeroScout's Wi-Fi-based RFID solution to automate temperature monitoring of its refrigerators, which contain medications, vaccines, blood and other critical items, as well as detect patient elopement. The hospital is now expanding its AeroScout deployment to include patient flow-tracking and staff-safety applications. Belgian IT services firm Skillteam assisted with the implementation. "We needed a reliable solution that improved efficiency and also enabled us to focus even more on patient and staff safety," said Dirk Van de Vyver, AZ Monica's campus director, in a prepared statement. "A few months after the implementation of the first phase of AeroScout's applications, the hospital was convinced of the many advantages of the new solution. We look forward to growing our relationship with AeroScout and to continuing to strengthen our hospital's operational performance." According to AeroScout, the temperature-monitoring feature leverages the company's Wi-Fi sensor tags to measure refrigerator temperatures at defined intervals, and then transmits the data wirelessly to AeroScout's MobileView software. If a temperature reading deviates from the range specified as safe, alerts are issued to appropriate staff members. This saves clinicians the time required for manually monitoring temperatures, while also improving patient safety. The elopement solution is designed to notify workers when at-risk patients leave defined areas. Alerts are sent to nurses on their Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) phones, to draw attention to potential issues. Nurses can then respond quickly, and in the best interests of their patients' safety and care. With the patient-flow and staff-safety applications, clinicians will utilize Wi-Fi tags with call buttons, which can be triggered to alert other staff members during emergency situations. Alerts will be accompanied by the real-time location of individuals requiring assistance, AeroScout reports. The hospital will also use AeroScout's technology to track and monitor patient flow in its surgical department.
Zebra Technologies Intros Mobile Printing Apple App for RFID Tags
Zebra Technologies has introduced its ZebraLink Utility app for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, as well as a software development kit (SDK) to create additional applications. The ZebraLink Multiplatform Software Development Kit, the company reports, allows developers to create apps for Apple mobile devices that enable users to send commands to print labels and receipts, and to encode RFID tags directly to a Zebra printer. With the ZebraLink Utility app, users can send a command to print a PDF or a label template directly to a Zebra printer via a wireless LAN, as well as retrieve and print files from the Web, take and print photographs via the wireless LAN, and check printer status and directly connect to a printer via a Wi-Fi connection. Through the ZebraLink Multiplatform SDK, the company notes, developers can create a customized application that integrates printing and includes source-code samples, documentation and on-device demonstration modules for creating custom applications with embedded support for Zebra printers. The numerous options include the ability to create apps to print a wide variety of content, including field-service records, tracking tags, point-of-sale receipts, health-care specimen labels and more, Zebra reports. Specifically, the ZebraLink kit enables the creation of applications for encoding RFID tags via an RFID-enabled Zebra printer, printing multiple bar-code types (UPC, EAN-13, Code128, SSCC-18, Code 39, PDF-417, DataMatrix and Maxicode), and auto-generating variable data-entry forms on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices, using templates created in the free ZebraDesigner label-design software. Developers can create a print application on a variety of Apple devices for the following Zebra printers: XiIIIPlus, Xi4, 105SL, ZM400/ZM600, S4M, PAX3, PAX4, G-Series, HC100, MZ-Series, QLPlus Series, RW Series, P4T and RP4T. The ZebraLink Apple Utility and ZebraLink Multiplatform SDK are available now as a free download via Zebra's Web site; versions are also available for Research in Motion's BlackBerry products and devices that use Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system. The ZebraLink Utility App for Apple devices is also available from Apple's App Store.
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