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RFID to Track Dentures at Nursing Homes

Nobilium's solution, from Syrma Technology, provides an automatic-identification method for nursing homes and hospitals in the form of a passive HF or NFC tag built into the dentures, to link a patient's ID with the false teeth as they are cleaned or maintained.
By Claire Swedberg

The tags are visible so that the nursing staff can easily locate them for scanning. They could be used in a variety of ways, the company reports. For instance, if employees want to collect a record of the cleaning and maintenance provided for a particular set of dentures, they could read the tag each time those false teeth were processed, or before they were returned to a patient, so as to view that individual's name and confirm his or her identity.

More commonly, Howe says, the tags will not likely be used unless dentures are misplaced. For instance, if a worker is processing dentures and finds a set that cannot be unaccounted for, he or she can simply scan the tag to view the patient's identity. The data is captured in the cloud and can be viewed on the reader's screen. However, he adds, the system could also be to used to scan lunch trays or bed sheets as they pass through a processing station to detect lost dentures.

If the HF version of the tag is used, nursing homes can simply employ the Syrma reader plugged into a desktop or mobile computer. The reader captures tag IDs and forwards the collected data to the Nobilium cloud-based server, where Syrma Technology software resides to manage that information. If the NFC version is being utilized, a smartphone can interrogate each tag, and the phone will then use an app from Syrma to forward that data directly to the server.

The benefit for nursing homes and dentists, Howe says, will be an auto-ID system built into each pair of dentures that can meet state laws, as well as prevent any loss or misassignment of dentures. "We are the first company to do this," In addition, the material used in a denture fabrication process can be entered into the system and linked to the RFID number to make any necessary repair work easier and more effective for dentists.

Howe says he hopes the solution will lead to industry adoption that would make the implanting of RFID technology part of the standard for dental care.

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