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RFID News Roundup

Zebra Technologies completes acquisition of Motorola Solutions' enterprise business ••• PDC Healthcare partners with MEPS Real-Time to sell Intelliguard system ••• EPC Solutions Taiwan adds Farsens RFID sensors to data-center solution ••• Tageos signs RFID licensing agreement with Round Rock Research ••• M2M Spectrum Networks, GlobeRanger prepare pilot project with Texan sheriff office ••• NC State professor studying ways to reduce RFID chip costs.
By Beth Bacheldor

PDC Healthcare Partners With MEPS Real-Time to Sell Intelliguard System

PDC Healthcare, a provider of patient identification and safety solutions that include wristbands, labels, medical records and imaging systems, has announced a reseller agreement with RFID solutions provider MEPS Real-Time to market MEPs Real-Time's Intelliguard Kit and Tray Management System in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Georgia and Florida.

The Intelliguard system is an RFID-based drug-management solution that employs standard EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) passive RFID tags and readers. These include a tabletop reader for commissioning a tag attached to each drug's packaging, as well as RFID-enabled drug-dispensing cabinets and bedside patient trays, to automate medication inventory management and replenishment. The system is designed to help hospital pharmacies improve workflow efficiencies and patient safety, the two companies report, by automating kit and tray replenishment tasks. It also helps reduce inventory costs and required work times, the firms note. When pharmacy personnel load the Intelliguard workstation with kits, trays, bags or tackle boxes that are returned for reprocessing, the system automatically scans medications (more than 150 medications can be scanned simultaneously) in order to identify specific items and quantities for replenishment, expired and soon-to-expire medications, and recalls. The Intelliguard Kit and Tray Management System offers a variety of workstation form-factor sizes to fit all pharmacies, and uses what the company claims is the industry's smallest RFID smart tag to track critical medication data, including the National Drug Code (NDC), expiration date and lot number. Several health-care providers, including San Diego's Rady Children's Hospital, are using the system to manage medications (see Rady Children's Hospital Tracks Anesthetic Drugs Via RFID).

"The Intelliguard Kit and Tray Management System perfectly aligns with PDC Healthcare's focus on solutions for critical patient safety and operational efficiencies," said John Park, PDC's VP of marketing, research and development, in a prepared statement. "This system is a perfect example of how 'smart' identification solutions can help our customers reach their medication safety and efficiency goals simultaneously."

EPC Solutions Taiwan Adds Farsens RFID Sensors to Data Center Solution

EPC Solutions Taiwan has announced its new passive RFID Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution that includes Farsens' battery-free, ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID sensor tags to provide on-demand information regarding asset temperature, humidity and air pressure within data centers.

EPC Solutions had already been offering a DCIM solution based on RFID tags that provided inventory control and process automation. With the addition of Farsens' RFID sensor tags, EPC Solutions Taiwan's DCIM solution can provide temperature, pressure and humidity readings, as well as trigger responses based on a set of real-time control parameters. In the event that the system detects abnormal parameters, EPC Solutions Taiwan reports, in it immediately starts the backup facility and sends alert notification messages and records related to maintenance and operation personnel, or to any other related processing units. The solution implements three temperature-humidity sensor tags per rack to control environmental conditions at three different heights, according to Mikel Choperena, Farsens' product development manager. An RFID reader is placed in the rack and a flexible cable antenna is laid out to read all RFID standard tags, along with RFID sensor tags. In addition to providing temperature, humidity and pressure monitoring of the environment on a real-time basis, it also provides asset inventory status and location.

DCIM solutions are becoming increasingly important, according to Edward Sung, EPC Solutions Taiwan's VP, because processing needs and power-hungry equipment have made the power bill one of the primary costs of running a data center. Increased operating expenses can exceed a server's hardware cost during its operational lifespan, he says. With an estimation of a 1 percent energy saving for each degree that an air conditioner's temperature is raised, being able to control temperature in real time has a very significant impact on an energy budget.

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