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Reva Launches RTLS Solution Based on Passive RFID

Reva Systems is offering passive UHF-based item tracking to hospitals with its new Reva-4-Healthcare product, which integrates AeroScout's MobileView RTLS software. The passive system can be used for wristbands, IV bags and other items that can't conveniently carry an active tag, and can be used alongside WiFi RTLS technology.
Apr 06, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 6, 2009—Reva Systems views the passive UHF-based real-time location system (RTLS) it announced last week as more of a complement than a competitor to WiFi and other active RFID-based RTLS systems that dominate the market. Reva's first foray into RTLS, the new Reva-4-Healthcare system, was developed with RTLS provider AeroScout to improve penetration into the healthcare market.

"We started working with AeroScout more than a year ago on some joint customer projects, and we found there is a whole use case for tracking items in hospitals that can't carry an active tag," Reva's Dave Husak told RFID Update.

WiFi-based RTLS has quickly gained acceptance in healthcare (see RTLS Goes Mainstream with New Ekahau Deal) and is used worldwide to track medical equipment such as IV pumps, wheelchairs and other expensive items. The size of WiFi tags and their integrated batteries limits their use to larger items. Passive tags can be used on many more types of items, including IV bags, specimen containers, small instruments and patient wristbands, but have much more limited read range and can't piggyback on wireless LANs.

The Reva-4-Healthcare system features Reva's EPC Gen2-standard passive UHF readers and Tag Acquisition Processors that are configured to work with AeroScout's MobileView RTLS platform software, which is included in the package. AeroScout initially developed MobileView to support its WiFi tags, but has broadened it to support other technologies, including passive UHF, ultra-wideband (UWB) and sensors to make it more of a platform for tracking different types of items in a variety of environments (see New RTLS Solution Combines WiFi, UWB, and RFID).

Reva will market RTLS to other industries but is prioritizing the healthcare market now, according to Husak. He said Reva and AeroScout have done several joint hospital implementations that they hope to announce in the coming months, but the Reva system will not necessarily always be used in conjunction with WiFi RTLS.

"It depends on what's pre-existing at the customer facility," Husak said. "We have some greenfield opportunities where it will be just passive UHF and the MobileView software. I think over time virtually all use cases will have active and passive being used together, because the technologies are so complementary."

Wirama announced a standalone passive UHF RTLS system slightly more than a year ago (see Startup Brings Locationing to Passive RFID), but the company has maintained an extremely low profile and its website no longer appears active. Motorola supports passive UHF RTLS tracking in its WiFi wireless LAN networking gear (see Motorola Integrates RTLS, RFID with Wireless Platform) as does Cisco, with whom both AeroScout and Reva work closely.
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