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Awarepoint Assets Transferred to CenTrak Subsidiary
The RTLS company has signed an agreement to transfer select Awarepoint assets to CenTrak's Clinical Patents LLC, to sell Awarepoint's BLE- and ZigBee-based RTLS solutions, along with CenTrak's other technologies, including Gen2IR, ultrasound and RFID.
Jul 25, 2018—
With an aim to extend CenTrak Group's portfolio of technology tools for its real-time location system (RTLS) solutions, select assets of another RTLS company, Awarepoint, have been transferred to CenTrak's subsidiary, Clinical Patents LLC (CPLLC).
Through this transfer of Awarepoint's assets to CPLLC, CenTrak reports, the firm has expanded its reach to include the San Diego company's customer base, and has broadened its own capacity for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) solutions, as well as gaining Awarepoint talent. Awarepoint's products and services will continue to be sold through CPLLC. CenTrak, reportedly the largest RTLS provider in North America, has about 1,000 hospital customers currently using its technology, while Awarepoint was approximately one-tenth the size.
Awarepoint has traditionally provided 2.4 GHz RTLS tags that use the ZigBee protocol, but has more recently moved into BLE technology. CenTrak says it will continue offering these technologies to Awarepoint's customers, while ZigBee technology may be phased out in the long run since other technologies can accomplish the RTLS data capture more effectively. Awarepoint has also developed antennas that can detect the direction of a BLE signal when received by a beacon, thereby enabling a system to calculate the direction in which a person or asset is moving.
However, BLE technology alone is not sufficient for most hospitals' numerous RTLS needs, says Ari Naim, CenTrak's president. CenTrak provides a suite of tools that include second-generation infrared (Gen2IR), Wi-Fi, active UHF RFID, passive LF RFID and advanced ultrasound (IRUS). Recently, it added BLE technology to its portfolio (see CenTrak Builds BLE Beacon Functionality Into RTLS Devices).
In fact, Naim says, CenTrak offers a broader portfolio of RTLS technologies than any of its competitors. That is the best way to address the needs of the health-care industry, he explains, since the requirements vary according to multiple use cases at each hospital. A facility may require asset tracking, patient tracking, temperature management of coolers and way-finding for visitors. As hospitals have been consolidating, they have been seeking ways to integrate numerous applications onto a single platform across a large enterprise.
With access to Awarepoint's assets, Naim says, CenTrak will be able to leverage more technology options, including BLE antenna technology that provides location-based data via beacons. For example, BLE beacons could be installed in doorways, and could then detect on which side of the beacon a tag, mobile phone or other BLE-enabled device was located, as well as the direction in which it was moving. In that way, a system could use BLE technology to identify the direction of people moving through or past doorways.
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