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Pramari, AWID Offer EPC Gen 2 System for Tracking Health-care Assets

The solution would enable hospitals to use passive UHF RFID tags to record when equipment approaches a doorway, and to trigger an alarm or other response.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 20, 2010A growing number of hospitals have deployed a real-time location system (RTLS) to track assets, patients and personnel. Now, Applied Wireless Identifications Group (AWID) and Pramari are offering a system they deem a low-cost alternative to RTLS, which generally employs battery-powered active RFID, ultrasound or infrared ID tags. The AWID/Pramari Asset Tracking solution, which utilizes passive EPC Gen 2 tags, would be quick to install, the companies report, and would allow hospitals to know when assets pass through or approach doorways. The system, using Pramari's Rifidi Edge Server, could then trigger alarms, automatically lock doors or transmit alerts to designated staff members.

Pramari and AWID will demonstrate the system at RFID Journal's RFID in Health Care conference, to be held on Jan. 28 in Dallas, Texas.

AWID's Bill Arnold
Last year, AWID began selling its products with Pramari's Rifidi Edge Server (see Pramari Launches Free Open-Source RFID Middleware). This middleware collects data from AWID's RFID readers, filters that information and directs it to other systems that can then use the data for business processes. Rifidi Edge Server works not only with RFID interrogators, but also with bar-code scanners, sensors and other hardware, such as cameras. The AWID/Pramari Asset Tracking solution was created in response to requests from systems integrators and other resellers of AWID's EPC Gen 2 readers and antennas.

"People have indicated [to AWID] that health-care facilities want to use passive tags to track assets," says Brian Pause, Pramari's VP of business development. AWID's customers, many of whom are security systems integrators for hospitals, have sought a low-cost security solution they can offer their health-care industry customers, to track assets as they approach an exit, which could be scaled up over time and not require a great deal of time, expense or infrastructure to install, explains Bill Arnold, AWID's director of strategic sales. "All they wanted was a way to keep track of high-value items with passive tags," he says.

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