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Supervision Sees a Market for Fixed Battery-powered UHF Readers
The company says its readers will be so inexpensive and easy to deploy that they can be installed in every doorway, thereby providing room-level visibility at less cost than an RTLS.
Initially, Jessup says, Supervision developed a passive solution for hand-hygiene applications. However, the company quickly found that the need for low-cost asset-, personnel- or patient-tracking was more immediate. As such, it began developing its readers to identify when tags pass a specific area, as opposed to when they come within range of a hand-hygiene dispenser.
Therefore, in July, the unnamed health-care clinic plans to swap out staff badges for others containing passive UHF RFID tags, and to apply such tags to equipment. Jessup expects that Doorway Monitor readers will be affixed to about 22 doors doorways in high-traffic areas, or where locating assets is of particular concern. Once in place, the readers will interrogate each passing tag and capture its ID number and location (based on the reader ID), along with the date and time, and then forward that information to the gateway via a Bluetooth connection. The gateway is plugged into a PC running Supervision software that will capture the ID number, which is linked to the item or worker associated with that tag, and update a record of where that asset or person has been.
According to Jessup, his company recommends that all of a site's personnel wear the RFID-tagged badges. He believes that staff members tend to prefer a system that doesn't track their every movement within the facility actively, but rather only captures data at key points to assist with patient care, thus protecting their privacy.
The pilot is scheduled to end in September 2015, after which the clinic and Supervision can assess the results. Jessup says his company plans to make the Doorway Monitor system commercially available by the end of this year, and expects other hospitals to go live with deployments of the solution at that time.
Although Supervision is using its own software during the pilot, the company intends to partner with other systems integrators and software providers, and to keep its own focus on the development and sale of readers. The firm also makes a Block desktop reader designed for document tracking, the issuing of new passive EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID tags for assets, or point-of-sale applications. The Block reader is powered by a USB cable attached to a computer and comes with Supervision's Softwedge application, which allows the unit to function as a keyboard input device.
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