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PostNL Tracks Temperature-Sensitive Pharmaceuticals Via RFID

The company has installed SenseAnywhere active UHF transceivers and receivers within the postal vehicles it operates in Belgium.
By Claire Swedberg

"Typically, two independent AiroSensors are used in the conditioned space," Heijnen explains. "This acts as a fail-safe solution. For example, each six months, you remove one for a few days to get it calibrated and returned. Six months later, you take the other out for calibration."

Because data is stored on the tags as well as in the cloud, Heijnen says, the technology provides a very reliable solution. "This reliability is necessary," he notes, "as when you cannot prove the conditions of the pharma goods during storage and distribution, they cannot be used."

If AccessPoints were in use at pharmacist locations or at hospital clinics, Heijnen adds, the data collected could also be automatically forwarded from the AiroSensors.

While SenseAnywhere installed the system and provided the software for PostNL's deployment, the company is seeking partnerships with systems integrators that could install similar solutions for other customers and markets. "We would like to focus on what we are best at: compact, ultra-low-power wireless tags, sensors and data loggers... and the network service to get the data reliably in the cloud," Heijnen says.

Additionally, the technology could be used to track items such as equipment leased to a construction company on a worksite. In this case, users (the equipment rental or leasing firm) could automatically conduct an inventory count of items in stock, as well as track their locations. What's more, the tags' motion sensor data could be analyzed to determine how often the equipment is being used, and to establish its maintenance schedule.

A pharmaceutical company and several other firms are presently in the early stages of testing the AiroSensor and AssetSensor. However, Heijnen says, these businesses have asked to remain unnamed. SenseAnywhere says that to date, more than 100,000 of its RFID readers have been deployed, primarily for use with consumer medical devices such as scales and blood pressure monitors.

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