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Thinfilm, G World introduce smart wine bottle solution ••• Smartrac releases DogBone, ShortDipole tags based on Monza R6 chip ••• Canada's University Health Network to use Haldor RFID system to manage surgical instruments ••• Teijin develops new medical device management RFID solutions ••• Industry groups promote RFID to reform, automate and accelerate tire recalls ••• NeWave's Wave RFID antenna evolved from New Horizons technology.
By Beth Bacheldor

Teijin Develops New Medical-device Management RFID Solutions

Teijin Ltd., a Japanese chemical and pharmaceutical company, has announced that it has developed three types of RFID solutions for medical-device management that use Cell Form, the firm's RFID-enabled sheets that work like reader antennas, and its Recopick RFID information-management system designed to facilitate information gathering, including presence and location, for thousands of communications or items in real time. Recopick propagates ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) radio waves on two-dimensional surfaces, such as shelves, with minimum effect on other medical devices.

First unveiled in 2010, Cell Form employs a technology that confines electromagnetic waves to a cell within and around a special thin, flat sheet. It incorporates @CELL data communication technology developed by Cellcross Co., Ltd., a spinoff venture company from the University of Tokyo, and specialized materials and manufacturing know-how developed by Teijin. Teijin first used Cell Form for managing library books, as an alternative to conventional electronic book management in libraries that use bar codes or high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz RFID tags attached to books.

Instead, Teijin's system utilized Cell Form, Teijin's two-dimensional communication sheet, and UHF-band RFID tags; an RFID tag attached to each book sends a signal via the UHF band, which enables the stable transmission of signals to a distance of roughly several meters. Special sensors at library entry and exit gates, as well as Cell Form sheets attached to each bookshelf, detect the book's RFID signal and then transmit the information for secure book-processing. According to Teijin, the system extended the read range of HF RFID systems, allowing electronic-detection gates, conventionally 90 centimeters (35.4 inches) in width, to be made much wider for easier access.

In 2011, Teijin added to its portfolio a digital smart shelf-management system incorporating Cell Form, which comprised up to eight antenna-equipped Cell Form smart sheets, a read-write module, software and the RFID tags (see RFID Sheet Antennas Enable Unique Shelf-Management Systems).

The three new Cell Form solutions include a medical device management system designed to help hospitals reduce excessive inventory levels, monitor usage and eliminate device misplacements. According to the company, the system is expected to be introduced at Tokyo's St. Luke's International Hospital within the current fiscal year ending in March 2016. The solution is capable of identifying the real-time locations of all infusion pumps and syringe pumps within the system, Teijin reports, including equipment storage, shelves and patients rooms across all 22 wards of the hospital.

The second Cell Form solution is a smart cabinet system that manages medical supply inventories and automatically orders replacements when disposable items are used. The system performs automatic stock checking, reduces excessive inventory and maintains inventory on a real-time basis. And the third new Cell Form solution is a smart-sensing board that automatically reads RFID tags attached to disposable medical items stored within a bin. The board, which is designed to be placed on the top of the bin so that it can record usage by monitoring the RFID tags on each device, can record the number of items used, as well as when they were used, in order to support precise fee calculation, Teijin explains.

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