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Fashion retailer Brownie signs agreement with Nedap for cloud-based RFID software ••• TMR Research report says RFID revolutionizing pharmaceutical industry ••• Harland Simon launches new Wi-Fi RFID reader ••• Silicon Labs' Bluetooth Mesh solution helps IoT developers cut time to market ••• Toshiba BLE products now support Bluetooth Mesh standard.
By Rich Handley

Harland Simon Launches New Wi-Fi RFID Reader

Harland Simon, a provider of RFID tracking solutions for the health-care industry, has launched a new fixed RFID reader that communicates with a software database via a Wi-Fi connection. The new device offers the same functionality as standard RFID readers, the company reports, and is intended to lower installation costs by eliminating the need to install new network points.

As a result, hospitals can install readers by plugging them into a normal power socket and registering them via a Wi-Fi network. This, according to the company, reduces installation costs and makes use of a hospital's existing wireless infrastructure for the automatic location tracking of medical devices. Due to cross-charging practices in place at many hospitals, clinical engineering departments often must pay high costs for the installation of a new network point. When only a network point exists and no power supply is available, the reader can be powered over Ethernet.

The new reader forms part of the company's RFID Discovery asset-tracking system, used by hospitals throughout the United Kingdom to monitor the locations of mobile medical equipment. By tracking such devices as infusion pumps, syringe drivers, scanners, monitors, feeding devices, mattresses and beds, the system helps hospitals to lower costs by improving utilization levels, thereby reducing the need to purchase additional equipment. The system is designed to help users locate devices quickly, and thus reduces the amount of time workers spend searching for misplaced equipment.

Fixed readers detect the presence of any device fitted with a specialized active RFID tag, then transmit location data back to a central database. Medical engineers and clinical personnel can access the database to locate specific devices.

"Feedback from our clinical engineering users highlighted the challenges and costs many of them face when having to install additional network points," said Andy James, Harland Simon's director of commercial operations for RFID Discovery, in a prepared statement. "The launch of the new reader demonstrates our commitment to continually improve our range of hardware to ensure we can deliver suitable options for different requirements."

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