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RFID News Roundup

U.K. hospital prescribes RFID to track medical records, supplies and more; Adesto introduces low-power, sterilization-tolerant memory for wearable electronics, RFID bio apps; Nestlé delivers recipes via contactless communication to shoppers at Woolworths; Radius Networks updates is RadBeacon USB proximity beacon; Xtreme RFID joins Reusable Packaging Association.
By Beth Bacheldor
Aug 07, 2014

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: 6PM Holdings Plc.; Adesto Technologies; Tapit, TorchMedia; Radius Networks; and Extreme RFID.

U.K. Hospital Prescribes RFID to Track Medical Records, Supplies and More

Following the path of other National Health Service (NHS) Trusts in the United Kingdom, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is implementing a passive RFID system from 6PM Holdings Plc., a U.K.-based provider of IT services and products. 6PM's Intelligent File and Inventory Tracking (iFIT) system leverages bar-code and RFID technology to help hospitals manage physical paper health records, supplies, medical devices, assets, vulnerable patients, porters, personnel and so forth. The 6PM Items Tracking and Management solution consists of the iFIT iProcess platform to intelligently manage health records, assets and pharmaceuticals and patient appointments, and includes the iTracking platform for managing RFID and bar-code data resulting from the movement of records, assets and people throughout an enterprise.

Numerous hospitals using iFIT are applying 6PM's EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) passive RFID tags to health records, assets and people and are reading those tags using RFID sensors (readers) mounted on door frames, as well as in wards and treatment areas. These sensors detect and time stamp movement of tagged items. According to a spokesperson for 6PM, the iFIT deployment at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is using RFID tags designed by 6PM specifically for NHS Trusts implementations. These tags and sensors are complemented by iFIT Android-based mobile computing tools that provide RFID search and detection as well as bar-code scanning, while giving the user the full iFIT desktop facilities on the move. iFIT, as applied within the health records environment, has demonstrated an average return on investment of 10 to 14 months at other Trusts, 6PM reports, by streamlining labor-intensive logistics processes. Once procured against this specific requirement, iFIT offers many opportunities to streamline other business processes at a disproportionately low cost, the company explains. The iFIT project at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust began in May 2014, and is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

"The Trust is undergoing a major transformation project currently, and we are pleased that health records have been seen as a key part of these changes," said Joanna Carter, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's divisional director for clinical support services, in a prepared statement. "The Trust has invested a significant amount of money to ensure that we can provide rapid access to all our health records, thus helping to maximize patient safety. We are looking forward to working alongside 6PM to implement the iFIT solution for electronic tracking of health records. The project will bring a number of benefits to our team, including helping us to manage and locate notes in a more structured and timely manner—as well as enabling our staff to respond better to records requests from our clinical colleagues."

Adesto Introduces Low-Power, Sterilization-Tolerant Memory for Wearable Electronics, RFID Bio Apps

Adesto Technologies, a manufacturer of low-power memory solutions, has announced its RM24EP family of sterilization-tolerant, low-energy, non-volatile memory products designed for use with wearable electronics, orthopedics, smart syringes and sample containers, as well as surgical devices requiring sterilization prior to re-use. In addition, the company reports, the RM24EP family of embedded or standalone storage technology will benefit applications that rely upon boot code and reference and calibration data, in such areas as RFID bio-material tracking, drug delivery and capsule-endoscopy. The products are built using Adesto's CBRAM memory technology—which provides low power and high radiation tolerance—so they can maintain data integrity during harsh temperatures, as well as the irradiation conditions associated with sterilization processes used in medical device manufacturing.

Adesto's RM24EP storage technology
The resistive memory technology provides high data retention and low power performance with a single low‐voltage supply ranging from 2.7 volts to 3.6 volts. It is an alternative Flash-based memory, Adesto reports, which is the backbone of many electronic devices. But sterilization modes using high-energy irradiation or elevated temperature have challenged the survivability of traditional Flash technology. "This weakness is limiting the features, intelligence and flexibility of medical device designs that depend on memory storage," said Ishai Naveh, Adesto's VP of marketing, in a prepared statement. "It is also adding manufacturing steps and cost to the end product. With an essential need for sterilization and low-power operation, Adesto's CBRAM-based products will open new opportunities to medical product designers to add function to their intelligent, energy-conscious medical devices."

RM24EP products maintain their stored data even within environments exceeding dose levels of 50 kGy gamma and E-Beam radiation, and temperatures as high as 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit), the company reports. The new RM24EP serial interface memory solutions are available in 32-, 64- and 128-kilobit densities, and are produced on Adesto's proprietary CMOS-compatible resistive memory architecture for integration with system-on-chip applications. They all have both byte-write and page-write capability, write operations are internally self‐timed, and the devices feature a whole‐chip erase function. They also feature a wire I²C interface and are compatible with I²C bus modes 100 KHz, 400 KHz and 1 MHz. The products are available in sample versions, with a resale unit price of $0.54 in 10,000 unit volume.

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