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RFID News Roundup

WaveMark enhances comprehensive OR inventory-management solution; HID Global introduces RFID-enabled laundry tag; Nordic ID launches small, compact UHF RFID reader; Diamond Services unveils gem-scale integration with GemBox RFID; ams announces analog front-end chip for secure operation of NFC-enabled payment transactions; survey shows that, on average, half of world's DCs use RFID.
By Beth Bacheldor
Mar 07, 2013

The following are news announcements made during the past week.

WaveMark Enhances Comprehensive OR Inventory-Management Solution
WaveMark, a provider of radio frequency identification and Web-based solutions, has announced a series of software and hardware enhancements to its OR inventory-management solution, designed to help streamline data capture and allow for real-time supply management by exception within operating rooms. The WaveMark solution utilizes high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz RFID tags compliant with the ISO 15693 standard. The company has expanded its OR solution portfolio to include the WaveMark SmartWand—an RFID and bar-code handheld reader designed specifically for the health-care industry for use in conjunction with tablet applications, to cycle-count, streamline picking, manage remote stocking locations and place orders. In addition, the solution portfolio features more than 50 custom RFID-enabled SmartCabinet configurations, supporting a variety of OR product, storage and space requirements. The solution portfolio now features a mobile RFID tracking system that complements the RFID SmartCabinets, and that leverages a hospital's existing product storage units, such as shelving and refrigeration units, and also supports a wide set of OR specialty areas, ranging from cardiac surgery, cardiovascular rhythm management, orthopedic surgery and ophthalmic surgery to less invasive interventional cardiology, neurovascular, peripheral vascular, interventional radiology and electrophysiology procedures. WaveMark's MobileHospital iPad app enables the tracking of lower-value surgical supplies, and a point-of-care workstation, as part of the solution, is designed to increase charge-capture accuracy, provide product-safety alerts, and enable operating room staff members to quickly document product information in multiple systems. There is also an implant- and tissue-tracking module that provides hospitals with an intuitive and efficient set of tools and workflows to meet their regulatory compliance objectives, according to WaveMark, and the solution portfolio can be integrated via interfaces with existing OR systems, ADT, billing, procurement and clinical documentation systems that free clinicians from paperwork and eliminate repetitive data entry and errors. The new item-level locator functionality lets an OR staff identify the availability and location of medical items online—which, WaveMark reports, can decrease turnover and case setup times, as well as improve patient safety. The OR solution portfolio now features Advanced Analytics, a browser-based business intelligence and analytics platform that provides time-series analysis of cost per case, inventory positions, usage, inventory costs and other critical variables for trend and pattern detection in a single intuitive interface. Finally, WaveMark has engaged in partnerships with global medical device manufacturers that actively participate in the solution by shipping RFID-tagged products to create shared visibility of inventory positions, and provide electronic notification to hospitals as shipments are processed and shipped from their distribution centers. A number of health-care facilities are currently using WaveMark's RFID-enabled cabinets to track equipment, including VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and Tufts Medical Center (see Ann Arbor VA Hospital Tracks Lab Supplies Via RFID and Tufts Medical Center Saved $1.5 Million With RFID).

HID Global Introduces RFID-enabled Laundry Tag
HID Global has announced the addition of its industry and logistics SlimFlex Laundry tag solution to the company's SlimFlex tag family of broadband, ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID transponders supporting the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6 standards. The tag leverages the SlimFlex tag family's durability and flexibility, in a format designed for automated tracking and inventory for commercial laundry and health-care linens and supplies. The SlimFlex Laundry tag is capable of withstanding the chemical exposure and high temperatures of repeated commercial washing, drying and pressing cycles, the company reports, as well as medical-grade sterilization procedures. For example, it has an IP68 rating, meaning it is dustproof and waterproof, and is resistant to mineral oil, petroleum, salt mist, vegetable oil, hydrochloric acid (10 percent solution), bleach (5 percent solution) and ultraviolet (UV) rays. According to HID Global, the tag is encased in white thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), making it flexible, and is small—measuring 55 millimeters by 12 millimeters by 2.3 millimeters (2.2 inches by 0.5 inch by (0.1 inch)—so it can be discreetly sewn into the hem of clothing or linens, unnoticeable to users during everyday operations. The firm reports that the tag delivers reliable performance and reading stability in high heat and subfreezing temperatures, and also can withstand temperatures of up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius) during ironing. The tag has a read range of up to 8.2 feet (2.5 meters), and is designed to enable automated sorting, inventory and accounting for commercial cleaners, as well as improved tracking and infection-control processes for health-care linens and supplies. The SlimFlex Laundry tag is made with an NXP Semiconductors G2iM chip featuring 256 bits Electric Product Code (EPC) memory, a 64-bit tag ID (TID) and 512 bits of user memory. HID Global's SlimFlex Laundry Tag is available now.

Nordic ID Launches Small, Compact UHF RFID Reader
Nordic ID has unveiled a new compact ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 RFID reader, known as the Nordic ID Stix, that the company says is suitable for retail environments, especially those utilizing tablets and point-of-sale (POS) solutions with limited space. The new reader, which plugs into a USB port, is 53 millimeters (2.1 inches) wide, 79 millimeters (3.1 inches) long and 7 millimeters (0.3 inch) high, and weighs 22 grams (0.8 ounce). The device has a typical reading range of 1 meter (3.3 feet), though the read range is adjustable, and a typical reading speed of 150 tags per second. It is equipped with two light-emitting diode (LED) indicators, and has a deactivate/kill tag function. The Stix reader can also be used with information kiosks, smart displays, document-tracking systems and smart-shopping applications. Nordic ID offers its ready-to-use Nordic ID NUR application programming interface that provides full control over the reader, and applications for the interrogator can be written in the C/C++ and .NET languages. Available now, the Nordic ID Stix comes with a two-year warranty.

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